Off-season agenda: Big focus for Green Bay Packers is on raising players' football IQ

GREEN BAY -- When the Green Bay Packers kick off the upcoming NFL season on September 13th in Chicago, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy hopes they will be bigger, faster and most importantly, smarter.

NFL teams have their off-season agendas. The Seattle Seahawks are trying to work in new tight end Jimmy Graham. The Chicago Bears have a new head coach and a new defensive scheme. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are adjusting to a rookie quarterback.

In Green Bay -- it's a bit different.

"A big focus for our team is to raise the football IQ. My point is, we're trying to educate as much as we can. Defensively, how the offense thinks. Offensively, how the defense thinks and things like that. It's something I think we all realize players grow as they're here two, three, four or five years, but frankly, you don't always have that long, so we're trying to increase the learning opportunity, particularly for our young guys," Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said.

"We're talking line-wise, it's understanding the down and distance, what the guys across from you is thinking, what their secondary looks like, how their linebackers are lined up, why they're doing things. Look at the defensive linemen. If they're talking, they are probably going to run a game or stunt -- just small things like that. Not to just be so zoned into your own responsibility -- to start seeing the bigger picture," Packers guard T.J. Lang said.

If there's a collective boost of a team's football IQ, will that actually translate and provide a boost on the field?

"I'm not the fastest guy, strongest guy, but I feel that I play good because I'm pretty smart. I understand what guys are trying to do to me, how they're trying to attack me, so it's something that if we can get that as a team, it will be huge," Lang said.

The Packers made some execution errors in their loss to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game in January, but they also made some mental gaffes.

McCarthy remains frustrated by both, but he knows that he has a much better chance of doing something about the mental miscues.

The Packers are off until they open Training Camp on July 30th.