GREEN BAY – For the second straight week, the Green Bay Packers defense will face an opponent starting a new quarterback in hopes of changing the course of its season.
One week after the Kansas City Chiefs called upon Kyle Orton after five losses in their previous six games – and ended the Packers’ undefeated season with a 19-14 victory – the archrival Chicago Bears will turn to Josh McCown to end their four-game losing streak with Caleb Hanie under center for an injured Jay Cutler.
“We need something, I’ll tell you that much,” linebacker Brian Urlacher said in a conference call with Wisconsin reporters Wednesday. “Defensively, we’ve been playing decent, just haven’t got enough takeaways in these games. Our offense, we’re up and down. We still ran the ball pretty well. But defensively, we’ve just got to get more takeaways to help the offense out in the situation. Without Jay being in there, we’re not the same team as we were before, so we have to compensate for that by making more plays on defense.”
Coach Lovie Smith said the change is designed to “give us a little bit of a spark. Josh has been around for a while. He’s done a good job of what we’ve asked him to do. He’s been in our offensive system before. It’s time for us to make a move, so we went with him.”
Packers fans best remember McCown for throwing the game-winning touchdown pass for the Arizona Cardinals in the 2003 regular-season finale against the Minnesota Vikings that got the Packers into the playoffs that year. McCown hasn’t started a game since Dec. 23, 2007, for Oakland against Jacksonville. He was completely out of the NFL last season and joined the Bears after Cutler broke his thumb Nov. 20.
“It’s not ideal. For anybody in any offense, it’s not ideal to come in this late. But at the same time, as a competitor you’ve got to get yourself up to speed and get ready to play,” McCown told reporters in Chicago. “Everybody expects you just to go play and play well, and that’s the expectation for myself also, just to go out and do things to help us win a football game. If I keep looking back and saying, ‘I only got here six weeks ago,’ then it becomes an excuse and you leave an area for you not to play well because you’re leaving something to fall back on. I’m trying to refuse to do that and just say, ‘You have to play well. The team’s depending on you.’ That’s my stance.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.