OK, let’s be brutally honest. Since 2010, none of the Packers’ seasons ended the way any of us hoped. Because of this, people may say McCarthy’s buttocks is planted directly on the “hot seat.” It’s hard to argue but I want to let you in on a little tidbit that I’ve held on to for a long, long time. Back in 2013, my family made the trek to Lambeau Field to watch our beloved Packers. We arrived on Friday around noon and decided to take in the popular Packers tour. Although I don’t remember the name of our tour guide, we did take a picture together at the end. I was so impressed by his vast knowledge of all things Packers. From little known historical facts to the current (well, at the time).
When the tour concluded, I was walking away and he stopped me. He started to talk to just me and my family. I asked him about Coach McCarthy and how the organization feels about him. The tour guide went through a very descriptive comparison between McCarthy and his predecessor, Mike Sherman. “The Packers grew tired of Sherman!”, the tour guide explained. Apparently, Sherman was a second-guesser. He consistently changed the game plan and sometimes right up until kickoff. This was very frustrating to not only the players but to the assistant coaches as well. Some may even refer to his style as “paralysis by analysis.” Thinking back, didn’t it always appear like Sherman had the deer in the headlights look? When the Packers were looking for a replacement head coach, they wanted someone who was very detailed and strong. Like him or not, McCarthy is a very detailed-oriented person who believes in the process. If you’ve ever listened to the man at a press conference, he almost invariably talks about the process and attention to detail.
The tour guide then smiled when he brought up McCarthy. “The Packers love him.”, he said. He went on to explain how the game plan was in place by the end of Friday and everyone knew what the intent was in all three phases of the game. Players and coaches alike were apparently relieved that this change was made. Now McCarthy hasn’t won multiple titles and he surely doesn’t belong in the same breath as a Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick or Jimmy Johnson but he still is a quality head football coach. Don’t think for a second that he wouldn’t be snatched up in a New York minute if the Packers were to let him go because he would. I’d be the first one to say I’ve knocked some of his game time decisions and lack of adjustments at times, but overall, I still stand behind the Packers front man.
Sometimes I think back on the Packers tour and wonder if the tour guide was blowing smoke the whole time. He seemed very convincing and almost too detailed to be untrue. I’ll never really know and neither will you but it’s interesting if nothing else. Just remember that when you or someone else calls for McCarthy’s head, ask yourself who’s out there that’s better? If you can’t honestly answer that, then it might be best to stick with a “highly successful” NFL head coach. If McCarthy doesn’t bring another title to Titletown and soon, we may be in the market for a new “Leader of the Pack.” Time will tell. As always, Go Pack Go!Robert Martin bleeds green and gold despite living in North Dakota, where many cheer for the purple. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @robertmartinPHD.