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Evan Siegle, packers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Packers entered a game this late in the season through 10 games or later where both teams had a winning percentage of. Green Bay has won five of its last six at the 49ers, including its last trip in It is the first of two straight road games for the Packers, marking the second straight year they played on the road in the first two games after the bye week.
Dating back to , Green Bay is against San Francisco during the regular season. Since , the Packers have won the game going into the bye and coming out of the bye five times , , , , This is the second year in a row that the Packers will travel to California in the week after the bye Los Angeles Rams in The Packers have won six of the previous eight matchups against NFC teams in the week after the bye.
In games immediately following its bye week, Green Bay has won 16 of its last Since , Green Bay is The Packers have not turned the ball over for four straight games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it ties , for the most consecutive games without a turnover by the Packers since , the first year turnovers were tracked.
Green Bay has not fumbled in four straight games. The last time the Packers did not have a fumble in four straight games in a single season was Oct.
This is the fifth time in the last six seasons that the Packers have played a night game coming out of the bye. CST, but for the second time this season vs. It will be the fifth time Green Bay appears in primetime this season, with a sixth appearance scheduled for Week The Packers are in primetime contests so far in Green Bay has won eight of its first 10 games, marking the sixth time the Packers have won at least eight of their first 10 games of the regular season since in , in and in , and The Packers are this season in Sunday games, joining San Francisco and New England as the only teams with one of fewer losses this season in games played on Sundays.
We would discuss what crosses your mind when you take the field. It allowed us to turn our status as outsiders into our advantage. When I talked with the team, I would use examples from the early days of World War II as illustrations of the desperate and heroic fights we could emulate.
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By talking about what could be a disadvantage, we turned our people on. We made it an advantage. The other example is the injury factor. Some teams come unraveled when a star player gets injured. With the 49ers, an injury often served to arouse the team to play harder. Again, my approach was to talk about it openly.
I would make the point that reserve players always had to be prepared, and that when they got the chance, they should actually improve on the performance of the injured player. Again, I used historical examples from warfare. For instance, in the Civil War, the best trained people, the front line and even generals, were often the first to fall.
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Often it was the reserves who would achieve victory. So when our reserves took the field, they were conditioned to feel this way and they knew what was expected. They would feel much more positive about going into the game. In teaching skills to your players, how do you organize your own thinking about the players you are trying to reach?
Take a group of ten players. The top two will be supermotivated. Superstars will usually take care of themselves. Anybody can coach them. The next four, with the right motivation and direction, will learn to perform up to their potential. The next two will be marginal. With constant attention, they will be able to accomplish something of value to the team. The last two will waste your time. Our goal is to focus our organizational detail and coaching on the middle six.
They are the ones who most need and benefit from your direction, monitoring, and counsel. How do you achieve a balance between group skills and discipline on the one hand and player individuality on the other? They go together in defining the two directions you need to pursue at the same time. First, you develop within the organization and the players an appreciation for the role each athlete plays on the team. You talk to each player and let each one know that, at some point, he will be in a position to win or lose a game.
It may be one play in an entire career for a certain player or many plays each game for a Joe Montana. Everyone has a specific role and specific responsibilities. And each player has to be prepared both mentally and physically to the utmost to play that role. You want everyone to enter into the flow of ideas, even ideas that may seem extreme in their creativity. You are actually striving for two things at the same time: an organization where people understand the importance of their jobs and are committed to living within the confines of those jobs and to taking direction; and an organization where people feel creative and adaptive and are willing to change their minds without feeling threatened.
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It is a tough combination to achieve. Is there a situation with a player that exemplifies this balance between giving explicit direction and permitting individual creativity? Take Joe Montana, for example. He is a perfect combination of the two vital aspects that are necessary for developing greatness as a quarterback. The formula for the success of the 49ers offense was a highly disciplined, very structured form of utilizing the forward pass. To make our system work, Joe had to master the disciplines to know which receiver to throw to, when, and why.
Consequently, the job of the coach was to use drills and repetition so that Joe developed almost automatic moves and decision-making ability. And that is an instinctive, spontaneous, natural response to situations that arise in games. It is the job of the coach to find the best of both sides. We had to have a very structured system of football, and we also wanted instinctive and spontaneous play.
How do you go about the job of coaching a player like Montana to develop that kind of balance? Early on, we had to encourage Joe to trust his spontaneous instincts. We were careful not to criticize him when he used his creative abilities and things did not work out. In practice, we worked with Joe repeatedly on specific plays. When he was placed in a game, we called only those plays because we knew that he should be confident that he could execute them. Instead, we nurtured him to use his instincts. We had to allow him to be wrong on occasion and to live with it.
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Of course, with different players the problem takes on a different look. In the case of quarterback Steve Young, it was almost the opposite. We had to work with him to be disciplined enough to live within the strict framework of what we were doing. Steve is a great spontaneous athlete and a terrific runner. But we found that we had to reduce the number of times he would use his instincts and increase his willingness to stay within the confines of the team concept. For example, we would be at a point in a game where we had designed a special play to break the defense wide open and score a touchdown.
In his early days, Steve might not have had the discipline to wait for that play to develop. Instead, he would see an opening and run with the ball for a five-yard gain. He would let his instincts and emotions affect his patience with the play and his confidence that the entire team could execute. Unfortunately, there is nothing exact about it. Experience is really the only teacher. I was 47 years old when I became an NFL head coach. Typically, that job comes to people when they are between the ages of 35 and I was in a subordinate role as an assistant coach for a longer period of time than most, so I was forced to analyze, evaluate, and learn to appreciate the roles that other people play more than I might have.
In retrospect, I was lucky. Part of the agreement that brought Bill Walsh back to Stanford in was that he be allowed to pick his assistant coaches. We must coach in a way that is respectful. But during the first few months of Stanford practices, Turner was also made aware that the mythology and expectations that had been building up around Walsh could be as misleading and detrimental as they were potentially animating. For example, take our game at Notre Dame last October.
But in the locker room, there was no sense of panic. We had a calm, thoughtful discussion on how to get it done. The players handled it because Bill had laid the groundwork. He had prepared us to be 16 points down.
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The response was decidedly the latter. In the second half, a determined Stanford team, quite reminiscent of the Walsh 49ers, marched on the field and methodically crushed Notre Dame 33 to But if developing your players is an inexact art, there are bound to be mistakes. How do you deal with them? Again and again in the development and selection of personnel, you have to account for miscalculation.
In professional sports, the person who is best at dealing with personnel is the person who recognizes his or her errors and deals with them the quickest and most effectively. That could mean adopting a long-term approach, or it could mean the release of a player. Take our drafting of John Taylor in John came to the 49ers as a wide receiver from Delaware State. He had great physical talent, but not a lot of background in playing sophisticated football. We simply miscalculated how long it would take John to be ready to play in the NFL.
Consequently, we were disappointed in him. John was not adapting well to the competition, he appeared confused and frustrated, and he had lost his enthusiasm. But instead of giving up on him, we took a longer term, more patient approach. We waited an extra year to allow him to mature and grow into this level of competition and into the role we wanted him to play.