Regardless of the fact that the collective bargaining agreement allows less than two weeks (13 days) worth of practice days, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy sees coherence and culture as more important than practice today. He has cancelled practice in lieu of team building activities, which will come as no surprise for fans.
McCarthy realizes that this game is won by teams and a team is a culture of individuals who care about one another. Mixing up the groups in a team building activity such as the one he has planned for today highlights his focus on the culture of the group.
McCarthy is putting his stamp on the Packers as one of the most innovative coaches in the NFL with his focus on managing the health of the players for the long haul and putting the team aspect of the game above individual accolades.
As a Packers fan, I am impressed by the way coach McCarthy understands that this game is won and lost by teams. Just look at how far the Dallas Cowboys went last year with a no-name defense. They played together and they played for each other. Jarrett Bush, a longtime Packer who will not be with the team this year, kept his roster spot for years by contributing on special teams…and while I griped about him early on, I appreciated his contributions later. This game is won and lost by teams, and our head coach puts the team first. I, for one, can’t wait to see how these guys grow as a team from last year. With new players and so many decisions to make it is good to know that the culture and the team as a whole will be factored into the equation. That doesn’t mean that these players don’t have to perform…they do. But when team building happens – teams emerge.
So I can’t wait to read about what the Packers team does today. Maybe it will be a booze cruize on Lake Wallenpaupack (Michael Scott and The Office fans…you’ll understand), or maybe they will go paintballing in Door County. Regardless of what the activity is, I think the team will benefit from the interactions.
So, Packernation, what activity would you like to see the Packers do for team building today? (This is tongue-in-cheek and just for fun of course):