Mike McCarthy is a survivor. It characterized his time as a coordinator in the NFL and now it’s characterizing his time as Green Bay Packers head coach.
Other coaches would’ve wilted from the sheer volume of injuries the Packers suffered in 2010. Few remember it now but that team was horrifically banged up. McCarthy didn’t make excuses. He kept adjusting, kept finding ways to win and before anybody realized it the team had won the Super Bowl. It was a sign both of his coaching prowess and how talented the Packers were. Everybody expected that team to win more titles in the future.
When the word “dynasty” was brought up to GM Ted Thompson after that championship win, he dismissed it with a good degree of emotion. He didn’t even want to think that far ahead. It’s hard enough to win one in the NFL. His team would not do themselves any favors by merely assuming they were going to win more. It turns out that his warning was prophetic.
Year after year the Packers kept making the playoffs but year after year they found ways to lose. WIth each disappointment, the frustration and the desperation began to mount. Suddenly McCarthy, a man who seemed bulletproof five years ago, is firmly on the hot seat after a disastrous loss in Seattle. One where his coaching cost his team a chance to win.
Barring a miracle run, belief is Packers will move on from McCarthy
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Mike Silver of NFL.com has always had strong connections to the Packers organization. So his report on the status of the team following that loss to the Seahawks was eye-opening, to say the least. It would seem players are growing more and more aware of how small the window is getting to win another championship and McCarthy may be holding them back now.
"“Though McCarthy has guided the Pack to the postseason nines times, including eight consecutive appearances with Rodgers as the quarterback from 2009-2016, the franchise has only one championship to show for it. The window won’t stay open forever — Rodgers turns 35 on Dec. 2 — and the frustration in the locker room is starting to become palpable……With Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy having taken a more hands-on role since the front-office switch, there’s a growing sense that McCarthy might be replaced — barring a dramatic turnaround in the team’s fortunes. If so, he’ll surely look back at Thursday’s game as one of those that got away.”"
McCarthy has had his back to the wall before and founds ways out of it, but this time just feels different. The Packers aren’t as sharp as they’ve been in the past. They’re making uncharacteristic mistakes. Mistakes the coach always managed to iron out in years past. There is still time to save the ship before it sinks, but the optimism is not high.