GREEN BAY, Wis. - Andrew Quarless is excited about this second chance.
The Uniondale product and Packers tight end said he is looking forward to a rematch with the Seahawks in next week's NFC Championship Game. The Packers lost their season opener, 36-16, in Seattle.
"Any time we lost this year, it wasn't too big," Quarless said of the team's three other defeats. "They beat us down pretty good."
But this is a different team now, he said. A different offense. A tougher group mentally.
"We didn't really have a true identity," he said of the September version. "This offense, we're based on grit, we're based on discipline."
Quarless was a big part of that Sunday. He scored the opening touchdown, catching a 4-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers in the back of the end zone on a play in which the quarterback -- hampered by a balky calf -- ran up the middle before suddenly flicking a pass to Quarless.
He's caught six career touchdown passes in the regular season, but that was his first postseason touchdown.
"It's all about opportunities," said Quarless, who added that he was glad he remained focused on a possible pass.
He also made a key play on special teams. In the third quarter, Randall Cobb returned a kickoff and fumbled. Quarless was able to jump on top of the ball and the Packers used that possession to pull within 21-20 on a 46-yard TD pass to Davante Adams that capped a 90-yard drive.
Quarless emerged from the fumble scrum on that kickoff with the ball in his hands and flicked it on the ground, flashing a little Long Island attitude in the middle of otherwise genteel Wisconsin.
"Those piles get a little dirty," he said. "I had to get out of there. You feel people pulling on you and all that stuff. I don't like that."