GREEN BAY – Amidst Brett Hundley’s struggles, Mike McCarthy does not believe the Packers’ locker room is losing faith in its quarterback.
“I don’t see any of that,” McCarthy said on Monday, less than 24 hours after a dispiriting 23-0 home loss to the Ravens. “Everyone knows what each man puts into this, what these guys do professionally.
“He’s here working out. Everyone respects him. I don’t see any issues with that.”
McCarthy also reiterated his belief in Hundley and in his improvement after a rough outing against one of the league’s top defenses.
Hundley followed up his best performance in his first victory last week in Chicago with his worst, committing four turnovers and failing to get the offense inside the Baltimore 35-yard line after the game’s opening drive.
While turnovers were obviously the biggest problem, McCarthy also pointed to “time clock” issues on offense that were related to both Hundley’s footwork and the releases and cuts of the receivers.
In addition, Baltimore clamped down on Green Bay’s running game, which had been so successful a week ago in Chicago. The workload fell solely on rookie Jamaal Williams after fellow rookie Devante Mays fumbled on his first carry.
McCarthy didn’t call Mays’ number again until late in the game with the outcome decided, but he sounded as though he’s giving Mays a fresh start this week.
“I’m excited to see him cut it loose,” McCarthy said. “He has it, and it’s that transition every rookie goes through when he gets into regular-season games.”
The general attitude in the locker room after the game was that every player on offense needs to do his part to support Hundley and get the offense moving the ball consistently again.
“He’ll watch the film, he’ll see some things that he’ll want to take back,” veteran left tackle David Bakhtiari said of Hundley. “But at the end of the day, we’ve got to be able to capitalize, we’ve got to step up – every position.”
McCarthy added the coaching staff has its part to play, too.
“We’re focused on our offense playing differently, and we need to play better, and that starts with me,” he said.
“The offense has to play to the game plan, and we can do a better job of that as a whole offense. The defense has to build on the performance against Baltimore, and the special teams needs to step up and win the field-position battle and make some plays.”
The Packers badly lost the field-position battle against the Ravens, and not just because of the turnovers. The coverage units allowed a 28-yard punt return and a 35-yard kickoff return on either side of halftime that led to 10 Baltimore points.
Special teams coordinator Ron Zook said the punt before half was both low and down the middle, and on the kickoff two coverage players got bunched too close together, leaving kicker Mason Crosby to make the tackle at the 41-yard line.
“Field position is critical,” Zook said. “We have to change position with our punt and punt-return game, and our cover units have to do the job.”
McCarthy did not have an update on the injuries to three starters from Sunday’s game – outside linebacker Clay Matthews (groin), defensive tackle Kenny Clark (ankle) and offensive tackle Justin McCray (knee).
While he didn’t go as far as safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in calling the action that injured Clark “dirty,” McCarthy said the injury potentially could have been avoided.
“Clearly Kenny is in a compromised position,” McCarthy said. “Obviously you’ve got a physical game going on there in the interior. I thought it was unnecessary.”