Mc­Carthy sce­nar­ios ap­pear clear

Packer Plus - - News - Ryan Wood Colum­nist USA TO­DAY NET­WORK – WIS.

Pack­ers beat writer Ryan Wood an­swered ques­tions from read­ers Mon­day, a day af­ter Green Bay’s 24-17 loss to the Min­nesota Vik­ings. Read the com­plete tran­script at json­line.com/pack­ers.

Q: What hap­pens if Mc­Carthy wins out and we don’t make the play­offs?

A: I think not mak­ing the play­offs would be a non­starter for him re­turn­ing. The thing is, there's four things they can do at the end of the year: ex­tend Mc­Carthy mul­ti­ple years, ex­tend him one year, have him re­turn and not ex­tend him, or fire him. They're not go­ing to have him re­turn as a lame duck, and a oneyear ex­ten­sion ef­fec­tively makes him a lame duck also. If they miss the play­offs for a sec­ond straight year, I don't see the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for a mul­ti­ple-year ex­ten­sion. That leaves you with ter­mi­na­tion.

Q: In the end, didn't it come down to in­juries? Con­sider what it looks like if we have Mike Daniels and they (the Vik­ings) lose Danielle Hunter, and if we have Kevin King and they don't have Har­ri­son Smith. A whole dif­fer­ent ball­game.

A: I think it came down to a quar­ter­back the Pack­ers need to play close to per­fect play­ing much be­low that level. Look, there are a ton of things go­ing wrong when a team falls to 4-6-1 and loses four in a fiveg­ame stretch. But this is a QB league. When the QB plays well, the team wins. When he doesn't, it loses. Pretty sim­ple.

Q: What causes the change from what we did in quar­ter one and rest of game in each of last four games?

A: Yeah, it's been the same script each week. That's among the most frus­trat­ing parts of this slide. The Pack­ers have got­ten early leads, can't hold it. They've given them­selves a chance to win in the sec­ond half on the road against good teams, but they don't seize it.

Q: Play­ing of­fense in the NFL has never been eas­ier, un­less you’re Aaron Rodgers.

A: He's just got to get on sched­ule. That's prob­a­bly the surest way to elim­i­nate the missed throws. We've seen this from him be­fore. Prac­ti­cally the en­tire 2015 sea­son was like this. It's not so much the scheme and play call­ing that's wrong with the of­fense. The en­tire tim­ing is off, and that starts with the quar­ter­back.

Q: Did you read the Andy Benoit SI piece on Mike Mc­Carthy? What do you make of the idea that MM is way more "in­no­va­tive" than the nar­ra­tive would have you be­lieve?

A: One of the best com­pli­ments I've heard about Mc­Carthy as an of­fen­sive coach is the flex­i­bil­ity in his of­fen­sive scheme. Per­son­nel guys love it, be­cause it gives them a larger net when eval­u­at­ing tal­ent. It's also im­por­tant be­cause in­juries are a fact of life in the NFL, and Mc­Carthy has been a mas­ter over the years of ad­just­ing to what­ever at­tri­tion his team faces. As Benoit points out in his ar­ti­cle, Mc­Carthy has done that again this sea­son with the re­ceiver po­si­tion. They're play­ing two rookie re­ceivers all the time; clearly they don't have the same de­mands as Ran­dall Cobb and Geron­imo Al­li­son. That MVS and EQ have been so suc­cess­ful this early is a tes­ta­ment to Aaron Rodgers, but also Mike Mc­Carthy for cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to suc­ceed. There are pos­i­tives, no doubt. They just don't mat­ter much when the team is 4-6-1.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Min­nesota Vik­ings head coach Mike Zim­mer (left), talks with Pack­ers head coach Mike Mc­Carthy af­ter Sun­day’s game.

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