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McCarthy: Packers Need To Develop Players, Not Plays

Everyone is wondering if the Green Bay Packers can fix their offense in 2016 after a disappointing 2015 campaign. Coach Mike McCarthy thinks he knows how he’s going to do that and it doesn’t have anything to do with the return of a specific player.

It has to do with getting back to the fundamentals of his program.

“The best plays are still the basic plays. It’s not the design of the play. It’s what everybody can do with that design … That’s what we have to get back to — winning with the fundamentals, with players and not plays. When you get in tough times, offensively, we may have leaned a little more towards plays instead of focusing on developing players. That’s a big part of my getting back in there full-time [calling plays]. That’s how I built this thing, and that’s how it should be ran. We got away from that a little bit.”

It’s interesting that McCarthy feels the team was too focused on plays over player development in 2015.

There are really only two guys that could be blamed on. You could blame it on the team’s now-former play caller Tom Clements. You could also blame it on McCarthy himself for putting his focus in other areas.

In reality, it’s surely some combination of the two.

In hindsight, McCarthy probably should have never taken his focus off the offense. That now looks like a knee-jerk reaction to the NFC Championship loss in Seattle, especially with McCarthy taking back play calling from Clements in December.

It seems there was a lesson learned, though.

The Packers know they can win with offense. They’ve done it before.

It looks like they’ll be in the best position to do that once again.

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Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.

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8 Comments

  1. Howard June 21, 2016

    There could be 3 guys to blame. Clements, McCarthy or if it is about players, as McCarthy said, and not plays maybe Big Ted?

    1. Packers fan June 21, 2016

      I say blame Clements, Capers, and overrated TT. Sure McCarthy deserved a lot of the blame last year for the struggles on offense but it should also be blamed on the passing game. The Packers had one of the slowest targets last year. Playoff game against Cardinals shows Janis should be on the field. The offense should be better this year. Jordy Nelson coming back, Lacy looks better and not overweight, signing of Jared Cook, and add Janis to why that can happen. McCarthy praised Janis this year and it shows he might play him this year finally.

  2. Zwoeger June 21, 2016

    We’ve seen what his fundamentals brought after that lucky SB win.

  3. MJ June 21, 2016

    Dang! Again, “players, not plays”. No, sir, you help your players with plays that maximize their strengths and conceal their flaws. But have it your way… let’s keep trying to run our schemes, regardless if the players can perform well under that strategy. In this salary cap era you can expect to have a moderate talent advantage over other teams (yes, plus/minus the input of a clever GM, some GMs manage to ruin franchises). And, since teams cannot have every player they want, it is a matter of adjusting and playing to the strengths of your assets. This team will go as far as the talent takes it, if we lose a single player, forget it. There is NO way this coach could scheme around that. They will trot player B repeatedly and be surprised that he does not perform like player A. They had a whole season to adjust for Nelson’s loss.
    In other words, “players, not plays” removes any accountability from the coaching staff.

    1. Packers fan June 22, 2016

      Nailed it. Some GMs do ruin franchises. Look how the Eagles were last year when Chip Kelly ruined it and guess what happened? HE GOT FIRED. Look at the Bulls now, the stupid Bulls front office traded Derrick Rose today to the New York Knicks. By the way, I am a OKC fan hoping KD signs a 2 year deal.

      Back to Packers, the team will get as far as it can, maybe the Super Bowl if everyone stays healthy. I think McCarthy wants his offense to go back to basics after what happened last year. See this article: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/06/21/mike-mccarthy-wants-to-get-back-to-basics-on-offense/

      MM does get a lot of the blame on the offense last year which I agree. I do like McCarthy but he is shaky in the playoffs. The only time I blame him for not reaching the SB and I will tell you it is a big one, NFC title game against Seattle. There is no excuse when you are up 19-7. I felt like he got to passive or conservative, whatever you want to say it, or he was playing not to lose. Andy Reid is the guy McCarthy reminds me with because they both have regular season success but get shaky in the playoffs.

      Your thoughts!

  4. Harry Hood June 22, 2016

    You don’t develop a player in a week. You have what you have once the season is well under way. If one year didn’t do it, one year and one week won’t either. It was up to MM to adjust. I saw us try the same failed attempts over and over.

    1. Anti-McCarthy fan June 22, 2016

      HOW BOUT MCCARTHY NOT EVEN PLAYING JANIS LAST SEASON. HOW BOUT WEEK 16 AGAINST CARDINALLS HE WAS TRYIN TO GET RODGERS KILLED. HE IS A KNUCKLE HIPPO IN A SANDWICH JUST LIKE EVERY PACKERS FAN. I SO CANNOT WAIT TO TRASH HIM ALL THIS SEASON HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. MCCARTHY THE HIPPO SHOULD JOIN THE CHICAGO BULLS OF 2016-17 I BET HE WILL SUCK AS THE BULLS COACH. WITHOUT AARON RODGERS HE WILL COACH THE CHICAGO BULLS WHO TRADED DERRICK ROSE. HELL MCCARTHY SHOULD GO HUG JEFF HORNACEK AND YOU SHOULD JOIN HIM SINCE YOUR A DUMBASS.

  5. Empacador July 27, 2016

    It isn’t only the players that need coaching. This right here “…offensively, we may have leaned a little more towards plays instead of focusing on developing players. That’s a big part of my getting back in there full-time [calling plays]. That’s how I built this thing, and that’s how it should be ran. We got away from that a little bit.” is VERY telling.

    Wasn’t this quote “Anything as far as preparation of our team, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, will not be affected by this decision.” made after McCarthy announced his changes after the NFC championship game loss to the Seahawks? I couldn’t find a date. You ever notice how McCarthy, when explaining stuff, tends to play it down? “A little bit” seems to be boiler plate language with him. The offense struggled a little bit last season? Only a little bit Mike? That was a flaming pile of dog shit out there, not just a little bit. This after you said the decision you made wouldn’t affect the team.

    The “how I built this thing” comment reaffirms my belief that Thompson isn’t as bad as he tends to be painted. (No Thompson is not perfect, and has missed on most of his defensive high round picks. Kenny Clark is most likely another in a long line of defensive first/second/third round failures.) McCarthy has more say, and in more areas, than people realize. Why do you think Kevin Greene isn’t with the Packers even though he wanted to come back? Capers is presenting Greene for the HOF, so Greene doesn’t have an issue with Capers. I think Philbin was a much better offensive guy than Clements has proven himself to be, Philbin simply wasn’t head coach material. Much like Norv Turner has never been a good head coach. The Packers were more prolific when Greene and Philbin were on the team. But they had the audacity to LEAVE.

    People talk about the chip Aaron Rodgers carries around all the time. I get the impression when you leave before McCarthy is done with you, McCarthy takes offense to that, whether coach or player, and carries a massive ego chip as well. Again, the whole “I like the quarterback room we currently have” comment when asked if they would bring Matt Flynn back after Rodgers got hurt on 2013. That sort of forward thinking coaching almost cost “him” the ability to be labelled/tied with the Patriots for consecutive playoff appearance years and the articles written about such amazing feats under McCarthy’s stellar leadership.

    And if you think that shit doesn’t matter to McCarthy, think again. I was doing some research before posting and came across this nugget “I understand how success is judged and calculated in the coaching profession. That’s really all I care about. You go about this business a certain way. Everybody has a certain style and opportunities that are presented to them during your career. When it’s over, I’ll be judged by that. I care more about the people I work with.” Let that sink in. “That’s really all I care about.” McCarthy really only cares about McCarthy’s legacy as compared to a Bill Belichick, a John Fox, a Pete Carroll. You know, his peers, the people he works with. You all remember Belichick running out there slobbering all over McCarthy’s nuts after the Packers beat the Patriots a couple years ago, which he never does. About how the Patriots would see the Packers in the Superbowl or some shit like that.

    I don’t think I’m taking that out of context either. It has been many a year since McCarthy has talked about winning championships, plural. Also, taken from an article in 2012 McCarthy says not once but twice “…I’ve been impressed with the quality of depth” and “…because we’ve been fortunate enough to have quality depth”. That is a far cry from what McCarthy has been peddling since last season.

    McCarthy can talk about “our football team” all he wants, but I think he is insecure and the pressure of having to repeat getting to, let alone winning, another Superbowl has taken its toll. I will always believe the Packers won Superbowl 45 in spite of McCarthy, not because of him. I think it is a damn shame Aaron Rodgers got saddled with Mike McCarthy for his career. McCarthy was fortunate to have both Favre and Rodgers during his coaching career.

    McCarthy SHOULD be involved in all facets of the team. He is the head coach. And that means he has to delegate. By delegating he has to trust the coaches are doing the right things. And if McCarthy feels he has to micromanage, then maybe he doesn’t have the right coaches. Clements isn’t new, McCarthy should have coached Clements on how he, McCarthy, wants it run. And if McCarthy was coaching Clements, but Clements couldn’t comprehend what McCarthy wants, then maybe after being stripped of play calling, Clements should have been stripped of a position with the Packers entirely.

    11 years of learning on the job. Bart Starr only got 9 as a coach, and he actually brought multiple Superbowls to Green Bay, with Lombardi’s help of course. Whose helping Rodgers?