McCarthy draws ire of fans
Packers beat writer Ryan Wood answered questions from readers Monday, a day after Green Bay’s 31-17 loss to the New England Patriots. Read the transcript at jsonline.com/packers.
Q: Comments on the difference in the coaches. I say no comparison. One is the best the other is in over his head and sinking fast.
A: See, this is where it’s unfair. Yeah, obviously Bill Belichick outcoached Mike McCarthy, but Bill Belichick outcoaches everybody. To find someone the caliber of Belichick as a coach, you need to hire Belichick. He can’t duplicate himself; there’s only one. Just look at his coaching tree for proof. That said, the troubling thing for the Packers is how sloppy they’ve been before the snap, how unimaginative the offense has been, and how little chemistry there seems to be between the quarterback and play caller. That can’t continue. If it does, you could make a very sound case it’s time for the Packers to move on, but no matter how bleak you think things are right now, it’s also possible the Packers can find their way out of it in the second half.
Q: Ryan I have been on the MM needs to go bandwagon, but the reality is that despite some emerging talent the Packers roster is mediocre. How long can they justify a Kyler Fackrell on the roster? TT and Mark Murphy are just as culpable don’t you think?
A: Ted Thompson does bare a lot of responsibility, but he was already fired. They can’t go and fire him again. Even still, there’s plenty of talent on this team, given Aaron Rodgers is at quarterback and the Packers have a legit No. 1 receiver in Davante Adams, a franchise left tackle in David Bakhtiari, a solid offensive line at the other four positions, a dynamic runner in Aaron Jones, a good defensive line, and impressive, emerging corners on the perimeter. They have obvious holes at edge rush and safety, but don’t be suckered into believing this roster isn’t good enough to contend. It certainly has that potential. As for team belief, I think the Packers feel they can play with anybody. I don’t sense a defeatist mentality to the contrary.
Q: Ryan. Appreciate you. What gives? The coach? The QB? Combination? Where does the buck stop?
A: Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing his best, and he admitted as much last night, but the buck isn’t stopping with the MVP QB on that record contract. The reality is Mike McCarthy is much more expendable. He’s also the head coach. So the buck stops with him.
Q: I’m afraid if we fire McCarthy we’ll go the way of the N.Y. Giants. Is that a fair concern?
A: Not really, because Aaron Rodgers is far superior to Eli Manning, and it’s a quarterback league. But you do raise a legitimate, larger point, that change for change’s sake is not always good, and sometimes backfires. The Bears were a good example of that when they fired Lovie Smith. In this case, the Packers would have to conclude whatever they’re doing with McCarthy simply isn’t working, and if you know it isn’t working, it’s time to make a change. I don’t know that they’re anywhere near the point of making that decision, but they can’t afford to miss the playoffs in their title window with Aaron Rodgers.
Q: Talk about frustration. We are all feeling it. What can be done to be the winning team?
A: Play better. Not being cute. They need to play much better in the situational phases of the game. Their situational football at the moment is poor.
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy watches his team fall to the New England Patriots on Sunday.