I’ve never been a fan of Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy. Never liked his attitude, his disposition on the sidelines or his play calling.
But after coaching the Green Bay Packers to a 13-3 record and an NFC championship berth in 2007, I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. Many times. The following season, the Packers went 6-10, but McCarthy was heading up a young team under the leadership of a new starting quarterback in Aaron Rodgers in the post-Favre era. Rebuilding year, I thought. Next year will be better.
And it certainly started out that way. The Packers looked great in the preseason, burning teams with the killer combo of a potent offense and a punishing defense. But somehow, since then, things have gone horribly wrong.
You can point fingers at a number of people and put blame on a whole slew of issues, but the bottom line is this – it all comes back to coaching. And as head coach, that’s Mike McCarthy’s responsibility.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Mike Vandermause is right in his latest column. Losing to one of the NFL’s worst teams on Sunday was as embarrassing as it gets for the Green Bay Packers, and a low point in McCarthy’s tenure as head coach.
What did McCarthy have to say about it?
“It doesn’t feel good. It never feels good when you lose. This one definitely hurts. It’ll definitely rank up in there, but it’s still one loss. I’m not trying to downplay it. I’m disappointed in the way we played today.
“We have some recurring problems that we have not cleaned up yet. That’s definitely cause for concern as we move forward.”
But see, Mike, with those very comments you ARE downplaying it. Again. And that is one of many reasons why McCarthy has to go. Whether it’s now or after this debacle of a season, he is not leading this franchise in the right direction and his team appears to be losing faith in him. Midway through the season, that’s not a good sign.
Even Rodgers hinted at a feeling of discontent and unease in post-game comments, saying “I hope we have the resolve and the leadership to get through something like this.”
Well it won’t be easy to “get through” anything with leaders like McCarthy at the helm, who continually admits to not “preparing” his team well enough for games – whether they’re huge marquee match-ups like the team’s two losses to Minnesota or lowly no-brainers like Sunday’s defeat to the 1-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As I’ve said before, he and his coaching staff have created a laissez faire attitude in the locker room these days, whether it’s penalties, sacks, playing calling, whatever. If something goes wrong, it’s no one’s fault. No one takes responsibility for anything anymore, and there are seemingly no consequences for bad performance.
Some will say calling for McCarthy’s head at the midpoint of the season is rash. That there’s a lot of football to be played yet, and things could still turn around, especially if the Bears keep losing. But that’s just it. This team NEEDS good leadership TO turn things around right now. And they don’t have it. It’s going to be awful hard to come back from such a demoralizing defeat and beat Dallas at home this coming weekend. And the schedule only gets tougher from there.
A complete makeover is needed to get this franchise back on the right track and fix the systemic problems that are keeping the Packers at mediocrity this season.
In an update to this post, it seems Packers President Mark Murphy is putting McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson on notice in comments made today to the Press-Gazette.