Mike McCarthy’s Five Best Coaching Traits

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Mike McCarthy

We can surely all agree, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has his positive traits and he has his negative traits, despite being a “highly successful” coach.

Here’s the good.

1. Organization

McCarthy spends much of the offseason planning every week of the season down to the minute. He’s constantly trying to come up with new fitness approaches and ways to reduce injuries – though he still hasn’t found a way to reduce hamstring injuries. He’s been forward thinking in implementing physical therapy and nutritional programs for the players. He carefully allots days off to his players, he lines up motivational speakers prior to games, and so on. McCarthy pays great attention to the non-game-day aspects of the game – right down to the smallest detail.

2. Team Unity

When’s the last time you saw a fistfight break out among the team’s players? Or anyone (other than former players) utter a critical word against any teammate? Or anyone on the coaching staff get disrespected or disparaged? McCarthy’s team, year after year, is a united and respectful group and McCarthy usually sets a good example on this score. Seldom have we heard of a player who was unhappy being in Green Bay during McCarthy’s reign.

3. Self-Control

Unlike half or more of his peers, you don’t see McCarthy throwing his earphones into the ground in disgust, running up and down the sidelines yelling at the refs or berating player as they come off the field. McCarthy has a well-deserved reputation for not letting his emotions get the best of him. The ultimate test came in the “Fail Mary” game against Seattle, when he was robbed of a win, but took it like a man and called his players back onto the field – and they obeyed – for the meaningless extra point.

4. Offensive-Mindedness

In McCarthy’s 11 years as head coach, the team has finished outside the top 10 in total offense only twice. His 2011 offensive juggernaut led him to one of the best NFL regular seasons ever compiled. He’s won a Super Bowl. His offensive units are strong almost every year (except 2015), and he achieves this record without a lot of superstars. Most of his offensive stars can be rightly said to have been developed by him. You’ll probably point out that he has had one superstar (not counting Brett Favre). Yes, but McCarthy must still be credited with forming a strong two-way relationship with Aaron Rodgers. They have a lot of trust and respect for one another and McCarthy has wisely given Rodgers a loud voice in how the offense is to be run. It’s been an impressive partnership.

5. Team Preparedness

McCarthy’s teams rarely show up unprepared to play a competitive game. They have been embarrassed by a truly poor performance or blown out, maybe a half-dozen times in the coach’s 11 years in Green Bay. His .651 win percentage and eight straight trips to the playoffs speak for themselves as to the stability and consistency of his operation. On the other hand, some of the Packers’ poorest games have come in the postseason. I’m also not convinced McCarthy has preserved home field advantage as well as he should. After all, they have home games every year against the Lions, Bears and Vikings. Losing at home to all three teams in 2015 was a profound letdown, but the 5-1 record against divisional opponents this past year is a nice improvement.

Tomorrow: “Mike McCarthy’s Five Worst Coaching Traits”

About The Author

Rob is currently twiddling his thumbs on Whidbey Island in Washington. He likes to do research, although he has no shortage of opinions. He saw his first live Packers game in 1958, the only win of the year.

10 Comments on "Mike McCarthy’s Five Best Coaching Traits"

  1. Xlvordie

    #1- uhhhhh ok

    #2- how about clinton-dix’s latest comments? Or what about josh sitton “needing to play gaurd”

    #3- ever seen a Mccarthy press conference? Any question he gets asked that he doesn’t like he responds like a total dick.

    #4-how was Mccarthy’s offense when he was in Sanfrancisco (with out rodgers)? Ranked 30th!!!!

    #5 -So prepared he kiced off to start against Atlanta, who scored on every opening drive in 2016 when they received. And if you are giving him a mulligan on Atlanta due to talent then how about that Tennessee game? Or even Washington?

    • Kato

      4) Lol. Alex Smith was a rookie qb that hadn’t taken snaps from under center in 5 years. And a team devoid of any talent whatsoever besides Frank Gore. What about his years in New Orleans?

  2. Xlvordie

    Also is # 3 necessarily a good quality in this game anyway? Look at Harbaugh or Carrol. Not saying we want that extreme, but the most jacked I’ve ever seen Mccarthy on the sideline was when he tripped over a cord on sunday night football.

  3. PF4L

    “McCarthy has a well-deserved reputation for not letting his emotions get the best of him.”

    And this has benefited us how in the last 6 seasons?

    But i digress, i’ll wait until tomorrow :)

  4. I have a feeling you are going to receive a lot more comments on part 2 of this series.

    There are examples that could be used to contradict the 5 good traits, but let us be positive. There is no need to almost get in a fight like Peppers and Dix did on the sideline at Carolina in 2015.

    For always having one of the youngest teams, stocked with UDFAs, rookies, injured players, basketball players, baseball players, over drafted players, players that couldn’t make, or stay with other teams, and players projecting to new positions outside their trained position McCarthy and the staff do a good job.

    I hope you are going to run a similiar series for Ted.

  5. PF4L


    This is from a very intelligent Bob McGinn article from Jan. 28th. It’s a must read.

    “McCarthy, presumably Murphy and probably Thompson can bury their heads in the sand and label a 12-7 record and annihilation in the NFC title game as success for a team that opened the season as the Super Bowl co-favorite and had Rodgers play nearly every snap.

    “That’s just noise from a podium from people hoping their loyal fan base forever and always keeps the faith and doesn’t judge 2016 for the missed opportunity that it was”

    “We all make mistakes,” said one former GM. “Maybe you can’t get better. Maybe the guy you want you can’t get, but at least you’re trying. I always felt obligation to the head coach to try.

    “But that’s their (the Packers’) philosophy, and it’s worked for them because they’ve had 25 fricking years of great quarterbacks. Of course it works. Try it without a special quarterback.”

    I may not be a former NFL GM…but i’ve said this same shit for years….But most of you know that already.

  6. PF4L

    Kato…You are McCarthy’s biggest fan on this site…..You gonna represent, or are you just going to finally get smart and say “NO MAS”.

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