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Mike McCarthy: Packers' energy in loss to Colts not so bad after all

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A postgame film review can show plenty -- such as exactly what happened on the opening kickoff that the Indianapolis Colts returned 99 yards for a touchdown in Sunday’s loss at Lambeau Field. Apparently, it also can provide Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy with enough evidence to change his opinion about his team’s energy level.

After the 31-26 loss at Lambeau Field, McCarthy’s message to his players centered around a lack of energy. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers then echoed that sentiment in his postgame session with reporters, calling it “unacceptable,” while defensive tackle Mike Daniels went on an expletive-filled rant from the shower room that could be easily overheard.

Something in McCarthy’s second look at the game made him change his mind.

“After really reviewing the video, I actually thought the energy was pretty good,” McCarthy said Monday. “I just think the attention to detail and the sharpness, particularly in the adverse moments of the game, we were not quite where we needed to be. You never want to start the game the way we did with the opening kickoff. It was poor. The coverage was poor, the ball placement was poor. Just a bad play that resulted obviously in a big play for them.

“But hell, it’s the first play of the game. There’s a lot of football that was played after that. You fight and scratch and claw. After watching the video, I thought our guys played with good energy. When things were clean and scripted, we were very productive. But there’s adverse moments in the game that we needed to be cleaner. We’ve got to sharpen some things up, and that’s the focus.”

McCarthy went on to praise his players’ leadership. “There's a lot of things that's said in the locker room, particularly at halftime, particularly after the game,” he said. “A big focus of my message was about energy. So, like I said, that's what I said yesterday to the team. But as today, watching it, reviewing it with the coaching staff, you know, I thought there was good energy but there was, you know, there's moments in that game that were just not detailed. It just wasn't sharp and it factored in the outcome.”

When asked how energy can be felt while watching film, McCarthy said: “Well, energy covers a lot of things.

“The fact of the matter is when you're competing against a football team, I'm looking for speed, I'm looking for physicality, in the urgency, in the decisions. And a lot of that is body language, assertiveness, conversations, how things are corrected, how you're moving forward,” he said. “So that wasn't 100 percent the way it needed to be in particular points of the game. If you want to capture that and put that in the category of speed or, excuse me, energy, like I did to the team after the game, that’s the reality of what happened. Our guys played with a lot of energy, but we were not clean in a number of different situations, and they took advantage of it.”

Perhaps it was McCarthy's way of turning the page. With a three-game road swing starting Sunday at Tennessee, it's likely he didn't want whatever problems he detected in the Colts game to linger into this critical stretch.