GREEN BAY — As has been the tradition under Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the team selected its playoff captains prior to Sunday’s Wild Card playoff matchup with the New York Giants.
For the third consecutive year, 15-year veteran Julius Peppers was among the six who were selected in addition to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right guard T.J. Lang, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, kicker Mason Crosby and defensive back Micah Hyde.
Peppers is the only player who isn’t a homegrown Packers prospect 0ut of the six who were chosen. However, the nine-time Pro Bowler has grown into a respected member of the locker room during his three seasons in Green Bay.
“I think it shows the impact he has in our locker room,” McCarthy said. “To get a veteran player that late in his career, a Hall of Fame player in my opinion, his approach to the game is so professional. This is the first year we’ve held him out of practice, but he has a great work ethic in practice. When he speaks, everybody listens. He’s done a phenomenal job with our young players. He’s done a tremendous job during his time here in Green Bay.”
The Packers take a different approach with how they select their captains compared to most of the NFL. Each season, they rotate three different captains – offense, defense and special teams – during the regular season before having the team vote who will represent the Packers in the playoffs.
The honor comes added responsibility to the team.
“You put a little more on their plate than you do throughout the season,” McCarthy said. “We have a format where we select three captains weekly. When we go to six playoff captains, there’s more responsibility because the stakes are higher and as far as who speaks to the team.”
McCarthy said Thursday’s padded practice was one of the coldest the team has had during his time in Green Bay with wind chills hovering around minus-20 degrees.
However, he believes the frigid conditions should have the team prepared for whatever weather greets the Packers on Sunday.
On the injury front, McCarthy said both receiver Randall Cobb (ankle) and cornerback Damarious Randall (knee) are continuing to make progress leading into Saturday’s final practice.