The moment Mike McCarthy heard about the Josh Sitton comments he probably cringed.
Sitton made his regular appearance on WSSP 1250 AM in Milwaukee on Tuesday and let his emotions flow about the Detroit Lions.
“They go after quarterbacks,” he said the Lions whom the Packers play on Thanksgiving. “Their entire defense takes cheap shots all the time. That’s what they do. That’s who they are. They’re a bunch of dirtbags or scumbags. That’s how they play, and that’s how they’re coached. It starts with their frickin’ coach. It starts with the head coach, Schwartz. He’s a d—, too. I wouldn’t want to play for him. It starts with him, and their D-coordinator and their D-line coach. They’re all just scumbags and so are the D-line.”
Pretty strong words from Sitton.
But he does something that players rarely do nowadays — he was honest. How often do you hear the same tired sound bite from players after games: “We’re just going to take it one game at a time.” Or how about this gem that the quick-witted Colin Kaepernick gave us several times after Monday night’s win over Washington: “We just made plays.” Thanks Kaepnerick, you get at least three plays every drive.
In an age when players are coached to sound like robots, it’s pretty refreshing to hear what exactly is on a player’s mind.
But of course, this is going to make McCarthy’s skin crawl because his press conferences are usually filled a multitude of words. However, he rarely says anything. McCarthy is about as charismatic as a substitute history teacher. He knows the material, he knows the audience, but he struggles to convey it to anyone. Just the other day, he said that Aaron Rodgers met with Aaron Rodgers. The only way that could happen is if 1265 Lombardi Ave. resides at the nexus of the universe.
It is so rare in any pro sport that a player will openly speak critically and honestly about another team. They’re usually afraid of possibly not having a job down the line or being the dreaded provider of Bulletin Board material.
It’s one of the oldest locker room tales. Don’t say anything about the opposing team that would anger and in turn motivate said team to a win. That might happen in high school and even college, but in the pros where these guys have been playing their sport for 20 years or more of their life, it’s highly unlikely and just plain silly.
Which is why pro players should take Sitton’s lead and be honest. They’re not only going to be more respected in their own locker room but by other teams as well. Every other NFL team knows that the Lions have been playing dirty the last few years. Saying it earned Sitton some respect with the rest of the league.
Or Ndamukong Suh could post the radio transcript on his bathroom mirror and meditate how upset he was every time he brushed his teeth.