Despite a rocky debut as the Packers’ starting right tackle, Allen Barbre will be in the starting lineup again on Sunday against Cincinnati.
That’s what coach Mike McCarthy emphatically said during his midday news conference on Monday, coming less than 14 hours after Green Bay rallied in the final 2 minutes to beat Chicago 21-15.
Asked if any changes would be made to a starting offensive line that continually put the offense into third-and-long situations, McCarthy said: “We’ve got work to do.”
Pressed later, McCarthy said: “Allen Barbre will start this Sunday, yes. The whole offensive line needs to improve from today to Sunday.”
Matched for most of the game against veteran defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, Ogunleye finished with four tackles, two sacks, three tackles for losses and five quarterback hits. All of that happened in the first half, though.
“That’s a positive we’ll take forward,” McCarthy said.
Starting safety Atari Bigby was undergoing testing on Monday, but the early diagnosis is he has a knee sprain. If Bigby can’t play on Sunday against Cincinnati, then Aaron Rouse would replace him in the lineup.
“I thought Aaron did a nice job when he was in there,” McCarthy said. “He’s clearly one of our better communicators on the defensive side of the ball. He’s done a good job. I know (defensive coordinator) Dom Capers and (safeties coach) Darren Perry feel good about Aaron.”
Another option could be newcomer Derrick Martin, who was acquired in a trade with Baltimore last week. McCarthy said Martin is picking up the Packers’ version of the 3-4 “pretty quickly.”
-- McCarthy wouldn’t point fingers at who was to blame on the second-quarter safety, other than to say the offense did a poor job of recognizing safety Danieal Manning’s blitz. Manning timed his blitz perfectly, and Aaron Rodgers wasn’t able to escape or unload the ball.
“That’s the game of football. We work on those type of things every day,” McCarthy said. “If we’re in position schematically to block him, I expect us to block that nickel coming off the slot. If we’re not blocking him and he’s free, you have to handle him in another way, and we didn’t do that.”
-- In some ways, Sunday night’s game is a coach’s dream. The Packers won, but the coaches will have plenty of things to keep the players’ attention.
“We’re 1-0, and we’ve got to correct our mistakes and we’ve got to get those things fixed, because Cincinnati will challenge the things that they saw in that game,” McCarthy said.
-- The game’s big play was far from perfect. Just before Rodgers’ 50-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings for the winning touchdown, the Packers called timeout because Jennings lined up in the wrong spot. On the touchdown, McCarthy said the blocking was messed up.
-- Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is out for the season after dislocating his right wrist in the first quarter of Sunday night’s game. Urlacher needed surgery on Monday for an injury sustained when tackling Ryan Grant.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.