Mike McCarthy is not a good NFL coach. There, I said it.
“Oh, well, your just a biased Bears’ fan. What do you know?” is what you’re probably thinking. He’s not a good coach. He’s just not and here’s why.
McCarthy, previously the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, was hired by the Packers in 2006. Right off the bat, McCarthy was given future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre to work with. Also on the roster was second year quarterback and former first round pick Aaron Rodgers, who would eventually take the starting job from Favre.
Obviously, McCarthy has been given some of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play to work with. But what happens when he loses these quarterbacks to injury? They go into the tank.
Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone during their 2017 Week 6 matchup vs. the Minnesota Vikings after he was hit by Vikings’ linebacker Anthony Barr. Rodgers was placed on IR and was brought back into the starting lineup later in the season vs. the Carolina Panthers. Even though he was able to play, he was unable to play like his usual self, and was shut down for the remainder of the season. The Packers were 4-2 with Rodgers starting in 2017, with the only two losses coming in that game vs. the Panthers, and in Week 2 at the Falcons. With a healthy Rodgers, the Packers are among the league’s top teams. When backup Brett Hundley came in to replace the injured Rodgers, he was awful, plain awful. He went 3-7 as a starter, and those wins were against the Browns, Bears, and Buccaneers: three teams that were not very good.
In the past, I’ve been critical of the Packers’ management, calling them cheap and unable to surround Aaron Rodgers with sufficient talent. While that is true, McCarthy still has Rodgers, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play, to work with. To think that he can’t get any sort of run game going with the respect that defenses have to give to the passing game is laughable. The Packers had a bad run game in 2016, it somehow got worse in 2017, and the Packers somehow did the impossible and are even worse in that aspect of the game now.
McCarthy has no idea how to run an offense or manage an NFL team.
It has been chronicled over the past several years about the “rift” between Rodgers and McCarthy, two people who are supposed to be critical to the team’s success. A few years ago, Rodgers went off in a press conference about his displeasure with the energy coming from the sidelines, something that McCarthy would be in charge of. A few weeks ago, Rodgers told reporters to “Get ready for more crap.” That is obviously not a good look for the organization as a whole.
Mike McCarthy has gotten a lot of undeserved credit for the Packers’ success during both Brett Favre’s and Rodgers’ careers in Green Bay under McCarthy. Any and all of the wins, division crowns, playoff wins, and Super Bowls should be 100% credited to Favre and Rodgers. No one else. Not former GM Ted Thompson, not McCarthy, not anyone except Favre and Rodgers.
McCarthy and the Packers have absolutely wasted Aaron Rodgers’ good years, which may have run out sooner than expected.
When Rodgers went down with a knee injury in 2018’s season opener, why did they not sit him and let him heal? What’s worse is that even though medical professionals warned the Packers that playing on the knee could worsen the severity of his knee, McCarthy still played him against a dangerous Vikings’ defense is Week 2. Now it is Week 6, and Rodgers has had another “setback” with his knee, and will probably have to wear a bigger brace on his knee. With this injury, Rodgers can’t step into his throws, which hurts his downfield accuracy by a large margin. He is no longer able to thread the needle 20+ yards downfield. Now, there is more pressure on the Packers depleted receiving core to get open, which is something that they struggle to do at times. When I watched the Packers play the Detroit Lions in Week 5, I saw Rodgers just plain miss a lot of throws: something Aaron Rodgers does not normally do.
The Packers have really screwed it up in multiple ways this season, with the handling of Rodgers’ injury, letting the Bears trade for Khalil Mack, cutting Jordy Nelson, as well as other things. I think that Brian Gutekunst will be a solid GM for the Packers, but in order for his team to take it to the next level, he needs to be more aggressive in trades/free agency, and he needs to move on from Mike McCarthy.