PURGING THE GENERAL STAFF. Napoleon Bonaparte had some pretty good field commanders. That was not the case for France during the Franco-Prussian War. Packer coach Mike McCarthy has decided not to have another French Army Retrospective.

One by one, coach Mike McCarthy gutted his defensive staff and axed his strength coach during a 24-hour period unlike any other in the long history of the Green Bay Packers.

McCarthy notified defensive coordinator Bob Sanders by telephone Sunday after they talked at length last week. Then he met with the six members of the defensive staff on Monday morning and released four of them.

At some point, McCarthy also found time to can Rock Gullickson, the strength coach.

One cannot expect the average defense to get to the Super Bowl.

What McCarthy did on defense was dismantle a staff that had provided the epitome of average. Green Bay's statistics over the last three years were almost exactly the National Football League norm.

The Packers' defensive yields from 2006-'08 were 322.8 (total yards), 116.1 (rushing yards), 206.7 (passing yards), 21.6 (scoring) and 89 (turnovers).

The NFL averages in the same period were 324.9 (total yards), 114.7 (rushing yards), 210.2 (passing yards), 21.5 (scoring) and 81.6 (turnovers).

Ils ne passeront pas!

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