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Mike McCarthy: the Ultimate Control Freak

Like most Green Bay Packers fans, I check in with packers.com almost daily to see what’s happening with my team. I’ve been noticing some strange goings-on with the website.

Since the new year, about 130 news postings have graced the site. From five to 10 articles, opinion pieces, photo galleries, podcasts, or videos pop up daily.

We get news of every player signing, and we hear all about every front office change and promotion. What we haven’t gotten is the one thing fans want to know about at the moment.

Ever since announcing the release of Dom Capers, Scott McCurley, and Mike Trgovac back on January 3, there’s been a gag order placed on packers.com concerning coaching changes. I have to assume this is Coach Mike McCarthy’s doing.

Finally the team website posted a news release titled “Packers finalize coaching staff” – which includes mini-resumes of twelve of the coaches. They top that off with video clips of nine coaches, most lasting under three minutes.

I like the look and sound of several of these guys, but have some problems with some of their backgrounds, but that’s not the point I want to make here.

This was our first real look at the new Mike McCarthy – the one who three weeks ago was given more power, more independence, and more control over this team than he’s ever previously had.

What I’ve seen in the past three weeks, and culminating in this choreographed release of news, was Big Mike using his new superpowers to increasingly control the message and the media.

Why would he suddenly put a gag order on coaching change news being posted on the team’s website? It caused a whole lot of confusion, and certainly did a disservice to the fans who were excited to see what changes were going to be made after the disaster of 2017.

In one of those Insiders question and answer postings, Packers’ senior writer Mike Spofford was asked why there was no news about the ongoing coaching changes. His evasive answer: “McCarthy is simply waiting to have his entire coaching staff in place before making anything official.”

The only explanation I can come up with is a simple one: by McCarthy keeping his coaching maneuvers under the radar, and then making a blanket announcement, there’s less analysis, criticism, and questioning of what the head man has been doing.

Remember when CEO Mark Murphy joked about how Ted Thompson hated to talk to the press? I’d say that McCarthy detests the press much more than Thompson ever did.

As you’d expect, the Packers have a bunch of employees tasked with handling public relations, public affairs, media management, news reporting, press releases, and the like. It looks like McCarthy has decided to act as their puppet master.

It’s another example of Big Mike becoming ever more secretive, controlling, and focused on his own image more than anything else.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Kato January 25, 2018

    This is quite a stretch. A disservice to the fans? Comon man. Avoid criticism for what? I think anyone that has been in the business as long as he has knows there will be criticism no matter what he does. Besides, I think there is a lot more criticism/skepticism swirling around the new front office structure and GM choice than there is for the front office. Besides it’s easier to make one formal announcement and have one press conference rather than 8.

    1. PF4L January 25, 2018

      I think Rob is just noting a change of behavior. I probably don’t do half the research and time spent on the Packers as Rob, and i certainly don’t agree with him on everything. But i respect Rob’s opinion nonetheless, because frankly, i believe he’s earned it.

      Just my .02

  2. MAMASBOY January 25, 2018

    I agree KATO! WHO CARES. If you aren’t a control freak, you wouldn’t be a coach. That defines coaching!

    1. Kato January 25, 2018

      It’s not necessarily that I don’t care. It’s more I think that Rob is trying to see something that isn’t there. I just watched the full press conference and McCarthy wanted it done when everyone (Philbin, Pettine, other assistant coaches) were all available. I just don’t see the big conspiracy theory here.

  3. Robster January 25, 2018

    There are leaders who hire strong coaches and delegate some of the decision-making to them – and there are those who insist on exercising control over everything. For example, Big Mike tried to delegate the play calling, but couldn’t let it go, even though the offense was more effective during the months Tom Clements was doing it. I believe less than one-third of NFL head coaches do the play calling, an indication that most coaches aren’t as controlling as Big Mike.

  4. PF4L January 25, 2018

    What’s McCarthy’s record again sans Rodgers?

    Wait, that wasn’t McCarthy’s fault, Poor Brett Hundley wasn’t prepared correctly and coached up enough. McCarthy apparently had no clue as to what his 2nd string QB would give him as far as a skill set.

    Its because those assistant coaches held poor Brett back, and that a team isn’t knocking on our door offering up a 1st or 2nd round draft pick as trade bait.

    Yea, that’s it!! It couldn’t be that Hundley’s skills are very limited…NAW.

    Those coaches should be fired!!

    Cue the circus music.

  5. rebelgb January 26, 2018

    Kato I agree this article is a stretch. That being said, McCarthy is a contral freak. Yes all coaches are, especially NFL coaches im sure. But Mcfatty takes it to new heights.