GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy appreciates Jim Schwartz’s concern about how the Green Bay Packers used their allotted minicamp practices, but the Packers coach feels pretty good about his decision to cancel a day of practice last month to take his players skeet shooting as a team-bonding exercise.
That move drew a not-so-thinly veiled shot from Schwartz, who had his Detroit Lions practice all three days.
“We had no sporting clays today or no amusement parks or water parks. Work day of minicamp," Schwartz said following the Lions’ final practice of minicamp last month. “We take a lot of pride in the fact that we play for a blue-collar town and we try to reflect that kind of work ethic, and we have very few opportunities to practice this off-season. ... Every one was crucial and couldn’t afford to waste any."
McCarthy was clearly aware of Schwartz’s comment when he was asked about the Packers’ budding rivalry with the upstart Lions on Thursday during an appearance on Green & Gold Today.
“Their approach is really tailored to the way they go about their business, starting with their head coach,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know what the problem with skeet shooting is; I thought that was probably one of the best events we’ve ever had here.”
McCarthy went on to explain how the event worked logistically – with police officers at every one of the 19 shooting stations to handle all the weapons – and suggested that the interaction between law enforcement and the players had an added benefit.
“Just the interaction with the policemen and the players was excellent. You were literally handed a gun, pulled the trigger and handed it back to the police officer. That part of it was in place for the safety,” McCarthy said. “But it was really a neat day. We’ve tried some differnet things, and by far it was our best group dynamic/team building event that we had. I actually got a chuckle out of hearing someone else worried about us taking our team skeet shooting.
“But to answer your question, I don’t really get caught up in that stuff. I don’t really worry about what other people do. I don’t pay much attention to their clips. Like every team, you have media clips put on your desk every day, and I don’t really pay (attention to) mine. I worry about who’s playing for them and how they’re playing and what we need to do to beat them.”
Then, after a pause, McCarthy added, “We have a lot of confidence in the way we run our program, and we’re always trying to make it better. And I think skeet shooting is going to be the difference in us getting back to the Super Bowl. So there.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.