Former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talked for the first time about how his time in Green Bay came to an end. He was less than complementary about the firing.
McCarthy told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky that the firing was unexpected and he was “stunned” by the timing of it.
“Frankly, no I did not,” McCarthy said. “As a head coach, I’ve always tried to stay immune to and stand in front of all the outside noise. That was always my focus with my players. It was always to protect them as much as possible from the drama. I think that’s important. And I stayed true to that to the last day. If we missed the playoffs, I expected change might happen. But the timing surprised me. Actually it stunned me. But time provides the opportunity for reflection and clarity, and that’s where I’m at now. And it’s clear to me now that both sides needed a change.”
In addition to the timing of the firing, McCarthy said the firing itself couldn’t have been handled any worse. According to McCarthy, he deserved better.
Still, it was the first time the Packers had made an in-season coaching change in more than 60 years. And they did it to a coach who ranks 25th in NFL history in wins with 135 (including playoffs) and who led the Packers to nine playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title. It led some to say that McCarthy deserved a better ending.
“Obviously,” McCarthy said when asked if he agreed.
“It couldn’t have been handled any worse. Anytime you lose a close game, it’s a difficult time emotionally afterward, but when you lose a home game at Lambeau Field in December, it’s really hard. And that hasn’t happened very often. I walked out of my press conference, and I’m thinking about the game, thinking about how our playoff shot was now minimal. That’s where my head was at. And when I was told Mark Murphy wanted to see me — and the messenger was cold and the energy was bad. Mark said it was an ugly loss, and it was time to make change. He said something about the offense and the special teams, and he didn’t think it was going to get any better. There was no emotion to it. That was hard,” he said
Maybe it’s just my perspective, but just because you’ve been somewhere for a longtime doesn’t mean you deserve anything.
Winning one Super Bowl in 13 years with Brett Favre and then Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback is absurd. That indicates McCarthy’s firing was long overdue.
Keep all the regular season wins. The postseason is where the great coaches get it done.
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