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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Packers coach is a good fit as a motivator

DALLAS — Call it arrogance or call it confidence, but Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy made a bold move on the eve of Super Bowl XLV.

McCarthy had his players measured for championship rings Saturday night at the team hotel before they played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Was that not a bit presumptuous?

“”They still would have gotten an NFC championship ring,”” general manager Ted Thompson said. “”So they still needed the ring size.””

McCarthy’s intuition proved correct. The Packers will be sporting Super Bowl championship rings after their 31-25 victory over the Steelers.

McCarthy used the rings as one of many motivational ploys during this magical season in which the Packers, a sixth seed, knocked off four division champions on the way to the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl title and 13th NFL championship.

It’s one of several inspirational tools McCarthy has used his season, including letting team captains give pregame talks and putting framed pictures of previous Packers championship teams on the wall in the meeting room, leaving an empty space for 2010.

“”I talked to our football team a lot about having real confidence, and those are just examples and opportunities to express that,”” McCarthy said Monday morning. “”I felt that the measurement of the rings, the timing of it would be special, it would have a significant effect on our players doing it the night before the game.

“”I just told them that we’re going to get measured for rings tonight, at snack. I felt it was the right time to do it. I thought it would give us a boost of confidence to do it the night before the game.””

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, selected the Super Bowl MVP for his 304-yard, three-touchdown performance, actually was not in the room when his teammates were getting measured.

“”I actually missed the little table there,”” Rodgers said. “”I didn’t get sized up. I was wondering when I was taking my pregame shower if that was a bad omen or not, to not get sized for my ring. Hopefully I can still get sized with that.””

One reason McCarthy took the liberty of measuring for rings was his belief the Packers would beat Pittsburgh, which was seeking its third Super Bowl title in six years.

“”We felt that we had an aggressive game plan on both sides of the ball, going against Pittsburgh,”” McCarthy said. “”As the players got into it, you could see they had the confidence, you could see the excitement. We felt we were a better team than Pittsburgh.

“”No disrespect for them, we really respect the way they play. We knew they were going to be a physical, tough football team, but we felt we were a better football team coming in here, and we needed to go out and prove it. That’s why we were so confident.””

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