The Green Bay Packers secondary lacks neither success nor confidence.
However, they do not begrudge Seattle’s Legion of Boom all of the recognition that it has received heading into the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
“Naw, naw, naw, naw, naw,” said Packers cornerback Davon House. “They’re the truth. Numbers don’t lie, and their numbers don’t lie. They’re one of best, if not the best. They play defense extremely well: No. 1 the last two years on the defensive side of the ball. They’re what everyone thinks they are: They’re really good.”
However, House wishes there was a little more appreciation of the Packers’ secondary — which ranked 10th in the NFL with an average of 226 passing yards allowed per game — and especially cornerback Tramon Williams.
“You’ll be surprised that he only has one Pro Bowl, and that his name isn’t talked about for the Pro Bowl more often,” House said. “He has the numbers in interceptions and whatnot, too. I think it’s that Tramon is such a team-first guy. He really cares about the team, and Pro Bowls and stuff like that: He doesn’t say much. Other corners, they talk a lot and they say ‘I’m the best, blah, blah, such and such, doesn’t throw my way’ or whatnot. T just goes out there and plays. Look at his numbers, you’d think, wow this guy is really good.”
Since 2010, including playoffs, Williams’ 22 interceptions rank second in the NFL behind only Seattle’s Richard Sherman. Williams is fourth in interception return yards (325) over the same period. This season, he led Green Bay’s secondary with a career-high 91 tackles and recorded a career-high 2.5 sacks.
For all that, he doesn’t sound much interested in the increased attention House believes he deserves.
“It’s cool to have a teammate (having) my back like that,” Williams said. “But it’s not about me actually right now. We’re going to Seattle.”
GOING FOR TWO
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers each have won one Super Bowl.
When asked, each admitted they would like at least one more in part because possessing multiple Super Bowl rings is a key factor in coaching and quarterback legacies.
McCarthy: “I think it’s the reality of competing in the National Football League. It’s very difficult to win the Super Bowl. There’s coaches and players that can go their whole career and not even participate in a Super Bowl. I think it really points to the fact that this an extremely competitive league that we’re in, and it’s tough to win one.”
Rodgers: “It’s something you think about in the offseason especially. You know, this season thinking about half of my career potentially being done, and liking to play another seven, eight, nine years, you’d like to win a couple more because that’s when you really kind of cement your legacy and do something really special. … It would be great to add a couple more trophies.”
THROWING AT SHERMAN
One of the most frequently asked questions the Packers have endured in the countdown to the Seattle rematch was their failure to throw Sherman’s way even once in the Sept. 4 meeting, won by Seattle, 36-16.
The Packers’ general answer was that they weren’t actively avoiding Sherman, just taking what the defense gave.
“We have a big respect for their whole defense,” McCarthy said. “They’ve earned that and no different in Richard’s individual case. But we’re a no-huddle offense and I told Jordy (Nelson) in the game plan, ‘Just line up on the left side.’ We thought Richard would come over there and play him on the left side. OK, it didn’t happen, and … the ball went where it went. It was just how the game was played. There was never a ‘don’t throw right’ in the game plan.”
Predictably, the Packers weren’t interested in tipping their plans for the rematch.
“We’re going to have the best game plan that allows us to go out and win the game,” said Nelson, who led Green Bay with nine catches for 83 yards in the first meeting. “… We’ve developed as a team; and we have more threats, I think, now than we did Week 1.”