In an afternoon press conference today, Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy admitted to a not-so-well kept secret; he will no longer call plays for the Packers. It was not an easy decision for McCarthy, and according to him, came as a surprise to his bosses, Ted Thompson and Mark Murphy.
During the press conference there were several recurring themes:
- McCarthy feels he has a lot to offer to the defensive side of the ball and even more so with special teams, which he singled out several times as in need of major improvement. He want’s to be in the meeting rooms and have a direct hand in the planning and management of all three phases of the game
- This was not a knee-jerk reaction. In fact, it’s something he has considered before, but was slow to come around to as a necessary step. “It’s a big decision that has taken years to make,” McCarthy said. He joked that Packers PR man Jason Wahlers had to drag him out there for the press conference as he wasn’t looking forward to admitting his decision.
- Having who he considers the right people on the staff to handle the new responsibilities was probably the tipping point for helping him to pull the trigger on the move.
- This had nothing to do with game management issues. In fact, he rejected the notion that there are any. Said he’s very confident in the system they have in place.
For those of you who frequent this space or follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I’m doing a happy dance right now. I’ve always respected McCarthy as a leader, manager and planner, but not as much as an in-game decision maker in big spots or adjuster of game plans. I’ve never wanted him fired, but much as he has just said himself, I’ve felt he should be more involved with all phases of the game and oversee his coordinators both during the week and during the games.
It’s my firm belief that this arrangement will result in heightened awareness of game situations as they are happening and thus a better ability to make adjustments in-game as needed. Personally, I’m thrilled with the decision.
Here’s a rundown of the new coaching responsibilities:
Tom Clements – Associate Head Coach – offense (will call plays)
Edgar Bennett – Offensive Coordinator
Alex Van Pelt – Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers Coach
Mike Solari – Assistant Offensive Line Coach
Ron Zook – Special Teams Coordinator
Jason Simmons – Assistant Special Teams Coach
Jerry Montgomery – Defensive Front Assistant
Note that there are now only two Special Teams coaches, with McCarthy planning to be the third person “in the room.”——————
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.