Packers notebook
Ryan Grant (25) only had 13 carries Sunday.
Ryan Grant (25) only had 13 carries Sunday.

Posted Jan 22, 2008


Grant would have liked more carries; McCarthy's deal not completed; player notes

Halfback Ryan Grant praised his former teammates for keeping him under wraps in the Packers' 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants on Sunday in the NFC Championship.

Nevertheless, reading between the lines of some postgame comments Grant made in a quiet locker room at Lambeau Field, he wasn't tickled that he had few opportunities to run the football on a night when extremely frigid conditions perhaps should have dictated an emphasis on the ground game. Grant was held to 29 yards in 13 carries, his lowest rushing output since becoming Green Bay's featured back midway through the season.

"They were solid up front, clogging up lanes. They did a great job," said Grant, whom the Packers acquired in a trade with the Giants before the season started. "But, we didn't execute across the board the way we should've. We probably could've run a little harder, but hats off to their defense."

Grant became an overnight sensation across the country in the Packers' previous game. He rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns - both franchise records in the postseason - in Green Bay's rout of Seattle in the divisional round. Grant had 27 carries in that game, and the team totaled 35.

On Sunday, though, the Packers had only 14 carries for 28 yards, which included a kneel-down quarterback Brett Favre took at the end of the first half. By not running the football frequently and effectively, the Packers' time of possession was nearly doubled by the Giants, 40:01 to 22:34.

"The thing that's so disappointing is that we weren't able to get in any semblance of a rhythm (on offense)," right tackle Mark Tauscher said. "It was pretty choppy the whole day. We weren't able to sustain anything."

McCarthy's deal yet to be completed
Following the game Sunday, general manager Ted Thompson downplayed several reports that circulated last week that indicated a contract extension for head coach Mike McCarthy was a done deal.

"We've still been talking," Thompson said. "A lot of people are jumping the gun there."

McCarthy, who would be entering the final year of an original three-year deal as coach, reportedly agreed to a five-year contract that will run through 2012 and more than double his annual salary to nearly $4 million.

Player notes
-- QB Brett Favre had two touchdown passes in the NFC Championship Game loss to the Giants on Sunday. He pulled into a tie with Joe Montana for the league record for multi-touchdown games (14) in the playoffs. Favre extended his own league standard to 18 straight games with a TD throw in the postseason.

-- CB Al Harris finished the game Sunday after having to come out of the game for a few plays in the fourth quarter because of leg cramping stemming from the subzero temperatures.

-- FS Nick Collins also endured weather-related leg cramps in the fourth quarter and went to the sideline briefly before finishing the game.

-- LS Rob Davis said after the game he hasn't decided whether to play another season, nor does he know whether the team wants him back. Davis, a 12-year veteran, is the Packers' oldest player at 39. His contract is up. He began moonlighting with the organization as an aide in player development during the season.

-- CB Will Blackmon was hopeful that he wouldn't require another surgery on his chronically bad right foot. An aggravated injury kept him out of both playoff games. Blackmon missed most of his rookie season in 2006 because of a fracture in the foot that required surgery.



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