Packers notebook: Packers plan to weather the weather

Reed Schreck

Last week's win over Seattle became part of Packer lore because of unexpected snow.

"A winter wonderland," Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy called it.

This weekend's NFC Championship game against the New York Giants might end up with another weather twist. Forecasts are for single digits, with wind chills below zero likely for the 5:42 p.m. kickoff.

"I don't think I'd want to play in an Ice Bowl," running back Ryan Grant said. "But it is something we can prepare for."

Ten degrees or 10 below, receiver Donald Driver will stick with what he'll have on -- or off. He's become accustomed to playing without sleeves.

"You can't control the conditions," he said Wednesday at Lambeau Field, after the team practiced indoors across the street at the temperature-controlled Don Hutson Center. "Maybe we've been successful in (cold weather) because we wake up every day to it.

"You see guys across the line from us freezing a little bit more than us."

The main adjustment he has to make -- besides keeping his teeth from chattering -- is spending an extra fraction of a second making sure the ball is caught.

"You have to concentrate on it," he said, noting the ball's hardness in colder climes.

To some players, it's like, cold, what cold?

"We football players like to think we're tough guys," Packer corner Charles Woodson said. "Most guys will go out there without sleeves and play as if it's 80 degrees out."

McCarthy said Sunday he wouldn't game plan based on weather. He tried to clarify what he meant Wednesday:

"I think what I said, part of the weather is part of your plan," he said. "I know people have 'bad weather plans' on their call sheets. In my experience, that's more for a lot of rain.

"Wind is something that factors in your decisions. There's only certain things you can do in the wind. Wind and rain will affect you more than just cold, from our experience."

Quarterback Brett Favre has gone 43-5 in games starting 34 degrees or colder, yet says, "I don't know if you ever get used to it."

You deal with it, Woodson said.

"If something goes bad," he said, "it can snowball against you."

Chicago on their minds

The Packers keep referring to the 35-7 loss Dec. 23 at Chicago when crummy weather is discussed. The wind that day gusted to 40 miles per hour.

"It was one of those games we just didn't come out and play well," receiver Donald Driver said. "You talk about the wind -- we knew it'd be a factor. I don't think the cold weather stopped us from playing. We just made mistakes, and it cost us."

Said quarterback Brett Favre: "It took us out of our game plan. I give them a great deal of credit. But it was hard."

Head coach Mike McCarthy said the problem that day "was clearly focus, and our fundamentals were very poor. I thought wind factored very much in that game. And hopefully it won't factor this week."

So much for day off

The Packers didn't have to come to Lambeau Field on Tuesday. They did anyway.

"It's a place where if our players want to come in and do extra work, it's not a place of 'I'm not going to go in there' type of attitude," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "You walk down the hall, the doors are closed so they're in there watching film, probably a little more than what you see."

Injury report

Seven Packers practiced Wednesday on a limited basis -- LB Nick Barnett (hamstring), DB Will Blackmon (foot), TE Bubba Franks (knee), WR Greg Jennings (groin), C Scott Wells (glute), WR Koren Robinson (knee) and CB Charles Woodson (knee).

Reed Schreck is the NFL writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at 815-987-1381 or