Normally, when I put on my miner’s hat and go digging deep into the mind of Packers Coach Mike McCarthy, it’s after a game. I look back at certain situations in the game and try to figure out what in the world he was thinking at that moment. Usually, I’m searching for an answer to the question WHY did you do that, Mike?
Frankly, I just haven’t been that successful. Sometimes, I can come up with a rational approximation of his thought process, but most of the time, I remain flummoxed.
So I decided to try a different approach. This time I’m going to try to figure out what he’s thinking BEFORE the fact. We ll know McCarthy likes to do the unpredictable, like throw deep to the end zone with your weak-armed backup QB on fourth and one with a minute left in a game you’re losing by 4 pts. Can you say, “threw the game away?” But I digress.
I’m going to attempt to take his element of surprise (NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition) along with a little reverse psychology and tell you what McCarthy’s sometime unorthodox decisions have been leading up to.
Basically, my theory is that McCarthy has been setting everyone up. You, me, other teams, maybe even his own players. This game, he will unleash the lion and shock everyone. I’ve managed to dig deep into his brain, and here’s what he has planned:
The Fullback Dive on the Goal Line: Nothing exemplifies McCarthy’s seeming stubbornness more than this play. Or has he just been setting everyone up? If the Packers find themselves on the goal line in a big spot, expect Aaron Rodgers to put the ball out for John Kuhn, and then tuck it away and run a naked bootleg to the corner flag. It’s coming folks…
James Starks: (Neo, The One, The Franchise) McCarthy has handled this like a master of subterfuge. The Packers secret weapon has been hidden on the PUP, kept inactive for several weeks and seen limited playing time. McCarthy almost blew this by forgetting his plan and giving Starks too many carries in the 49ers game. Luckily he limited Starks in the Lions game and then kept him inactive for 2 more weeks before giving him a little warmup against the Bears. McCarthy’s evil plan was to limit the game film on Starks so their first playoff opponent will be completely unprepared when McCarthy lets Starks loose. The Eagles will have no idea what hit them.
Third and Short: McCarthy will shock the world and have Aaron Rodgers throw quick 3-5 yd completions to keep drives going. Yes, I know it’s crazy. And that’s why it will work. Michel Vick will see the ball for only 15 minutes in this game as the Packers execute long sustained drive after long sustained drive.
ZBS: All you haters of the Zone Blocking Scheme can prepare for a fun day. McCarthy is planning some revolutionary moves for the Packers running game. You will see pulling guards. Trap plays and counters will be executed. You will see pitch outs and even an occasional sweep. The Eagles defense may actually have to tackle running back in the open field today. Imagine that.
Trick Plays: Practically unseen this year have been any of the trick plays in McCarthy’s massive playbook. In fact, the first may have been last week with that fake QB sneak (has ANYONE ever seen a fake QB sneak before?). Folks, that was just a sneak preview. McCarthy actually plans to run a reverse against the Eagles. Yes, you read that correctly. If in a desperate spot, he has a halfback option planned, with former High School QB James “Neo” Starks as the thrower. When it happens, don’t act surprised. And remember, you heard about it here.
Clock Management: McCarthy plans on using reverse psychology here. He’s going to do the exact opposite of what his first inclination is. That means that in this department, the Packers should be “just fine.”
Note: this post is a mixture of actual wants and tongue-in-cheek facetiousness. I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to figure out which is which…——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.