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No second-guessing of fourth-down call

Sep 23, 2013 -- 11:09pm
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Terence Newman ended up scoring the game-winning touchdown on Johnathan Franklin's fumble.

GREEN BAY – Roughly 24 hours later, Mike McCarthy wasn’t second-guessing himself. Rather, when the subject of his fourth-down call in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati came up Monday, the Green Bay Packers coach recalled the words of one of his mentors.

“A real smart coach told me this once, at a young age, ‘There’s two types of guys who call plays: ‘There’s guys who second guess themselves, and there’s guys that lie about second guessing themselves,’” McCarthy said of the decision to hand the ball off to rookie running back Johnathan Franklin on fourth-and-inches – a call that backfired when Franklin fumbled and the Bengals returned it for the game-winning touchdown.

“I go home after every game and think about every call. Also, what I’ve learned to look at (is) the conversation and the things lead up to each call, whether it was during the week, whether it was during the time out in that one particular call on the fourth down. So that's how I deal with it.”

That wise coach was Marty Schottenheimer, who as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs gave McCarthy his break in the NFL. Speaking of the call specifically, McCarthy said he didn’t regret not kicking the field goal or trying a different short-yardage play, such as a quarterback sneak.

“No, it was a solid call,” McCarthy said. “There’s a number of things that went into that decision based on the mark. In pregame for the field goal, and the wind, and so forth. I had plenty of time to think about it.”

Offensive coordinator Tom Clements said the play does not call for Franklin to try to leap over the pile, which was what the rookie running back was attempting to do when the ball came loose before he got off the ground.

“It’s not a called leap, it just depends how the front plays it,” Clements said. “Usually they try to stay low, (so) that’s usually a good option.”

Asked if he considered having quarterback Aaron Rodgers sneak it, Clements said, “We’ve used them in the past. What we’ve tried to develop are some runs that give you the same benefit as a quarterback sneak with a guy who’s used to running the ball. (Rodgers) is not adverse to QB sneaks.”     

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