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Mike McCarthy On His Firing, the Packers, Rodgers, and his Future

So McCarthy was pissed and surprised of his firing mid-season. Who wouldn't be in that situation?

Rob Demovsky, a Packers writer for ESPN, recently got to sit down with Mike McCarthy to talk about his firing, time with the Packers, and what the future holds for him.

First of all, I am someone who thought McCarthy should have been fired long ago for various reasons but I am not afraid to admit that McCarthy is a good coach who should and deserves to get a another shot in the NFL. Do I think he greatly benefited from having Favre and then Rodgers as his QBs? Of course, but who wouldn’t and we also need to give McCarthy some credit into making Rodgers who he is today.

Having said that, McCarthy took the high road during this interview as there was no throwing of the Packers organization or Aaron Rodgers under the bus. The only person he really took a shot at was team president Mark Murphy.

You’ll see all over twitter and other headlines the click-bait quote by McCarthy that says “it couldn’t have been handled worse” regarding his firing. For all those just just assumed that’s where it ends, it doesn’t there’s much more to what McCarthy is saying. Here’s McCarthy’s full quote on the firing from the ESPN article:

“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. “

Mike McCarthy from interview with Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer

So McCarthy was pissed and surprised of his firing mid-season. Who wouldn’t be in that situation? Especially from an organization like the Packers who had never done that before. The click bait quote wants to tell you that McCarthy still feels that way, which he doesn’t from looking at the whole quote. He now understands him and the Packers needed the split, although I am sure he still wants the job and would love to be getting prepared for the Packers 2019 draft.

The only person McCarthy seems bitter with in this interview is Mark Murphpy. Here’s McCarthy on him and the firing after the Arizona Cardinals loss at home:

“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.
Every time I released an individual, you get your words right. There’s a personal component to it. You know he has a family. He’s family. There wasn’t any of that. So that was off. The way people leave that building was very important to me.”

Mike McCarthy from interview with Rob Demvosky, ESPN Staff Writer

As for Rodgers, McCarthy took the high road here again and admitted to differences but never took shots at Rodgers. I am sure the relationship was a little more unstable than either will ever let on but its what we get. Here’s McCarthy on his relationship with Rodgers and what its like to coach him.

“As far as our relationship, you have to put it through the proper lens like you always have to do with reflection and change. Where there’s change, let’s be real, especially the way the change happened, there’s things that come out after the fact. Things get said. He-said, he-said this and things like that. When I think about my relationship with Aaron, you’re talking about 13 years. That’s a very long time. It’s been a privilege to watch him grow in so many different ways and see him do so many great things on the field and off. To think you can be in a relationship that long and not have any frustrations, that’s unrealistic.”

“As far as coaching him, I’d use a lot of words. He’s challenging, very rewarding and fun. We had a lot of fun. Some of my greatest one-on-one conversations, accomplishments, adjustments and adversity we fought through have been with Aaron. The difficulty in coaching a Hall of Fame quarterback is keeping that connection, the efficiency and the fluency with the other players on offense. They want to do more. They’re capable of doing so much more, but the reality is you have to remember is it’s the coordination of 11 men on every play. But yeah, it’s pretty fun to go through your entire offensive playbook and know you can run everything in there with your quarterback. I mean, that’s a joy. His job was to score as many points as he can. My job was to make it all work. “

Mike McCarthy from interview with Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer

Again, I think McCarthy and Rodgers with a few whiskey’s in them and no cameras or microphones around would have a few more words to say about each, but they’re going to take the high road in public. I think its dumb to not notice the two weren’t on the same page but the still respected one another. I believe McCarthy allowed Aaron in on the offensive game-plan week in and week out, but that doesn’t mean they were on the same page. I believe McCarthy gave Aaron all the options at the line of scrimmage, but that doesn’t mean Aaron liked the options or agreed with them.

McCarthy also a great quote for new head coach Matt LaFleur. McCarthy by the way, still lives in Green Bay so he’s probably seen the excitement fans have had for the new regime since day one. I am sure that is a bittersweet thing to see, but McCarthy still had good things to say about LaFleur and the Green Bay community:

“Matt LaFleur. Totally embrace the Green Bay community with your family. It’s a phenomenal place to live. It’s a phenomenal place to raise a family. You know that, Rob. Heck, coach your ass off, have fun and enjoy the honor because it goes fast. Enjoy the honor of being the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Make the program your own. That’s very important. You were hired here for a very good reason; don’t get too far away from that. You have a great group of men in that locker room. I think they’re special, and they’ll work their butts for you.”

Mike McCarthy from interview with Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer

Finally to touch on McCarthy’s future. He had interviews this past year with the Jets and Browns, and it was reported the Cardinals wanted to talk to him about their position. McCarthy opted out of all those because of various reasons we may never know, or he just wasn’t offered them. In Cleveland I think it was clear the Browns wanted to keep Freddie Kitchens on staff, maybe McCarthy disagreed with that. With the Jets, it could have been New York and working under that media pressure with a poor team.

Either way, McCarthy is going to be a head coach next year. I am not sure what jobs will be open but he will be the #1 choice on almost everyone’s list.

All in all I thought it was a good interview with McCarthy but not great. Demovsky is a Packers writer, he’s known McCarthy since day one and wants that exclusive access to him. I think there’s a lot of things people would have pushed on more, like his relationship with Aaron Rodgers and him “losing” the locker room. There’s obviously a lot of specifics that Packer fans want answers to, why keep coaches like Dom Capers and Ron Zook around for so long, the 4th down call against Seattle this past year, the playoff meltdown against the Seahawks in 2014, and the refusal to give Aaron Jones more carries. That last one might be a little more personal for me. Will we ever get answers to those questions from McCarthy? Probably not and that’s why god made Reddit and friends to argue with about these things.

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