GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mike McCarthy knows what the perception of his team is heading into the playoffs, but the Green Bay Packers coach isn’t interested in hearing about it or discussing it.
Despite limping into the postseason off a pair of ugly performances, especially on offense, he categorized his team’s confidence as "high" as the Packers began preparations for Sunday’s NFC wild-card game at the Washington Redskins.
"We're going to Washington to win," McCarthy said Wednesday. "I mean, we're in the playoffs. We're fully aware of what people maybe think about us. That frankly was the message today. ... We like our opportunity. We've earned the opportunity."
When asked what people think of his team, McCarthy said: "I don't really care what they think of us. I have to address those things, because it's part of my job. And I'll just probably stop right there."
It was an uncharacteristically high-energy news conference by McCarthy’s standards, and it was clear he is trying to set the tone for his team that has struggled, especially on offense.
"Like I said, it’s the postseason," McCarthy said. "We’ve had a chance to clean up our house and get it ready to showcase who the hell we are."
The Packers failed to win the division for the first time since 2010 and enter the playoffs as a No. 5 seed that few people see as a Super Bowl contender.
Though admitting that his team "didn’t deserve to win the division," McCarthy clearly wasn’t interested in rehashing the reasons for the inconsistent play other than to say, "You can’t turn the ball over and do the things that we’ve done the last couple weeks."
The struggles, however, go beyond that. The offense finished 23rd in total yards and 25th in passing yards -- both low-water marks of McCarthy’s 10-year run as head coach. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished with his lowest career completion percentage and lowest career passer rating. He went the final 10 games without a 100 passer-rating game after posting four in the first six weeks.
"They understand they have to answer questions, and it’s part of their job responsibility," McCarthy said. "But you know, negative energy and drama, that’s not my thing, I don’t like it, I don’t care for it, I don’t like people like that, but we understand that goes with the job, and that’s the way we’ll approach it."