Mike McCarthy’s Five Worst Coaching Traits

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the wrong Mike McCarthy

Here’s the counterpart to the previous “Five Best” list. These are Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s five worst traits.

1. Play Calling

A consensus has emerged that McCarthy calls extremely predictable and uncreative plays for his offense to execute. Because it takes so long to get young and new players up to speed with the playbook, McCarthy vowed to simplify matters and shrink the number of plays – but there’s no sign he has done so. Rarely does a McCarthy game plan seem to focus on the opponent’s weak areas, and rarely are weaknesses and mismatches fully exploited. Passes to running backs are way down from past years. Tight ends are under-utilized as receivers. The Packers almost never resort to gimmick or gadget plays, though most of the better teams use them effectively in almost every game.

2. Game Management/Adjustments

In the playoffs, cornerback LaDarius Gunter was overmatched by two of the league’s best and fastest receivers, and Damarious Randall didn’t seem to even want to be on the field, and yet these problems went unfixed all game long. The hurry-up offense has become hit and miss. The team often avoids huddling up, but they seldom proceed to rapidly set up for and run the next play. The run game often disappears after a few unsuccessful plays. Rarely does any running back attempt to go wide or run a sweep. Aaron Rodgers takes too many sacks, though the coach doesn’t seem concerned about the potential for injury to his most valuable player. The prevent defense is routinely over-used, and the offense also tends to go too conservative when the team has a lead – allowing teams to come back from large deficits way too often.

3. Player Selection and Substitutions

McCarthy just keeps playing injured players, at risk of further injury and even though they can’t perform well. He punishes players by putting them in his doghouse, or simply ignoring them, for weeks or more at a time (Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis, Josh Hawkins, Richard Rodgers, Jermaine Whitehead, etc.) He’s very slow to insert new players into the lineup or meaningfully utilize his players’ individual talents (Jared Cook, Ty Montgomery, Christine Michael). He and GM Ted Thompson continue to retain and utilize high draft choices in favor of lower draft choices and undrafted players who are outperforming them.

4. Defensive Coaching Oversight

In McCarthy’s 11 years in Green Bay, his team finished in the top 10 in total defense only twice. McCarthy needs to assume more control over the defense, not merely delegate those duties to defensive coordinator Dom Capers – especially when things go awry, as they did this past year. Entirely too many average QBs had huge yardage games against Green Bay, including: Blake Bortles, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and Matt Barkley – all who threw for 320 yards or more. Far too many average receivers also went wild, including: Marvin Jones (205 yards), Adam Thielen (202), Stefon Diggs (182); Delanie Walker (124), Pierre Garcon (116), and Deonte Thompson (110).

5. Fragile Ego – Public Relations

Increasing over the past two years, McCarthy’s relations with the press, and public, have become chilly at best, and hostile at worst. He gets very defensive when it comes to any form of personal criticism. Examples: the manner in which he sent Packers great Josh Sitton packing after Sitton dared to express some frustration with the offensive scheme; “Let’s just state the facts: I’m a highly successful NFL head coach;” “I don’t know why the hell I’ve got to come in here and answer questions about the things you [reporters] think that went wrong.”

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.

23 Comments on "Mike McCarthy’s Five Worst Coaching Traits"

  1. PF4L

    Bad Traits…..Plenty of bad traits….

    1) Would you EVER hear Belichick say that..they had a highly successful season, after losing a AFCCG? Or, winning the Division, or just getting into the playoffs? That might be highly successful in Fat Mike’s world with 2 franchise QB’s, but not in my world……FAIL

    2) Calling running plays based on how many attempts you wanted before the game started. Instead of letting game situations dictate what plays to run….that’s not just a bad trait, it’s absolutely fucking stupid. I’d maybe…..expect that from a High school coach…..FAIL

    3) Luckily…..Fat Mike has players around him watching his back, for when he embarrsses himself and the team by not knowing the rules. Sometimes the players are there to explain the rules to him before the ref even gets there to do it…..FAIL

    4) Fat Mike apparently has no regard or respect for his players safety…….knowingly putting injured players back in practice or back on the field when medically, they should have been having surgery. Which they found out after getting 2nd opinions, or the player’s family speaks out against the team, because they don’t give a shit about Fat Mike’s Gag order….FAIL

    5) Fat Mike should know…..that when you are highly successful at your job….People tell you that, you don’t have to try to convince anyone else. Unless of course you have insecurities….FAIL

    6) Fat Mike has no backbone inside Ted’s office, he’s a YES man. Yes men aren’t winners.
    A head coach with any worth, is telling Ted, to get him some players….REAL players. Especially when Shields went down…..you then had Randall, Rollins, Gunter, Waters, Hawkins, later Dorleant. Where do you think this crowd was taking you? To the Super Bowl? If Ted isn’t doing his job….man up, and tell him to do his job….FAIL

    7) 2 HOF QB’s in 11 years, and one super Bowl appearance? ….FAIL

    8) 2 HOF QB’s in 11 years and 4 NFCCG’s. winning only one of four…..FAIL

    9) Playcalling to go to the Super Bowl…Burnett interception at the 43 yard line of the Packers. McCarthy calls 1st and 2nd down running plays, losing 4 and 2 yards. It’s 3rd and 16 at the Packers 37. ( Let me guess Fat Mike, a running play? ) Lacy runs for a 2 yard gain, 4th and 14. Fat Mike wanted 20 rushing attempts in the 2nd half, and he was going to get them, even if it meant not going to the Super Bowl. What a highly successful coach he is. Here’s Mike’s version…….FAIL

    “Hey, if you want to question my play calling — I’m not questioning it,” McCarthy said. “I came in here to run the ball. The one statistic I had has as far as a target to hit was 20 rushing attempts in the second half, I felt would be a very important target to hit for our offense.”….HUGE FAIL.

    (it should be noted, Fat Mike has since changed his play calling philosophy…so yes, he did question his own play calling.)

    10) Not knowing…during the end of a NFCCG, when the game is crumbling down, that your star defensive player, is “chillin” on the sidelines in the last 5 minutes of the game. Then later lying about you…..FAIL

    11) Ted Thompson stole Fat Mike away from the 49ers as off. coordinator in 2005. Leaving the 9ers with the worst ranked offense in the NFL….FAIL

    12) Fat Mike is clearly not trying to make any friends when in front of the camera and being questioned. Yes, i’m saying he’s a big arrogant prick to reporters or anyone who DARES question him…..FAIL

    13) Being in charge, but not trying to fix defensive problems for years on his football team. Seemingly Fat Mike thinks it should just “fix itself sometime” or “Rodgers needs to overcome it.”…..HUGE FAIL

    14) Fat Mike not having the good sense of stepping down and letting someone else give it a try while Rodgers is still around. But “selfishly” riding out the LOTTERY TICKET as long as it last, until everyone’s career ends in unreached potential…..FAIL

    15) Apparently FAT Mike is the only head coach in the NFL who doesn’t own a scale, or have a mirror in his house. Holy shit man, Eat another pizza!!!

    16) Fat Mike and Ted owe Green Bay Packer fans a huge apology for the torture and bs we’ve had to endure under their command. Yes, i’m being serious. ….Fuck man, you and Ted…need do the right thing and resign, no one wants either of you here anymore. Take a hint!!

  2. Dan

    This is the worst Packers site online, and in no way at all deserves the name Total Packers. All it ever has is negative posts about the team, with no positive statements whatsoever. This site should be taken down immediately.

    • PF4L

      So sorry your feelings are hurt Dan, it’s not intentional. I feel really bad about it though, wishing there was something i could do, like give you a hug, buy you a new dress and make all the negativity go away.

      Actually, it’s the best Packer site online because you actually have freedom of speech, You can state whatever opinion you want. If you think it, you can write it.

      Go find a website policed by blog moderators and tattle tale links for you to complain if it’s more in your “safe zone”. Hell, become a moderator, maybe you’ll feel big and important.

      This site is almost all men only, a after a couple defections it will be, men only.

      • Dan

        If its the best one online, why did you just put down a man who led a 4-6 team to a game from the Super Bowl with a beat up roster. No run game at the time. No cornerbacks. Their tight end that came on was out. However, he kept the team calm, and helped them push through. That’s what a coach does.

        Also, all of the reasons you have have been contradicted by other high end minds of the NFL such as Bill Belichick and Sean Peyton. So, yes. McCarthy is one of the top coaches in the league. Now start posting possitive for once and stop using this site to just rant about what you hate about McCarthy, Thompson, Favre, and other greats.

        • PF4L

          LMAO…..Gee, i don’t know Dan.
          Could it be our QB made a statement for the team and and carried the team on his back despite all those negatives? It wasn’t McCarthy being a leader speaking for the team, it was Rodgers. It wasn’t McCarthy making all those TD passes, it was Rodgers and the receivers.

          If you think McCarthy is the reason for the season comeback….Ask yourself, do you think that happens if McCarthy is coaching and Hundley is the QB?…..I don’t think so either. Be careful describing McCarthy and Thompson’s name as NFL greats. One season doesn’t put them in the “great” category. They’ve had 2 HOF QB’s, they won 1 SB, and lost 75% of their Championship games. Should we call them great because they took us “almost” to the Super Bowl 3 times David? Maybe we can send them some special participation ribbons for getting embarrassed in losing NFCCG’s.

          One last thing David…Before you want to try to give anyone orders on what they can, and cannot post.

          Look at the Title of this article….think about it until it sinks in.

          If you don’t want to read any negative viewpoints, i’d suggest that you try……Complaining to the owner of this site and tell him how hurtful you feel over the article matter.

          Or….Put on your big boy pants and stop crying and trying to tell others what you deem allowable to be posted on this website.

          Offer to buy this website if you’re so inclined, and if you are successful you can then dictate the content thereof. Which will then leave you with a readership of 3 people, if you include yourself. But until that happens….

          EAT A DICK!!

          • Dan

            “Think we can run the table”. Yes, that alone is going to get a team into the playoff mode. That casual statement is going to help them find confidence. You have no idea what goes on in that locker room. One quarterback doesn’t win games. How many trips to the playoffs have the Saints had with their elite quarterback?

            Just because he hasn’t won more than one title, doesn’t make him non elite. Ask yourself, in all the years Mccarthy has coached, how many coaches have made multiple Super Bowls? The answer? Four. Only two have won multiple Bowls. Two of those minds are in no way better than Mccarthy. Just because you have a hall of fame quarterback, doesn’t mean you are going to make the Super Bowl. By the way, how many straight playoff appearances has he made now? That streak is passed all time by only one coach, and that’s Tom Landry. Again, Rodgers isn’t the only one getting the team to the playoffs.

            Oh, and yes. If McCarthy was forced to use another quarterback, he would be fine. When you look at how the unprepared team did in 2013 when they lost Rodger, considering they had no healthy starters on defense, Mccarthy would be fine with a time to prepare from the injury.

          • PF4L

            Yes, Rodgers said run the table……….What did McCarthy say?….Exactly, he said nothing, end of story.

            .And how many of those coaches had Favre and Rodgers as their QB? Any more stupid questions?

            You have no idea how he’d do without Favre or Rodgers, he’s never had to really. You don’t know how he’d do.

            Jeez dude, stfu already with this stupid bs you post.

    • Empacador

      Wow, Dan. No offense, but you must be new here. If you honestly believe McCarthy is a good coach and NOT part of the cluster fuck that was the 2013 season. McCarthy could have had Matt Flynn back and up to speed. McCarthy chose not to do that. I have no desire to re-post how much McCarthy actually was responsible for being ill prepared in 2013. Search the archives and read some of the comments, references and discussions.

    • PF4L

      He’s looking up at Big Ted and Mark Murphy up in a luxury box flipping for who gets the last piece of pizza…”Seriously?…I’m supposed to beat Atlanta with these guys?”…”Let me guess, after we lose, you two sneak out the back, avoid any reporters, ditch to the airport and call it a successful season”.

      Meanwhile after the game riding to the airport in a limo….

      Murphy: Did we lose Ted?
      Ted: Yea Mark, we lost.
      Murphy: Does this mean were not going to the Super Bowl?
      Ted: That’s exactly what that means Mark.
      Murphy: What do you think went wrong?
      Ted: Not sure, i gave McCarthy and Capers all the talent they need.
      Murphy: Of course you did Ted, you know i’d never question or 2nd guess you because you were here before me, plus i don’t know shit about football.
      Ted: I guess the bottom line is Rodgers just couldn’t get it done.
      Murphy: That’s what i was just thinking (awkward laughter). What do you say we stop at Papa Johns, my treat and get a couple pies for the ride home?
      Ted: Can we get wings too?
      Murphy, Of course Ted, you’ve earned it.

  3. Can’t add much else to those lists, except I do want to disagree with one item Rob. MM and Rodgers are right in taking the play clock down to 2 to 5 seconds when the team has a lead. When you are behind substantially or want to catch a team napping sure. The team has to protect the defense by keeping them off the field as long as possible. You don’t want a Chip Kelly offense because it wears out the defense.

    MM keeps coordinators around to long, but that is the Packer way from top to bottom. No way would have Capers made it after the 2012 49ers debacle, let alone all the bottom of the NFL barrel defenses, this year included. Didn’t Atlanta fire their defensive coordinator after the Super Bowl? The Packer defense was much worse than Atlanta this year.

    I still believe the best team structure is having a head coach who is a head coach during the week and on game day, and not a play caller, or partial offensive coordinator. Sure they may help or make suggestions on plays to coordinators who call the plays, but I want a head coach who is spending the majority of his time overseeing the entire team during the week and on game day. To not find a capable offensive coordinator who can be a play caller on game day so the head coach can be a HEAD coach is reason to find a new head coach.

    I wonder how many Superbowl teams and Superbowl winners have head coaches who are not calling plays? I think the percentage would favor a head coach who is not calling plays. Really isn’t that what matters the most giving the team the best chance or percentage for winning Superbowls?

    • PF4L

      Howard, the other day they were talking about the bad play calling at the end of the Super Bowl on First Take, echoing what we were saying. BUT…..Like everyone, except for you, they didn’t mention a thing about the bad clock management. I’m amazed that everyone has missed that, it was a huge factor.

      • A couple of days after the game Bucky Brooks? had an article on the NFL website. I think the article was produced after he watched the coaches film. He addressed Atlanta not running the ball in the second half, and when in field goal range, as you indicated, and the clock management as big factors in the loss. Brooks was complaining that Ryan was snapping the ball the entire second half with to much time on the clock. He also said Ryan should have been snapping the ball with 2 to 5 seconds remaining. Brooks had a couple of other points about the game but poor game management was one.

  4. Some of these things might be true about McCarthy but who else are they going to get?! I don`t agree about his play calling. I think there is where he`s anywhere from fair to excellent depending on tthe game. However, who else is out there? Not much!

    • PF4L

      Does this argument also pertain to Ted, Dom? Are we back to the, who should we get that’s any better argument? A losing team’s Mantra at it’s finest.

      Just do nothing. Isn’t that what we’ve been doing for 6 years?

      The Bears have kept Cutler because…..who could they get that’s any better? Last time i looked they’ll be picking 3rd in the draft.

  5. Xlvordie

    Who else is out there????????? Matt Patricia. Pair him with Alex Van Pelt as your offensive coordinator- play caller and I would go as far as to gaurentee instant success…and instant upgrade

  6. Gort

    Hey Robster, you should think about a similar article that looks at Ted.
    Thanks for the analysis and keep up the good work.

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