Mike McCarthy is no longer the coach of the Packers. The rumour that has been circulating for the best part of a month finally became reality on Sunday evening when Green Bay announced they had fired McCarthy after a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Joe Philbin will serve as the team’s interim coach.

The official statement is as follows: –

“The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers. As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately. Mike has been a terrific head coach and leader of the Packers for 13 seasons, during which time we experienced a great deal of success on and off the field.

“We want to thank Mike, his wife, Jessica, and the rest of the McCarthy family for all that they have done for the Packers and the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities. We will immediately begin the process of selecting the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers.”

The Packers have been disappointing this season and are out of playoff contention with a 4-7-1 record after their latest loss. That’s now 3 losses in a row and 5 out of the last 6. Every week that you feel the Packers will wake from their slumber but it seems as though they find another way to lose. Mason Crosby missed a potential game tying field goal as time expired in this one. The blame often goes to the kicker but the last drive summed up everything that appears to be wrong with the Packers.

There was no sense of urgency, no real desire on display and the Packers got what they deserved after just playing for a field goal. In a 12 play drive when the Packers got the ball back with 1:42 left on the clock the longest play went for just 11 yards and that was a Rodgers scramble. The offence simply lacks weapons despite having arguably the best quarterback playing the game today.

McCarthy took over the Packers in 2006. He guided the team to a 125-77-2 record and nine playoff appearances in his 12-plus seasons with the franchise. McCarthy won a Super Bowl when the Packers defeated the Steelers, 31-25, in Super Bowl 45. In the process the Packers became only the second No. 6 seed to win the championship.

McCarthy will likely be remembered for coming up short however, as the Packers went 1-3 in NFC championships with him at the helm. Despite guiding the team to 8 consecutive playoff appearances from 2008-16, his accomplishment is overshadowed by his inability to close the deal. Championship game losses in 2007 to the Giants and 2016 to the Falcons obviously hurt but the 2015 loss to the Seahawks arguably was the most painful. Green Bay held a 19-7 lead and possession of the ball with five minutes remaining before the Seahawks surged for the comeback in overtime. McCarthy never recovered, and he and Rodgers never made it back to a Super Bowl.

The consensus will be that McCarthy has wasted the best years of Aaron Rodgers career with just the 1 superbowl appearance. The deeper problem for the Packers may well be a squad seriously lacking in talent. It will be an attractive job because of the quarterback and an extremely passionate fan base, but I wouldn’t be picking the Packers to be serious contenders any time soon with the resurgence of the Bears and a strong Vikings squad in the same division.

As for McCarthy the man, the links to John Dorsey are obvious and the Cleveland Browns have a head coaching vacancy of their own. Maybe a change of scenery does the trick, but as a Browns fan he wouldn’t be on the top of my wish-list.

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