Packers Mike McCarthy a Modern-Day Nero: Fiddles while Green Bay Burns All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Packers Coach Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthy: Fiddle Player

Mike McCarthy is widely praised for his calm demeanor and approach to head coaching.  Never one to fly off the handle, McCarthy soldiers on with his plan, come hell or high water. Despite the team collapsing around him, McCarthy refuses to panic or take drastic measures in an attempt to turn things around.

In some cases, and definitely right now, that’s much more of a negative for the Packers than a positive.

When “Stay Calm and Carry On”  isn’t working, sometimes you have to say f**k it and go kick some guys in the ass.

The Packers were a complete embarrassment to the organization in front of a national audience yesterday. Actually, last Sundayalso, but they caught lightning in a bottle and lucked out a tie against the lowly Vikings.

When your players come out and lay eggs several weeks in a row, who’s responsible? Ultimately, it’s the head coach’s job to have his players ready to play. McCarthy has failed in that department.

But our star quarterback is injured!!!  He provides the motivation. Hearing a lot of that on twitter.  Folks, if Packers players need their quarterback to provide motivation to block and tackle and play hard, it’s a sad state of affairs.

And in effect, it is.

Sure there have been other injuries, and I admittedly have used that myself as a reason to give them a pass for most of this season, but not anymore. Today the Packers actually got three starters back on defense; Shields, Jolly and Perry.

It didn’t matter. They were gashed as badly as any defense I’ve ever seen. The front seven seemed to be moving in slow motion in comparison to the Lions. When they were in reach of Bush or Bell, it was like they were waving at ghosts. Even the arm tackles were hitting nothing but air.

Special teams were just as bad, with the man Mike McCarthy cut, Jeremy Ross, adding some embarrassing insult to injury to the head-hanging Packers.

On offense, I was optimistic when McCarthy threw a couple of screen passes during the first series. Seemed like he had a plan for slowing down the Lions’ rush that would soon register 7 sacks. He didn’t – we never saw another screen the rest of the day. If I’m wrong about this (I did miss a few plays) someone please correct me.

While his play calling was as unimaginative as usual, at least he did throw a lot more on first down today. Problem was Matt (the false savior) Flynn could do little even when he had some time to throw, which wasn’t often.

Suh and the dirtbags soundly stomped on (just figuratively this time) Josh Sitton and the good guys on the Packers offensive line.

It’s been said teams take on the personality of their coaches, and this couldn’t have been more evident today. Schwartz the Dick’s Lions played hard, relentless and take no prisoners football. The Packers played even-tempered and gentlemanly football, perhaps better suited for a Cricket match than a football game.

After the Eagles loss, a testy McCarthy assured us in his post-game press conference that he would address the “recurring issues” first thing Monday morning. Then in his Monday afternoon press conference, he blew off those comments with a shoulder shrug and an “I said that? Obviously, he had done nothing.

And it was just two weeks ago that McCarthy praised his team, saying how proud he was of their response to the challenges they faced. This was right after they didn’t show up against the Giants. I was flummoxed by those comments at the time, but figured maybe they were a fore-bearer of good things to come. They weren’t – now they just sound stupid and fairly tone deaf  to the timber of his team.

Last week, after the fortunate tie against the Vikings, McCarthy said,  “We’re a football team going through some peaks and valleys. I thought our team did a very good job fighting through the valleys.”  Really Mike? Really? Three penalty aided scoring drives to save some face after a horrendous three quarters of football against the lowly Vikings is something to be proud of?

If you’ve been a reader here for awhile you know I’ve been a critic of McCarthy before. Just two weeks ago I called out his lack of creativity in play design/play calling and this game only reinforced those feelings. For a guy who claims he has enough plays to play a triple header and not repeat any plays, I’d like to see McCarthy use some of those other plays – wouldn’t you?

I can point to at least five plays the Lions ran today that were well-designed, deceptive, timely and not surprisingly, successful. You see nothing like that from the Packers offense. Same old tired plays that require perfect execution to be successful, because the defense knows what’s coming.

But McCarthy soldiers on. Ignoring all that’s going around him with steadfast belief (stubbornness) that his way is the right way. No need to change things up, no need to panic. No reason to go out of the box in a desperate attempt to steal a win or two in Rodgers’ absence.

Perhaps this has become a redundant tune from me, so sorry if I’m boring anyone, but I feel strongly that the Packers would be a better team if Mike McCarthy was not the head coach. It’s great for the players to be part of team tranquility, it’s obviously why they all like playing for him – but is it the best way to coach a sport so dependent on emotion?

Whether it’s stubbornness, naivety, denial or ego, Mike McCarthy fiddles on while the fire ranges around him. Personally, I’d rather have a fighter that does everything he can think of to put out the blaze.

Put down the fiddle Mike…


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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


60 thoughts on “Packers Mike McCarthy a Modern-Day Nero: Fiddles while Green Bay Burns

  1. In professional sports the saying is every coach has a shelf life. I don’t doubt Dom Capers innovation and concepts. His resume is impressive, but it appears as if his message is just not getting through to his players.It’s the same old story year after year, The pass rush is not getting home. The Packers D has a lot of sacks but it’s only because of Blitzing. On third down passing situations The D backs look like they are conducting a Chinese fire drill.I don’t think the Packers have enough talent at the linebacking position.Clay Matthews really seems to be the only Defensive player who’s motor never stops. AJ Hawk is durable but he’s average at best. I don’t think he fits the 3-4 D scheme. BJ Raji seems to disappear at times,8 million a year to keep him? Let him walk.I would use that money to keep Shields! Sure wish we had Desmond Bishop 2010 back.The sad fact of the matter is the Packers have some pretty impressive skill players A Rod,Clay Matthews Jordy Nelson Eddie Lacy.Randall Cobb,. It’s just too bad the supporting cast isn’t up to the task.If Capers is gone who will be the DC? Maybe the 3-4 experiment should be scrapped!

  2. I did not see the game due to having to work, but from the score alone – isn’t it obvious that we are playing with a fourth string quarterback, and with a defense that can’t get the job done (even though our defensive starters are mostly there)? On defense, we either need a coaching change and/or personnel change ASAP.

    1. It’s his JOB to see that they do–how many years are you willing to see wasted of Aaron Rodgers talent waiting to see this Packers defense TACKLE? They’ve had tackling problems as far back as the ’10 SB season when Michael Turner and LaGarrett Blount made’em look peewee league in games played. And this defense is NO BETTER after Thompson gave Capers 25+ NEW DEFENSIVE PLAYERS in last 2 1/2 seasons. You wouldn’t see a Gregg Williams, Jeff Fisher or Bill Belichik defense playing this poorly after that many draft picks, FA’s and UDFA’s–somebody would be held accountable and FIRED!

  3. MM didn’t “stay calm” in the Vikings game. He panicked and called for a two point conversion way too early. If he hadn’t, we win that game by one in regulation. Perhaps our team would have played at more that half speed Thursday if we had not played a full extra quarter last Sunday.

  4. U hit it right on the head. It is the coaching staff and their stubborness to do things their way. Winning the Super Bowl made their egos even worse by giving them A reason od why their way works. But when yoh look at the tean you can see the problems. The coachs don’t adjust and don’t play to the players strenghth. For example teams were playing us 2 deep man for the last 2 years. Yet we never put or recievers in bunch formations… On defense it is even worse. Cheesy Capers think his scheme is so grand he just wants to keeo running it with not even a thought to switch. For example Clay and Nick Perry were hurt but instead of making adj on the fly and playing a 4-3 seeing as we had 8 lineman healthy. He would rather UDFA play the OlB position. His scheme is terrible. Yoy have 3 fat 4-3 dt playing 3-4 DE. But wonder y we can’t stop the run. Their not quick enough to move side to side. Last example of how terrible his scheme is. On the Lions only punt in the 4th quarter it came on a dropped pass by Durham comin across the middle. Which if caught would have been a first down. But did u see who Cheesy Capers had in coverage right their. Datone Jones. And we wonder y our D sucks. Y do u have a man that should b rushing the passer n coverage who would have got beat had it not been an easy drop by the WR. He succkkksss. Get him outta town….. #FireCapers . Our organization is to reluctant on making key changes.

  5. +1 on the “no accountability”. MM talks a lot, but does not appear to kick ass.

    I’m tired of hearing the broken record comments like ” that’s got to be fixed”, ” we’re a good football team that…”, same crap.

    Real leaders hold their people accountable, Mike just talks about it.

    ultimately though, when the field general isn’t getting it done, lack of effort and accountability, then his boss, TT or Mark Murphy need to step in and take action.
    Maybe if 1000’s of fans write Murphy directly he’ll get the message, step in and do his job.

  6. People, McCarthy’s offensive schemes couldn’t have been more exposed than if he had announced them over the stadium loud speakers–the Lions knew every play Packers lined up for–and bad enough–MOST FANS DID TOO! WHY did McCarthy turn Flynn loose with no huddle against Vikings with NO preparation and come within a 3rd down stop by defense from winning and then NO no huddle strategy when the O-line and run game was getting dominated? At least give Flynn and offense opportunity to keep Lions from substituting on D, force them to stay on field and tire them to help establish run game and some short yardage passing. They couldn’t have played any worse than if they were paid off to lose. This Packers team probably COULDN’T BEAT ANY OF TOP TEN COLLEGIATE TEAMS as poorly as they are playing. That’s coaching failure in all three phases, offense, defense, and special teams.

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