1) Introduction: Mike McCarthy has one of the best jobs in the world. He coaches the Green Bay Packers, a team with a storied history, a MVP quarterback, a solid front office and no big-ego owner muddling in football business. It’s obvious that McCarthy knows he has one of the best jobs in the world. He’s taken all the tools provided to him and turned them into a Super Bowl win, multiple division titles and a string of playoff appearances. But even the greatest jobs have their dark days. Whispers about McCarthy’s sometimes questionable playcalling and game management in the postseason have grown louder since winning Super Bowl XLV. Those whispers turned to all-out screaming after McCarthy and the Packers choked away the NFC title game this season.
Michael John McCarthy
- Age: 51
- Born: 11/10/1963, in Pittsburgh, PA
- Rookie Year: 2006
- NFL Head Coaching Experience: 9 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Same as every season: get to the Super Bowl. At the very least, earn a playoff win over a quality opponent — something that hadn’t happened since winning the 2010 Super Bowl (beating the Fighting Joe Webbs doesn’t count as quality). After opening up the playbook in the second half during a divisional round win over Dallas, McCarthy got that quality postseason victory. Then all of that goodwill was torched to ground during the final 4 minutes of the Meltdown in Seattle.
4) Season Highlights/Lowlights: Let’s not beat around the bush. The lowlight of McCarthy’s season — hell, of his entire career — was Seattle. That NFC Championship loss will remain a black mark on his coaching record as long as he’s coaching. Just like the rest of his team and his coaching staff, McCarthy made several blunders that cost the Packers a shot at the Super Bowl.
But let’s also be fair: before the blowup in Seattle, 2014 was another outstanding season for the head coach. Division titles, postseason appearances and playoff wins don’t come easily. McCarthy always has the Packers in the hunt, even when the going gets a tough due to injuries, missed opportunities, bad calls or whatever.
5) Contribution to the overall team success: McCarthy outcoached Bill Belichick to beat the Patriots. He moved Clay Matthews inside to rescue a drowning run defense. After the offense looked lost early in the season, he incorporated some new formations and wrinkles that got everything clicking again. Most important, McCarthy was his usual even-keeled, yet authoritative self through all the ups and downs of a football season.
No panic moves. No bold declarations. No yelling for the sake of yelling. Just good, solid coaching to get his team where he wanted them to be.
6) Contributions in the playoffs: Do we have to cover everything from the Seattle game again? No, we don’t. So, I’m not going to. McCarthy was too conservative and contributed to an overall total team collapse. Period. End of story. Moving on.
7) Intangibles: All of us at ALLGBP.com would like to extend our condolences to the entire McCarthy family on the death of Mike’s brother in the days following the NFC title game. Yes, we’re often critical of players and coaches in our writing. Sometimes we even take a few cheap shots. But all of us understand that the coaches and players who make up the Green Bay Packers have lives outside of the time they’re on our television screen or game-planning for the next opponent. Mike McCarthy seems like a good man. I’m proud to have him as the coach of my favorite football team.
Season Report Card (Coaches Grades):
(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(B+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(D) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: B
Addendum: This evaluation was written before McCarthy announced that he is giving up play calling in order to devote more attention to other areas of the team. I’ve always thought McCarthy was a solid play-caller, who, like most play callers, has his moments of ineptitude. But if he thinks giving up playcalling is what’s best for the team, good on him for doing it. The move (if, in fact, it was 100 percent McCarthy’s decision) also shows that McCarthy isn’t going to let his ego get in the way of doing what he thinks is best for the team. I know if I was a head coach who called plays, I’d never give it up unless ordered to do so. My big ego would want my share of the credit when the offense rolled to another season of success. The fact that McCarthy was able to let go of playcalling says a lot about what kind of coach, and what type of person, he is.——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .