GREEN BAY – As local residents braced themselves for the first major snowstorm of the season Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers were doing the same.
“Make sure you have a lot diesel gas for your snow thrower,” coach Mike McCarthy said he warned his players.
All kidding aside, with forecasts calling for the area to get up to 14 inches of snow overnight Wednesday and into Thursday, McCarthy has told players to be prepared, and that they need to be ready to report for work at their usual time (7:30 a.m.), so make the proper arrangements.
“Coach told us to get up early. There’ll be no excuses for being late. That’s part of living in Green Bay,” said veteran defensive lineman Ryan Pickett, who has been with the team since 2006. “You can’t complain about it. We were just talking about it on the field that we’ve (been lucky) two years in a row with the cold weather. It hasn’t been really cold for our games.”
The last time the city got socked with such a huge storm was in December 2009, when 14.4 inches fell. That day, while New England coach Bill Belichick was sending players home for getting to work late because of the storm, McCarthy was more understanding at the time about that storm, which turned out to be the biggest December storm in Northeastern Wisconsin history and the sixth-worst snowstorm in Northeastern Wisconsin ever.
The team sent security and other staffers out to pick up players who were snowed in or had never driven in such conditions before. Such drivers may be needed again Thursday. Most schools and other programs were already canceling Thursday activities on Wednesday.
“I talked about (the snow) today in the team meeting,” McCarthy said. “It’s funny. Some of the guys getting ready to go through it for the first time, they said, ‘Don’t worry, I have a truck.’ Well, you’re going to need more than a truck. It’s part of the planning. We talked about time management this week with the holidays and storm coming, we’ll adjust accordingly.”
Asked if he was excited about the storm, wide receiver Randall Cobb replied, “Actually, I’m not. I don’t like cold weather. I don’t like snow, but we’ll find a way to make it here on time.”
Meanwhile, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had other concerns.
"Yeah," he said during a conference call with Tennessee reporters, "that’s going to put a damper on the late Christmas shopping I’m trying to do."
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