For the first time since the NFC Championship debacle of 2014, the media is discussing the slight possibility of the Green Bay Packers organization post Mike McCarthy. It isn't like they are calling for his head, or saying he is on the hot seat, but in previous weeks horrendous coaching went unnoticed. This week, for some reason, is different.
Chris Chase of Fox News absolutely hits the nail on the head when it comes to our underachievement, and the Vinnie Iyer article on Sporting News highlights the struggles of what appears to be a broken relationship between McCarthyand Aaron Rodgers.
Quick Overview of the Fox Sports Article
The Green Bay Packers have been the most consistent underachieving powerhouses in NFC for the past 5 years. The Packers are able to achieve a solid record in the regular season but then without much surprise, fade early in the playoffs. The author then points out McCarthy's extremely conservative play calling, poor clock management, and poor usage of time outs.
Read full article at http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/mike-mccarthy-green-bay-packers-hot-seat-fired-101716
Quick Overview of the Sporting News Article
Vinnie Iyer makes the case that all current era elite quarterbacks have a great coach/QB relationship. When you look at Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels, Drew Brees and Sean Payton, Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley, they all have great relationships with one another. The coach understand the QB, the QB understands what the coach is attempting to achieve, and that relationship is key to the success of the team. Vinnie makes the case that the McCarthy and Rodgers relationship is broken, and with good reason, because it is (this blog wouldn't exist if it weren't!). However at the end of the article, the only thing we disagree with is the conclusion, that the Packers won't fire McCarthy and that they shouldn't.
Read full article at http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/mike-mccarthy-aaron-rodgers-packers-offense-play-calling-coaching/12hgtzq2znyct18oabam3yiqgk
These being the primary two articles calling for the employment of Mike McCarthy as head coach of the Green Bay Packers being released this week, is quite interesting. They both come from slightly different angles, but both angles complement each other. Vinnie Iyer's article I believe is the core reason that Chris Chase's exists and vice versa. If McCarthy weren't consistently putting his team in non advantageous situations than his franchise QB would probably have more confidence in their overall relationship including McCarthy's play calling.
If Rodgers is going to do everything in his power to win, but consistently get dragged down by his coach's poor in game decision making (who knows what their weekly preparation is like!), then after a while it is tough to get fired up week to week. We can think of this as the potential death by a thousand cuts in the McCarthy - Rodgers relationship. Over time Rodgers just slowly loses more and more faith in his coach to the point where we are at today, that Rodgers looks entirely disengaged by the game. It is hard to imagine that the opposite happened. Where Rodgers becomes more and more disengaged as his coach tries harder and harder to engage his QB by switching up schemes/game plans... well because we would have seen a different approach, and we haven't!
The Other Takeaway - The other takeaway that I've developed as a result of reading further into Chase's article is that the broader Packers organization is 100% risk averse. The organization has a good thing going, the Packers are extremely well loved across the country, have an extremely loyal fan base, and a system which consistently enables them to make the playoffs. If they are consistently relevant then the front office's job's are relatively secure, they never need to make any risky moves, and can patch up the holes left from free agency via draft and develop.
Seems to be a classic upper-management's "win-win" type scenario. The front office gives the fan base hope that this year may be different, but the truth is, once the team makes the playoffs, all of upper management hits their KPIs, collects their bonuses, and the fans are stuck with the sour taste in their mouth as the team is inadequately prepared for the playoffs, and ultimately falls short of the goal the fans had in mind. The next season the cycle continues.
Chris Chase's article on Fox Sports seems to agree with us that the Packers should consider next year's season without the services of Mike McCarthy. In my heart I feel as though Vinnie Iyer does too, he wouldn't have pointed out all the productive coach/QB productive relationships compared to the broken Rodgers/McCarthy duo unless he thinks it should continue as is.
At the end of the day the Packers need to make a change, and we are quite pleased that the media has begun to take notice and consider the possibility of new leadership at Lambeau.