Mike McCarthy is Just an Offensive Coordinator

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Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy

It’s polling season over at ESPN and those clowns polled some general manager and assistant coach types about who they think the best coaches in the NFL are. Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy came in sixth, but that really wasn’t terribly notable as far as we were concerned.

For the record, these are the guys that were ranked ahead of him: New England’s Bill Belichick, Seattle’s Pete Carroll, New Orleans’ Sean Payton, Kansas City’s Andy Reid and the Giants’ Tom Coughlin.

McCarthy was tied for sixth with Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.

We don’t have much of an argument with any of that, except maybe Andy Reid. He’s the only non-Super Bowl winning coach in the top five. We’d probably put Tomlin higher as well.

The poll placed coaches in tiers and McCarthy came out as a second-tier coach. What’s really interesting are the reasons why McCarthy wasn’t voted higher.

“I like him as a head coach and would love to work for him,” one veteran assistant coach said. “I think Mike is a great offensive coordinator who has done some pretty good things as a head coach, but defensively and on special teams, they have never done well enough up there. There is something missing in the program.”

If that isn’t it in a nutshell, we don’t know what is.

What unit has been dragging the Packers down since 2011? The defense. What unit has been consistently bad year after year under McCarthy? Special teams.

You do what you know and McCarthy knows offense and planning. He’s surrounded himself with guys who know defense — Dom Capers, a former head coach and long-time defensive coordinator — and, supposedly, special teams — Shawn Slocum, who probably knows where some bodies are buried.

And up until this point, McCarthy has let those guys handle their units while he’s stuck to the offense.

That is, until this offseason. After another season where the Packers fielded a porous defense, McCarthy decided he was going to be more hands on with that unit.

That’s one way to go about affecting change.

The other way is to hit refresh on the staff.

A former GM said he thought McCarthy needed to “fix the staff defensively” while noting that the head coach must coach the coaches, not just the players.

This point goes hand in hand with the first. Up until this point, McCarthy has been hands off with everything but the offense. Here Dom, you do it.

He’s trusted in his top assistants. Maybe too much.

Becoming more involved with the defense, or at least with the guys who coach the defense, could ultimately be what makes McCarthy a better coach.

It would probably also help if he found someone competent to coach special teams, but that’s another story.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

12 Comments on "Mike McCarthy is Just an Offensive Coordinator"

  1. Nurseratchett@work

    I agree with some points, especially the special teams & defense points, but its a bunch of crap to put him ahead of Peyton, Reid AND Coughlin. Not just for the super bowl win, but for the amount of post-season appearances under MM’s tenure. Carroll is a tool. I am I starting to hate him as much as Belichick. (I hate Bill Belichick just for general principal….but I can’t argue with his ranking based on performance…I can still hate, however.)

  2. Deepsky

    Seattle has had something like 8 players suspended for PEDs since Pete Carroll took over. Last year they lead the league overall in penalties by far. They lead the league in pass interference penalties, causing the NFL to scrutinize it more this season. Now the NFL is fining Carroll for CBA violations. If cheating to get ahead makes you a good coach, then Pete Carroll is the best coach in the league.

  3. E. Wolf

    A former GM said he thought McCarthy needed to “fix the staff defensively” while noting that the head coach must coach the coaches, not just the players.

    Have truer words even been spoken?
    I don’t think I would take Mac over anyone though. Mac had the balls to tell you know who that the train has left the station. He is a big reason why Rodgers is who he is. And ’11 and ’12 are hardly his fault.

  4. GBslacker

    I think Thompson and, to a greater extent, McCarthy need to hold Capers to a higher degree of accountability.

    There are two superstars on the payroll.

    Free agency is seldom the answer, but it’s always expensive — and Ted shies away from it.

    That means you’re going to have some major roster churn, and a multi-year learning curve for a defense is complete bullshit!

    I can cut Slocum some slack because there’s no telling what cast of characters will populate his special teams — many (most?) have likely never played special teams.

    But Capers, he’s the problem.
    Hopefully, this is his last year.

  5. Shawn iltarion

    I think the people quoted made some legit points, but ranking MM behind anyone but Belichick is a bunch of shit to me.
    Have any of those other jokers been to the playoffs for the last 5 years straight?
    Have any of those other guys been to the NFC CHampionship Game with two different QBs?
    Have any of them made the playoffs even after their starting QB missed half the season?
    And best of all, have any of those other guys went an entire calendar year without losing a fricking football game?
    That never gets enough credit. That is one HELL of a coaching job to get your team up to play every week for an entire year, not ONE off day.
    Pete Carroll? Seriously?How many division titles does he have? Oh, that’s right, one.
    Sean Payton? You mean the guy that got suspended for an entire season, fucking his whole organization? Yeah, sure wish we had that guy. The difference in class between MM and Payton is stunning.
    Andy Reid? Good coach. Win a Super Bowl, and we’ll talk.
    Ok, Coughlin has an argument with two Super Bowls, but his teams typically underachieve and have been known to flat out tank. NOT the signs of a great coach. He’s a better POSTSEASON coach than MM. We’ll give him that.
    Sorry, but Mike Tomlin is better than those guys too, and where is John Harbaugh?
    Carroll wins one Super Bowl and one division title and now he’s better than John Harbaugh? OK.

    • Deepsky

      You make a very good point. Belichick was a failure as head coach in Cleveland and was failing in New England until he lucked into Tom Brady who everyone in the league passed on and Belichick himself almost cut. In fact, the only reason Belichick kept Brady was because Dick Rehbein, the QB coach for the Patriots at the time, a coach born in Green Bay who had worked for the Packers, talked the Patriots into drafting him and keeping him.

  6. CO Bob

    I like McCarthy. Capers…eh…he’s earned some respect and likely deservedly so. Looking forward to seeing the defensive changes this year. As for Slocum… It’s clear he kinda sucks.

  7. C.C.

    So who was the head coach when Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator from 2007–2011? You know, when GB won the super bowl? Morons..

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