Several hours after a humiliating home defeat to the Cardinals, the Green Bay Packers said goodbye to coach Mike McCarthy.
The Packers didn’t even wait to finish the season — or at least until the point that they were officially wiped out from the playoffs.
“The 2018 season has not satisfied the desires and aims of the Green Bay Packers. Thus, I settled on the hard choice to let Mike McCarthy leave his job as head coach.”
This move closes McCarthy’s 13-year rule as head coach of the Packers and similarly-involved acquaintance with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers said he never had thoughts of McCarthy being out or that he was playing to get him terminated. However, he also never stood up for him, never talked about how they were cooperating to get things working and regularly played with the non-verbal communication of somebody who was tired of everything.
Temporarily, the Packers put offensive coordinator Joe Philbin in as an interim head coach. Philbin was 24-28 as the Miami Dolphins’ head mentor from 2012-15. Philbin was McCarthy’s OC with the Packers before he was enlisted by the Dolphins.
McCarthy’s team — which it really still is — will miss the playoffs for the second season in a row.
After the Cardinals game, McCarthy received a question about being in the bizarre situation of being wiped out from the playoffs and his coaching tenure with the Packers with four games to play.
“That is to say, I’ve never been in this spot,” McCarthy said. “I’m not going to act like I realize what I will do tomorrow when they get in here.”
Then they got there. And we know what happened.
McCarthy was 125-77-2 through 13 seasons, in addition to 10-8 in the playoffs. Moreover, his team won Super Bowl XLV in the 2010 season.
However, this season, the relationship between Rodgers and McCarthy appeared to disintegrate. Rodgers knocked the Packers’ offense following a week 4 dismantling of Buffalo.
That offense has never gotten on track, and Sunday’s dumpster fire to the Cardinals (3-9) as a 13.5-point favorite was the same.
Rodgers said he didn’t expect the coaching change. Most players didn’t address it.
When it came to the question of whether McCarthy had lost the locker room, Randall Cobb said: “I’m here to play football … My inclination doesn’t make a difference.”
Not exactly an endorsement.
Team president Mark Murphy turned into McCarthy’s supervisor in January when he essentially ousted general manager Ted Thompson and made Brian Gutekunst general manager. Gutekunst, who was not in control of the coach position, acknowledged he was not made aware of this change in structure.
And so here we are.