Rodgers might not have say in hire, but coach all about No. 12

The Fresno Bee - - Sports - BY DAVID CARR

So the Pack­ers ditched Mike McCarthy af­ter a loss to Ari­zona left them 4-7-1, and made it clear that Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t have much of a role in hir­ing the next coach.

In­put, sure. Part of the process, no.

That’s the right thing to say, ob­vi­ously, but the Pack­ers have to be very care­ful be­cause there are a lot more ways to get that next hire wrong than there are to get it right.

From a dis­tance, it ap­pears that McCarthy was fired be­cause his of­fense was too vanilla, too ba­sic, in a world with the likes of Sean Mc­Vay push­ing the en­ve­lope with cre­ative of­fense. But dig­ging a lit­tle deeper and talk­ing with some peo­ple who have played with Rodgers, the con­sen­sus is that Rodgers is the one who likes to keep it sim­ple and play fast and then uti­lize his abil­ity af­ter the snap to make the of­fense go.

He doesn’t like it when it’s all man­u­fac­tured for him be­fore the snap with shifts and mo­tions, and I un­der­stand that. As a quar­ter­back, you feel like you’re stuck in a cer­tain pat­tern of how you have to play, be­cause you have to make this play work specif­i­cally to this re­ceiver or to these two re­ceivers.

There were times when the Pack­ers were try­ing to be cre­ative and try­ing to do things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently, and then by the sec­ond quar­ter it was all out the win­dow and it was back to what Rodgers has been do­ing for­ever.

Some­times it worked and some­times it didn’t.

Green Bay has a bunch of young re­ceivers – Da­vante Adams not in­cluded. Adams is a spe­cial player. But Jordy Nel­son is not there. Ran­dall Cobb has been banged-up. And if Rodgers doesn’t re­ally trust his new guys, he’s not go­ing to pull the trig­ger. He’ll go to the next play.

It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause the same things that were said about Andy Reid when he was fired in Philadel­phia are said now about Mike McCarthy. He’s not pro­gres­sive enough. He doesn’t do enough with for­ma­tions. But now look at Andy Reid. That’s all he does. Maybe he said , ‘If I want to con­tinue to do this, I have to rein­vent my­self. I have to re­ally look at stuff coming from the col­lege game and how can I make this of­fense go.’

I think Mike McCarthy is ca­pa­ble of do­ing that, as well. It will be in­ter­est­ing where he goes next, to see what hap­pens.

But the Pack­ers, they have to make sure they bring in the right guy, a guy Rodgers in­stantly re­spects. If they don’t have a guy who can show that he’s com­pe­tent and show that he’s go­ing to be able to put the of­fense in a good po­si­tion con­sis­tently, then Rodgers will just do it him­self. I guar­an­tee you that’s what Rodgers feels.

There are guys like Lin­coln Ri­ley, the coach at Ok­la­homa, who are great foot­ball coaches, very pro­gres­sive. But I just don’t think Green Bay is the right sit­u­a­tion for him. I think that would be a night­mare, try­ing to bring him in and change what Rodgers has done for 14 years. It would not make sense to go search the col­lege ranks and try to find an in­no­va­tive guy who’s go­ing to put Rodgers in the spread.

So what can the Pack­ers do? Here are two sce­nar­ios:

As soon as this guy’s name comes up there will be ques­tions about how his last sit­u­a­tion went down, but Josh McDaniels, who was the Colts coach for about an hour last year be­fore he backed out, would be the first guy on my list.

It’s clear from his com­ments that Rodgers has a lot of re­spect for what Tom Brady has done.

If the Pack­ers brought a guy in from that build­ing, I think Rodgers would be all ears, and I think McDaniels would run a sys­tem that would give Rodgers a lot of free­dom at the line of scrim­mage.

That’s a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult to pick up and guys are re­ally go­ing to have to be on it. It’s de­mand­ing, but it can be fruit­ful for an ex­pe­ri­enced quar­ter­back.

In the same fash­ion, the Pack-

ers could pur­sue John DeFilippo, who was with Derek Carr in Oak­land and now is Min­nesota’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Green Bay can do that, or the Pack­ers can go to the de­fen­sive side of the ball.

That’s not an au­to­matic con­nec­tion – “Lets bring a de­fen­sive guy in here” when they have one of the great­est quar­ter­backs of all time. But if they got a guy like Vic Fan­gio, the Bears de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, they could keep a guy like Joe Philbin as the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, and Joe has been there with Rodgers for­ever.

Maybe they’re think­ing. “If we can get back to pro­duc­ing how we have on of­fense and we play good de­fense, then that’s an­other way to go.”

It’d be in­ter­est­ing to look at that sce­nario. But what­ever they do, it has to start with No.12.

QUES­TION OF THE WEEK

From Eli­jah Rooney: Play­ing tackle foot­ball has been a dream of mine for a long time. How­ever my mom has been very re­luc­tant to al­low me to do so due to the research be­ing done on con­cus­sions and CTE. I am go­ing into my fresh­man year and I have heard that you should not play foot­ball un­til high school so I was won­der­ing now that I’m in high school do you think I would be safe to play foot­ball? And if not what age/ size/grade should it be al­lowed?

Foot­ball has had a lot of neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity the past few years and it’s un­der­stand­able – it’s a vi­o­lent game. But they’ve taken some tremen­dous steps in im­prov­ing the safety.

I talk about this all the time with the young ath­letes who are train­ing with us at our fa­cil­ity – when is the ap­pro­pri­ate time to play tackle foot­ball? I think there are a lot of things that you can do up to 13 or 14 years old that can help you un­der­stand the game. My son, Cooper, who will be 13 next month, he has been play­ing flag foot­ball since he was 7. He hasn’t played tackle foot­ball yet. He has grown so much just from that ex­pe­ri­ence and the NFL has done a great job with those pro­grams.

You can look on the NFL web­site and find or­ga­ni­za­tions near you. Flag foot­ball has been in­stru­men­tal in learn­ing the game, the con­cepts of the game. I think that’s a great place to start. You can jump into the game later on, if you have the skill set. You can take steps to where a child can still get re­ally com­pet­i­tive foot­ball and still have fun.

When they do go play tackle foot­ball, make sure the coaches are Heads-Up Foot­ball cer­ti­fied, make sure they’re tack­ling with the cor­rect tech­nique.

You want to keep you head out of the tackle. There’s a ga­tor tackle – it started up in Seat­tle with Pete Car­roll. Peo­ple call it a rugby tackle, as well. The way we were taught to tackle 15 or 20 years ago is com­pletely dif­fer­ent than the way it’s taught now. It used to be, ‘Get your head across and cut off the op­po­nent’s line of where he’s try­ing to go with your head.’ Now the head is be­hind the op­po­nent and you roll them to the ground.

All of this is avail­able on­line, and I would ask a ton of ques­tions. Foot­ball is a fan­tas­tic game. It can be dan­ger­ous, but as long as you’re with the right su­per­vi­sion and you have the right coach­ing staff and they’re look­ing out for the best in­ter­ests of their play­ers, then I think you’re good to go. The game has come a long way with safety. They’re try­ing to keep cer­tain hits out of the game, and I think it’s only go­ing to im­prove the game.

David Carr is a for­mer Fresno State quar­ter­back, NFL No. 1 draft pick and Su­per Bowl cham­pion. Now he’s an an­a­lyst for the NFL Net­work and writ­ing a weekly col­umn in col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Bee’s Robert Kuwada. The col­umn is spon­sored by Val­ley Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

MIKE ROEMER AP

Green Bay Pack­ers quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers passes dur­ing the sec­ond half against the Car­di­nals on Sun­day. Ari­zona won 20-17.

JEF­FREY PHELPS AP

A fan holds up a sign dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of the Green Bay Pack­ers’ 20-17 loss to the Ari­zona Car­di­nals on Sun­day. Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy was fired af­ter the game.

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