McCarthy not throwing 'bouquets' after rough Packers practice

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy had some harsh words for his offense after a particularly sloppy practice Monday night.

McCarthy was unhappy with fumbles by running backs Ryan Grant and James Starks, along with penalties and other mistakes by the offense.

"I don't want to disrespect any of my players here," McCarthy said. "But we look great on paper, there's no doubt about it. But we're not close to where we need to be as a football team. We realize that. We have a lot of work to do. So I'm not going to throw out any bouquets today."

The fumbles -- two by Starks, one by Grant -- bothered McCarthy the most.

"The ball on the ground, that's unacceptable," McCarthy said. "That was not a very good practice at all for the offense, just from a fundamental standpoint."

McCarthy said his players are making more mistakes than in past training camps, and the coach acknowledged that might be a byproduct of the lockout wiping out the offseason workout program. But he isn't allowing players to use that as an excuse.

"Everybody's fighting for a job, with a lot less opportunities," McCarthy said. "We don't have as many practices this year as we have in the past. It's important for everybody to mentally tighten it down. We've had more mental errors this year than we've had in the past. That's probably true around the league. But we don't really care about the league. We have a standard here, and we're pushing to get that standard. (I'm) fully confident we'll get there."

About the only positive he took away from Monday's practice was the defense, which he said took a "big step."

The Packers also are dealing with a few injuries. McCarthy said backup defensive back Brandon Underwood has a knee sprain and will be out "a couple" weeks. Kicker Mason Crosby has a sprained ankle, and McCarthy hopes to have him back for Saturday's preseason opener at Cleveland.

McCarthy said offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse has a shoulder sprain and wide receiver Brett Swain has a hamstring injury.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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