INDIANAPOLIS -- The Green Bay Packers have been to the playoffs four straight years, averaged 11.8 victories in the regular season and won a Super Bowl in February 2011.
Mike McCarthy, 49, finds himself tied for fourth among National Football League coaches in seniority. Nine of his 20 assistant coaches have been with him since the start in 2006.
Not only that, but Ted Thompson, 60, is beginning his ninth year as general manager.
The Packers find themselves as that rare species in pro football, a franchise that has flourished for the better part of two decades and places a premium in the coaching and scouting realms.
Despite the success, McCarthy keeps constant watch so that neither he nor his coaches become stale in their message and their approach.
"That's a great question, and something we talk a lot about as a staff," McCarthy said Saturday. "To me, when you're working somewhere like Green Bay, you have to fight complacency and entitlement. I think entitlement is bigger in our society today than 10 years ago, let alone in our business.
"I find myself recreating every year. It's something I spend a lot of time on and read and research."
In an industry where coaching change is rampant, McCarthy is in the remarkable position of having the exact 20-man roster of assistants returning to the exact same jobs.
Once again, McCarthy refused to say if the Packers denied permission for assistants under contract to interview for other NFL jobs in the last two months. He also maintained his staff was the finest in the league.
"I think our teaching is excellent," he said. "There's some other areas we're going to focus on."
It means that coordinator Dom Capers and the six members of his defensive staff will be intact for a fifth season.
McCarthy said he "absolutely" believed in Capers, adding that the veteran coach's "consistency" was the attribute that he admired most.
As the years go by, McCarthy said he had become convinced that staff management surpassed scheme implementation and player motivation as a coordinator's most important job.
"Especially when you have a staff that stays together as long as we have," he said. "There's a lot of positives to that. But there's also some challenges in the fact these guys all feel they're ready to be coordinators."
Last year, McCarthy adjusted to the loss of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to Miami as head coach by hiring one new coach (Alex Van Pelt) and reassigning three others (Tom Clements, Ben McAdoo and Jerry Fontenot) within the staff.
"I didn't handle that as well as I should have through the spring and training camp," said McCarthy. "That was a bigger adjustment than I thought it was going to be. At the end of the day, the expertise in that specific position wasn't quite where it needed to be to start the year.
"As the season went on, we got where we needed to be. I think we're going to be a lot better there."
Mark Lovat, a Packers coach since 1999, will be back for his fourth season as coordinator of strength and conditioning. After perhaps being tagged as hard by injury as any NFL team in 2010 and 2012, McCarthy labeled injury avoidance a "huge emphasis."
"It's something Mark and I have talked about," said McCarthy. "I think Mark is definitely on the cutting edge. Some of the things he's done he's done very well.
"We're looking at everything. We're looking at hamstring training. Workouts for each individual player. Overtraining. Everything."
The 2012 team was in the best condition and possessed the best ratio of lean muscle mass of any that McCarthy said he had coached. He attributed some of that to greater use of no-huddle offense and the corresponding faster tempo in preseason practices.
At the same time, the Packers have become a much lighter team. Based on NFL statistics for opening-day rosters, Green Bay ranked 10th in average player weight (250.4 pounds) in 2010 and 27th in 2012 (242.9).
Moreover, the Packers lack height across both lines after having drafted and acquired several undersized players in the last two years.
"The body types are what they are," McCarthy said. "Those are facts. We're not as big as some other teams, there's no question about it.
"You always want to be bigger, faster, stronger. I've never been part of a football team that didn't want to be.
"Granted, San Francisco is a long-levered football team. Length is important, no doubt about it. Could we use more of it? Absolutely. You don't ever have enough of it.
"But we're also picking 26th and lower each year. Let's not forget that aspect of it."
McCarthy approaches each season as if the Packers will emerge as NFL champions, and 2013 certainly won't be an exception.
"I feel we're going to be a very good team next year," he said. "I like where we are and I like where we're going.
"We are who we are. This is a very important draft for us. This is how we get better. We don't get better instantly through player acquisition in the off-season. We do it through our off-season program."
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