When you've grown accustomed to success the way the Green Bay Packers have, the season really begins now.
Advancing to the playoffs almost is a foregone conclusion. It's Super Bowl or bust, and the Packers have waited a year to exorcise the demons that swirled out of Lambeau Field in last year's upset loss to the New York Giants.
"There's a number of things, when the season was over -- how the team was practiced in accordance with the health of the team, the specifics in practice, how much time in the cold weather, how much time you spend on ball drills," McCarthy said. "All that was evaluated. And there are things I did differently this year than I did last year, nothing ever stays the same in the game of football.
"It's important not to overreact, but you have to react. So it's an ongoing evaluation. It's no different than when we went to the Super Bowl. There are things that went on during that Super Bowl run that I learned from and was able to apply, and made us a better team, we were trained better for the 2011 team."
This is Green Bay's fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs. McCarthy's preparation tactics won't guarantee success, but we can't imagine the familiarity hurts, either.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.