To All Panicking Packer Fans Calling for the Firing of Ted Thompson And/Or Mike McCarthy All Green Bay Packers All the Time

I have an announcement to make. Ready? Okay, here we go.

 There is no single accepted way to build a Super Bowl-winning team. Nobody knows how. Not you, not me, not Mike McCarthy, not Bill Belichick, not Jon Gruden, not even Ron Wolf or Vince Lombardi.

 There is not one magical way that works for everybody, and every team, and every coach. There just isn’t. If there was, everyone would be doing it.

 So when people say that the team needs a certain kind of player… or that we need veteran talent… or need a certain reaction from the coach or the quarterback… these are not bad suggestions. But when making them, understand that they aren’t magic fixes. Talented players who are also great leaders and can help get a team to a Super Bowl just don’t make it to free agency, because the other 31 teams aren’t headed by idiots. They keep those kinds of players. This isn’t the Reggie White era of free agency anymore. You keep your best players or you fail as a GM, and if they are team guys and not ‘diva’ players, they will probably stick with that team until they can no longer play. It’s not as simple as saying “We should go find a leader in free agency!” “Okay, here’s this guy!”. Doesn’t work like that.


 On a related topic, past performance is no guarantee of future success. Again, it’s easy to say “Go out and get players with a Super Bowl ring”. And a lot of people try that in this league. Look at the ’08 Cardinals. They’ve been absolutely plundered because everyone wants those guys who’ve been to a Super Bowl. The Seahawks shelled out a first-round pick for Deion Branch because he was a Super Bowl MVP. Desmond Howard got a fat contract from the Raiders because of his own MVP award.


 But just because they have the ring doesn’t mean they are anything. And just because a coach has the ring… to all those people agitating for Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy or Bill Cowher to come in here, kick ass, take names and get the Packers to a Super Bowl… no coach has ever won a Super Bowl with two different teams.


 Been back to the Super Bowl, sure. Won one, never.

 Past performance is no guarantee of future success. And sure, you can turn that on its head and say “Well, Gruden might be the first if he comes here!” He might be; anything can happen in this league. But to look at one of these big names who are currently out of coaching and say “That’s the answer! There’s our magic fix! Fire McCarthy, go get that guy!” is just stupid.

He is not a f*&#@^$ dark wizard, OK?

And sure, it’s fun to rant as fans, and cathartic to think that we have all the answers and that, if we could only sit in Thompson’s chair for one day, everything would be turned around. But if I keep seeing one thing in Packer fans’ comments on this season, it is the underlying idea that everything is just this simple. Get a guy who likes to yell at the players, give them motivation, we’ll win games. Or buy up a bunch of free agents, put them in Packer uniforms, let’s go win some games. There are fifty-three men on this roster, ten more on the practice squad and three coming off the physically unable to perform list. It is not that simple to find the pulse of a collection of individual human beings and to do just the right thing to elevate it (the pulse, that is). I think people get a bad impression of McCarthy because the only thing we ever see are bland comments in news stories and flat, dull press conference video. He’s not interesting in public. I’ve never watched the Mike McCarthy show, but I’m guessing it’s much the same.


 Well, if you hear what the players are saying, he’s been getting after the team this year. If you hear what the reporters who cover the team are saying, he has been yelling at the team in practice. Yelling is not a magic fix, and I could go into a whole paragraph on how it’s not the days of Vince Lombardi anymore and how people don’t fear their coaches anymore (with the possible exception of the Jets) and so on and so forth, but it would be superfluous. Yelling doesn’t just motivate people any more than candy does. People aren’t that simple when they’re putting their bodies on the line. (See: Fatsis, Stefan. A Few Seconds of Panic.)

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 We can speculate online about the paths not taken until our fingers fall off our hands, and maybe we’ll even hit on some solutions that would help this team. But just as often, for myself at least, the solutions I come up with are utterly stupid.

 Now, we are 3-3. Think about the big picture for a minute: the Vikings are 2-4. The Cowboys are 1-4. The Saints and Falcons are 4-2. The Bears are 4-2 and will probably get worse. The Rams are 3-3, for Chrissake. 11 of the 16 teams in the conference, including the Packers, are 3-3 or 4-2 or 3-2.

 We aren’t out of a goddamn thing yet. Do the Packers have problems? Yeah. Big problems? Oh, yeah. And I don’t need to recount them here. But remember that we are six games into the season and this thing can potentially get turned around very quickly. Imagine what an emotional win over Favre and the Vikings, at Lambeau, would do for this team. The return of the PUP players, or Neal or Chillar or any of our other walking wounded, could help tremendously. Perhaps the offense could have another slap-in-the-face, come-to-Jesus meeting to wake itself up.

Or hire a motivational speaker.

 For myself, I’m as dismayed as anyone at what this great team we thought we had has come to. I think we should have been deeper at OLB, so that Frank Zombo or Brady Poppinga didn’t have to play a major role after one injury. I don’t understand why the offense has been outstanding against preseason opponents and then becomes mortal in the early regular season. I don’t understand why the little things, like penalties or dropped passes or poor play, are allowed to continue under Mike McCarthy. And I believe that this team has not been overmatched in any of the games I’ve seen. In the five games I have seen (couldn’t see Miami), the Packers have not been beaten outright by their opponent. These Packers beat themselves. And why that trend is continuing, I cannot say.

 Is it fair to hold Thompson, McCarthy, Rodgers, etc. accountable for this year? Absolutely. But we are 3-3 in a weak NFC, and if we can step up and make a stand in these next few tough games, then there is hope for this season. There are ten games still on the schedule. Let’s wait until after that to hand out awards or demand peoples’ heads. After the Tampa game last year, everyone (including me) thought that this team was dead and gone forever. What happened? We won seven of eight and made the playoffs. Anything can happen in this league, and by damn, the Packers aren’t out of anything yet. This game against the Vikings will show us what the 2010 Packers are made of.

 My prediction: Packers win it, 30-17, and get back on the road to the playoffs.

 You can read more from Andy Tisdel on his Facebook page

56 thoughts on “To All Panicking Packer Fans Calling for the Firing of Ted Thompson And/Or Mike McCarthy

  1. Sorry Andy, I’m not buying it. McCarthy and his staff are not getting the team prepared. And during games, McCarthy isn’t effectively calling plays that attack the opponents’ weaknesses. I am fine with TT, but I really think the MM era needs to end after this season. I just don’t believe we’ll ever be more than a one and done playoff team, if we even make the playoffs. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Jim, much to my dismay, I also have little faith in McCarthy’s play calling. I feel he has grown and improved in other areas, but he remains way too tethered to his plan when things aren’t working.

      After the Redskins game, you heard Mike Shanahan say how he made the decision at halftime to scrap running the ball and just let McNabb air it out, since his initial plan of a balanced offense was not working. That’s a concession by a Super Bowl coach that what he drew up is not working, so we better try something else. McCarthy won’t do that.

    2. I’m less than satisfied with the play-calling as well, but I’m willing to hold judgment until the season ends.
      And remember (this is a point I should’ve put in the article) if McCarthy goes, his whole offensive system is likely to go with him. Same with a lot of the offensive assistants, who are more than just guys. They’re good. And the bigger the name people want to replace him (Gruden, Cowher, etc.) the more likely that his staff and system would go too. That’s a big disruption to take into account when calculating our Super Bowl potential.

      1. Andy, I’m not sure I buy the argument that big name coaches would replace McCarthy. After all, was Sherman or McCarthy a big name coach that the Packers acquired?

        1. Oh, I don’t think they would either. That’s more in response to all the people I hear baying for Gruden or Cowher or Dungy, which I hear a lot of the time.

            1. THIS guy, let me tell you, I like this guy. This guy is a great coach! I call this guy Chucky!

  2. Thanks for your comments…It put things into perspective for me a loyal Packers Fan. There is still hope for this team! Go Pack!

  3. Is there a copy of “INVINCABLE” in the players locker room or the game film room or whatever room this team has been hiding in.

    “We need to find the SOLE of this team again.We are what the people of this city look to in THEIR time of need.Let’s win ONE for them,Let’s win ONE for US”.

    Actually ,if it isn’t too much to ask,”please win the rest of them also”.

  4. You make some good points, however…

    There is a difference between what has worked and what isn’t working. What the offensive and ST coaches are doing right now isn’t working, so unless that changes, I’m going to be expecting more of the same.

    It’s very true that no one move will magically fix all of our problems, and that no fix is guaranteed. But when the end of the season comes around, I want this team to look at what has worked before vs. what did not work during the season. McCarthy has had plenty of years to prove his worth as a HC, and he even has the rest of this year to do so. But if the Packers fall short of their potential, then something needs to change.

    Granted, changes are not always for the better. Sometimes they can show no improvement or even make things worse. But I would rather go for something that I have seen work somewhere else before than to stick with something that I know is not working right now.

    1. Well said indeed. And if this season turns out to be a disaster, McCarthy will face a ton of hard questions, from us and from Mark Murphy and his ilk. It’s ultimately up to them and Thompson, and what their expectations were for this season.

  5. As for head coaches… I’m not sure I’m on the Chucky band wagon. He’s 95-81 in his career as HC, with a record of 57-55 in Tampa Bay. And he’s been to playoffs 5 of 11 seasons.

    A guy like Bill Cowher, on the other hand, would be a better pick from the veteran HC list. He had a 149-90 record with the Steelers, and they made the playoffs 10 out of his 15 seasons there, with 6 appearances in AFC Championship games and 2 appearances in the Super Bowl.

    Of course, you never know how a particular coach will fare with the team he’s been given and the organization he has to operate in.

    1. Well, my whole want for a new coach is to get a new play-caller in here. That wouldn’t be Cowher, but if he brought someone who really knows what they’re doing with him, I’d be fine with that.

    2. Unfortunately, Cowher and tt = Oil vs. Water. Not going to happen as long as TT is there. TT wants a coach inexperienced enough that he doesn’t need to accomadate his demands. That would not be any big name coach. In short, we’re stuck with MM until TT is on the same train out of town.

      We are relegated to hoping things change with what we have. Go Packers!

  6. I think most of us fans think there is a “simple” fix out there because we all believe the team is very close to putting it all together. It’s not like we’re trying to remedy the problems of the Raiders or the ’08 Lions.

    And given McCarthy’s maddening and befuddling history of starting the season in neutral before shifting into gear some time after the leaves drop, there certainly is hope. This team will put together a stretch of good play this year. And I really hope it starts this week, although I offer no predictions.

    1. This is certainly the equivalent of the Dallas game last season. Time to turn the season around or not. Beating the Vikings will be a hard win…

  7. Great Article! They could go out and get a big name player but remember the Joe Johnson disaster? Or a more aggressive coach (Ray Rhoads disaster). Also a new coach would likely bring in his own staff, then we would probably suffer through the rebuilding years. I don’t agree with some of the moves or lack of, and I don’t agree with some of the calls, But TT has proved me wrong many times. I think that overall this is a great team with great coach’s and management. They need to just get through this funk and finish strong.

    1. I’ll never know why they hired Ray Rhodes… Living near Philly at the time, I saw up close the disaster he left on that organization.

  8. Great article but you missed the two main issues: responsibility, gameplan. The players know there won’t be any ramifications for mistakes, so they don’t take it as seriously. That is evident by the regular mental mistakes MM’s teams have been known for since he was hired. As far as gameplan, when armchair QB’s can guess what play is coming up and we’re correct 90% of the time, it’s fairly easy to assume d-coordinators have an even better comparison. MM has very little offensive imagination and is set in stone with is playcalling. Other teams know that and as a result it’s very easy to put together a scheme to thwart the 90%+ of the calls you’ll be able to guess ahead of time.

    1. For me, it’s been four years of complaining about McCarthy’s play calling. After this season, I want to see someone else calling plays.

    2. I have to disagree with the “offensive imagination” part. If McCarthy has a strength, it’s his offensive creativity and imagination in drawing up plays. As of 2009, there were 300-400 in the playbook, according to this.

      As far as responsibility: behind closed doors, McCarthy might be tearing people a new one in the film room, or he might not. We don’t know; that kind of stuff doesn’t get reported. And there are in-game consequences. Just this last game, James Jones got dressed down by the coaches and was replaced by Nelson because he wasn’t playing well.

      I’m also not sure what you mean by being a bad play-caller. What kinds of stuff can a fan anticipate? How about a D-coordinator?

      1. Andy, as an example. When the Packers are near the goal line, it’s either going to be a handoff to Kuhn or a quarterback sneak. When was the last time we saw an end around or a reverse? Or even a play like the Fasano TD that fooled everybody. That’s what we all mean by unimaginative. He could have 600 plays, it doesn’t mean they are significantly different or showing any imagination.

        1. It’s also important to consider what plays McCarthy calls when. He’s either predicable or he chooses plays that pit the Packers’ weaknesses against their opponents’ strengths.

        2. I’m not sure I agree; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reverse run in the end zone. And apart from maybe Jennings, we don’t have a speedy guy who’s good at reverses, ala DeSean Jackson last week. I see your point, but one thing he does do quite well is mixing up plays against different coverages and getting his playmakers in one-on-ones that they can win. Example, Jennings’ TD last week. Jones and Driver, to a lesser extent, haven’t been winning those matchups (or hanging on to passes) and the passing game has suffered. I mean, flashy and exciting they aren’t, but for the last few years they’ve been working.

          1. I wasn’t suggesting a reverse near the end zone, but as I read it back, I see that how the paragraph flows, one could get that impression. I was just saying a reverse in general, not on the goal line.

            1. Gotcha. And I do think a little trickery from time to time would be nice. I remember, in 2007 when the Wildcat came out, we ran exactly one snap. It was a direct snap to DeShawn Wynn and it gained about four yards, if I recall correctly. That was all.

  9. Love the optimism. The rest of you sound like damn Vikings fans. Turning on your team and coach in week seven is what teams do when they have “Love Boat” scandals, or a-hole wide-outs, or quarterbacks who enjoy self expression with their camera phone. I blame it on fantasy football. Everyone thinks they are a great football mind because they dominated their “league” of degenerates. MM has brought playoff football back to Title Town and we should support him mid-season as the only guy that can lead this team to success. Let’s rally behind something we can all support, hatred for the Purple and Gold.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for the Green Bay Packers. If I or anyone thinks GB would be better off with another coach, that’s not a negative approach. That’s wanting something better. Speaking for myself, I base all of my opinions on what I see with my two eyes, and so far, I’ve seen over 40 years of Packers football. And BTW, I’ve never played Fantasy Football and never will…

  10. MPLS, in my world, there is Green and Gold, and there are shades of gray. Complaining about the Packers’ coaching is not equal to hating on the Packers. And loving the Packers is not equal to loving the Packers’ head coach. I’ve only been a huge fan of two Packer’s coaches in my lifetime (Lombardi and Holmgren). The others…meh.

  11. I beleive McCarthy must go. He is great at game planning for a team when he has a week to 10 days to prepare for them. When the team makes adjustments to his game plan he is lost. It doesn’t take a genius to understand slants, screens, and other short passing plays can substitue for your running game until it gets better. McCarthy has won here because of the talent we have on the team. He will be exposed now that we are injury riddled. We need an offensive mind that counteract defensive adjustments. I think such a mind is Steve Marracuci, (excuse spelling), He did well with a team in San Fran that lacked a lot of talent. In Detroit his hands were tied by a blundering GM. I think we need to make a change before our talent is gone.

    1. Neither does it take a genius to understand, as a D-coordinator, that the best plan against the Packers right now is to take away those slants and short passes, send your pass rushers flying at the QB, and trust your CBs to cover the Packers’ WRs downfield. It’s been working in the last six quarters. We’ll see if McCarthy can figure out the answer against Minnesota.

  12. Let’s look at some facts to substantiate the reasons why TT & MM should go. This is the 5th year that they have managed the team. These are some reasons that the two have had long enough:
    1. TT & MM egos keep them from making good player selection decisions. Key free agents are essential to getting a team over the top. The selection of Justin Herral, DT was a bust and the team has held on to him for 3yrs. Result no depth or pass rush on the DLine. Could have picked up Julious Peppers, let him go to the Bears. Lost Aarron Kampmen, result no pass rush from DLine.
    2. Even before R.Grant went down, depth a RB was an issue. Jackson is a good third down back. He cannot carry a full load. No pick-up in free agency.
    3. MM is not forceful enough when key penalties not called cost us the game, ie… Arizona playoff game last year. Face mask on A. Rodgers it was a key play MM should have gotten thrown-out and fined even to protest the call. Result, no second round playoffs. This year, helmet-to-helmet on Washington DL called after the game and given a $5K fine. That call would have changed the game. MM is to passive.
    3. No killer instinct, Pack has gone up on almost every game. Won’t put teams alway.
    4. Play calling,in the Washington game their were about 6 3rd and 1 or 2 yards. Not one run play called. Screens plays are almost non-existent. He rarely gives help to OT when they are clearly overmatched in a game. In OT against the Phins, why did we not swicth to short passing game with the pass rush was not contained?
    4. We can’t finish a game. When is the last time the Pack have scored the winning touchdown in a close game?
    5. Failure to acknowdge the depth is a problem and we need to address it through free agency.
    6.Special teams, for the last 3yrs we have not found a punter. When was the last time we pinned someone inside the 5 yrd line on a punt? Can’t any of the punters punt out of bounds inside the 10 yrd line? Special teams, no creativity, when was the last time we block a punt or field goal? When have we ever in the last five years faked a punt or field goal?
    I could go on-and-on. With the return of some injured players in the next few weeks, if we don’t make a run for the playoffs, TT & MM must go!


    1. I’m not gonna get into this whole thing–that’s a whole different essay. But some quick hits:

      -The ‘ego’ thing is a product of fans’ fevered imaginations. You don’t really know why they refuse to make moves that we think would benefit the team, and neither do I.

      -Yep, Harrell was a bust, but what’s wrong with holding onto him to see if he turns around? It’s not like he was taking up a roster spot or anything.

      -We couldn’t have picked up Peppers. He hates Mike Trgovac. He would not have come here. Simple as that.

      -The Packers have a respectable 7.5 of their 21 sacks that have come from the line. For a 3-4 over 6 games, that isn’t bad at all.

      -We haven’t found out whether Jackson can carry the load, and that’s squarely on McCarthy.

      -When was the last time, ever, that a head coach throwing a temper tantrum produced any change in a penalty?

      -We faked a field goal in McCarthy’s first game, and I don’t think we have since. I think there was at least one fake punt last year, but you have to understand, those are gimmicks and risky ones at that. There’s a reason why they don’t happen often.

      Special teams, penalties, the running game, putting people away, finishing games… those are the things that McCarthy is in a position to be held accountable for. And with the injuries this year, Thompson’s depth is being tested like it hasn’t since 2005. If the season ends and those problems aren’t fixed, their jobs could be on the line. But that’s quite a while away, and a lot can happen between now and then.

  13. The posts make good arguments. However, McCarthy has had to deal with the intangible, i.e. Injuries! He has to work with the players he has at the moment. With all the talent the PACKERS had at the beginning of the year, they were mentioned as one of the best teams in the league. McCarthy needs to address the excessive penalties (the Bears game). McCarthy has good game plans, however, he does not have the personnel to execute properly. If the PACKERS would have made the TD on 4th and 1 against Wasington, McCarthy would have been praised for having the courage to make that call.I fault PACKERS for failing to get a running back after Grant was injured. It was early enough in the year to get someone who would help the running game, i.e. Lynch! Keep McCarthy, get everyone healthy, teach the younger players (especially the “offside” tackle to protect Rodgers on his blind side). Rodgers needs to quit “running for his life” or he will not be playing very much longer. He is a top 3 QB in the league, get him some protection! Get a victory over the vikings, an NFC North championship and a playoff spot will belong to the PACKERS! My college coach would always say, “If if’s and Buts were Candy and Nuts, We’d all Have a Merry X-Mas).

    1. One last thing to comment before leaving for the day. To bring in another coach, i.e. Cowher, Gruden etc… would be a mistake at this juncture. The PACKERS, when healthy has the best talent in the league. Injuries are a part of the NFL. Too bad it was the PACKERS turn to get bit by the injury bug. Cowher was liked at the Steelers, went and won Super Bowls, Gruden was at oakland, then to tampa bay, and also went and won a Super Bowl. These coaches did not just “walk right in” and go right to the playoffs. They had to evaluate talent, mesh the personnel with their schemes and instill pride and mental toughness. Every coach in the NFL has his own style. Some works for certain players, others do not. But if you are an NFL player you should be able to motivate yourself, be mentally tough, play as a TEAM! I vote to keep McCarthy and see what transpires. Any Day the PACKERS Play is a Good Day, If They win, It’s a GREAT day! Go PACK GO!
      Please Mr Santa, bring me a win over the vikings!

      1. You might want to recheck your facts on that…

        Cowher took the Steelers to 11-5 in his first year (1992) as a HC. They lost in the AFC Divisional Game. In fact, he took them through six straight playoff seasons before he missed them in 1998. One of those seasons was the Super Bowl in which they lost to Dallas.

        Gruden, while he didn’t have immediate success in Oakland, did take the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl his first year with them. Unfortunately for him and the team, he was 0-2 in the playoffs thereafter.

  14. Awesome article. Right on the money. Time to take a deep breath and stand back and look at things with a clear head. This team will get healthier and will improve. Just this week we’ll see a BIG improvement. Pickett, Neal, Matthews, Harris, Bigby, Starks, Smith..that’s a pretty good influx of talent and depth for one week. All those kneejerk GM wannabes that were calling for TT to trade Hawk (our one healthy starting LB last week),for Lynch would have been clamering for yet another trade this week!

    Just like last year when we were 4-4…the negative nanny’s will scream the loudest. But let’s see what this group can do this weekend before we jump to any rash conclusions.

    1. Just what do you have against nannies? 😉

      Not all those guys will be back this week. I’m just thankful for those that will. We’re running out of bodies!

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