McCarthy impressed by QB Newton’s Carolina debut

With two young children at home on a rare weekend off for his
team, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy managed to watch as
much football as he could Sunday.

And as any parent knows, that can be a challenge.

”I have a 2-year-old and a 5-(week)-old, so it’s kind of hard
to sit down and watch a game,” McCarthy said of his youngest
daughters, Gabrielle and Isabella. ”I watched as much as I

McCarthy managed to catch enough of the Packers’ upcoming
opponent, the Carolina Panthers, to glean this much information:
Rookie quarterback Cam Newton was impressive.

Newton threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’
28-21 loss. Newton’s late bid for a game-tying drive came up just
short, but he still set a record for yards passing by a rookie in
his NFL debut.

”That was impressive,” McCarthy told reporters in Green Bay on
Monday. ”I was impressed with their football team as a whole,
watching their game yesterday on TV and had a chance to watch their
defense this morning. … We’re going into their stadium, it’s
their home opener. I think Cam Newton was very impressive. For the
young man to go out there in his first game and put up the numbers
that he did, it looked like he was very much in control of their

McCarthy also caught some of the Packers’ NFC North rivals in
action. Chicago romped over Atlanta, Detroit won at Tampa Bay and
Minnesota lost at San Diego.

”I got a chance to watch some of the Chicago game – it was on
TV here locally – (and) saw the highlights from the Detroit game,”
McCarthy said. ”I’d say they’re off to a good start. Minnesota was
leading for a good part of that game; I did not see that game. So,
it looks like everybody feels pretty good about themselves.”

McCarthy and the rest of the Packers began formal preparation
for Sunday’s game at Carolina on Monday.

McCarthy acknowledged that getting ready for a Panthers team
with a new coach, Ron Rivera, and new schemes is part of coaching
football early in any season. But one thing he isn’t particularly
concerned about is his team playing in the heat, with the weather
still relatively warm in Wisconsin.

”I’m told the weekend in Carolina is going to be in the
mid-70s,” McCarthy said. ”So, we’ve been able to practice in that
kind of heat. Unless it’s extraordinary, I don’t think it’s a big

Packers players were off Saturday and Sunday, although McCarthy
said many of them were in to lift weights and visit the training
room. McCarthy did not provide an update on the status of
cornerback Tramon Williams, who bruised his shoulder in Thursday
night’s season-opening victory over New Orleans.

”I’ll just say this: The players were in throughout the
weekend,” Williams said. ”Saturday and Sunday were busy here, the
weight room and the training room. I’ll just wait until Wednesday.
I’ll have more information for you based on Tramon and the others.
But we had a lot of guys here this weekend, which was good.”

Follow AP Sports Writer Chris Jenkins on Twitter at: