By CHRIS JENKINS – AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -While the rest of the football world was busy digesting you-know-who’s return with a division rival, the Green Bay Packers’ first-team offense was quietly enjoying an almost unstoppable preseason.
And instead of looking dazed and confused by the details of a major offseason overhaul, Green Bay’s new 3-4 defense was puttingpressure on quarterbacks and taking the ball away at a remarkable rate.
No, preseason games don’t count. But going into Sunday night’s season opener against Chicago at Lambeau Field, Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes the dominant form shown by the team’s first string is the real thing.
“Now, we’re zero-and-zero, and so is Chicago,” McCarthy said. “It doesn’t mean anything as far as your record for the regular season. But hell, that’s where we are – and we expect to get better.”
The Packers’ preseason performance went a long way toward erasing memories of last season, when an ugly unretirement controversy involving the team’s once-beloved former quarterback, several key injuries and an inability to win close games all played key roles in a disappointing 6-10 record.
McCarthy fired nearly all of his defensive coaching staff in response, bringing in veteran coordinator Dom Capers to install his version of the 3-4.