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…——————
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.