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The Demovsky-McCarthy Interview Confirmed Many Truths

Martellus Bennett and Mike McCarthy

Martellus Bennett and Mike McCarthy 2017

Jason excerpted the Mike McCarthy interview with ESPN’s Rob Demovsky on Total Packers on April 3. [https://totalpackers.com/2019/04/mccarthy-espn-interview/] McCarthy obviously picked Demovsky, who he repeatedly referred to as “Rob,” feeling he would get a sympathetic hearing. Demovsky, in return, instead of going for sensationalism or controversy, allowed Big Mike to freely express his views, and they were revealing.

To start with, McCarthy acknowledged he was “stunned” by the timing of his firing. But given the time to reflect on it, the coach admitted “(I)t’s clear to me now that both sides needed a change.”

That is quite a statement, and a humbling one. Though club president Mark Murphy has gotten lots of criticism for firing his head coach within hours of a humiliating home loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals, McCarthy appears to agree the move was needed and the decision was justified. I credit McCarthy for his candor.

The interview became more telling as it went on. McCarthy related that when he first talked to his wife Jessica following the firing, she said:

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m relieved for you. . .The last two or three years, you haven’t been here physically or mentally. Every family loses their husband, father during the season, but you’ve been gone the last two off-seasons. I know you’re not happy with the way things were going there, and it’s beat the hell out of you. It’s beat the hell out of you the last couple of years. It’s been hard to watch it.”

Big Mike wouldn’t have relayed his wife’s observations if he thought they were wrong, so the coach is verifying the accuracy of her remarks. He’s agreeing that he was indeed “BROKEN,” going back to 2016 or 2017. If you subscribe to the stages-of-grief model, McCarthy has just passed through “denial.”

This comes as no surprise to Total Packers readers, as TP and our commenters have been incessantly raising that alarm for at least back to 2016. It’s satisfying to be proven so right – though I never would have expected an acknowledgment would come from the coach himself.

For me, the surest signs came in post-game interviews following losses. What we saw was a man on the defensive, combative, making excuses rather than accepting blame. McCarthy was simply in denial – not dealing with reality. As time went on, and embarrassing losses piled up, it became obvious to many of us that McCarthy would be unable to reverse the direction the team was going.

The missus was dead on when she said her husband hadn’t been here physically or mentally. His loss of confidence and composure, and his growing paranoia, was indeed difficult to watch. Taking the slings and arrows of critics goes with being an NFL head coach. Things got to the point that McCarthy could no longer handle it. The wife was brutally honest: it beat the hell out of him.

Until Jessica spoke up, I might have been the only one to address his physical condition. I did a post on February 2 comparing the appearances of the departing and incoming coaches, concluding: “Big Mike for years hasn’t been physically fit enough to handle the rigors of such a demanding job. It’s retirement time.” [Link: https://totalpackers.com/2019/02/matt-lafleur-appearances/]

I’m not trying to shame the Pack’s head coach of 13 years, most of which featured the green and gold playing high-quality football. There’s another head coach who went through the same head trip recently. Here’s how former Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine similarly described his fall from grace, and the year he spent away from coaching:

I was just beat up, physically, mentally. I just needed the time off. It took me a while before I felt like I could smell smells and see colors.

Is McCarthy retiring permanently, or taking a sabbatical? We don’t know, and I doubt whether he knows. My guess is he won’t be afforded an opportunity to return as a head coach, and I doubt Big Mike would be willing to return to the NFL as an assistant coach. The NFL is undergoing a youth movement with its head coaches anyway. McCarthy, who is 55, went 125-77-2 as the leader of the Pack. That will probably be his final NFL tally – and it’s one he can look back on with fondness.

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Rob Born

Someone else said it first but I popularized it: “Athleticism is important in athletic pursuits.” It took three years, but the Packers finally listened. My new mantra: “Trading down is fine, but never trade up.”

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16 Comments

  1. Larry April 7, 2019

    The simplest explanation is usually the truth. Mike McCarthy is a football dumb ass period. He does have a low football IQ. Brutal play caller. Brutal playoff game coach. On any team with an owner, would have been fired years ago. I feel sorry for Rogers having to put up with him.

    Reply
    1. Ferris April 7, 2019

      Larry could see it, so could I. I can’t understand why nobody running the Packers saw it. Just like when GB looked forward to facing Jay Cutler, other teams were looking forward to playing GB because THE ENTIRE WORLD knew what plays they would run. Unless Rodgers drew shit up in the dirt everyone knew what was coming, The only reason they won games was Rodgers, now people want to defend the lard ass idiot coach? Ohh Rodgers is a dick, a diva, a whiner who picks on people. There is only ONE team in the league that would not name him the franchise tomorrow…KC. As Larry said simply stated McCarthy was the worst coach in football, imagine his career record with Jay Cutler at QB. It would be his record now in reverse 77-125-2. But he would have been fired just like Trestman the “offensive genius.” QB whisperer my ass. Try “Franchise Killer”

  2. Skinny April 7, 2019

    All these coaches that have made it and the money is in the bank are idiots for still wanting to go back to the grind. Sherman literally almost died from obesity his last few years in GB. The Packers firing him probably saved his life. Mike, RETIRE!! You dont want this or need this shit anymore. Relax. Get your health and life back and stay as far away from coaching as possible.

    Reply
    1. Savage57 April 8, 2019

      My thoughts as well. At what point do you look and say I’ve made enough to handle every responsibility, catastrophe, or expense that might ever come my way and now’s the time to just go and enjoy the fruits of my labors.

  3. whatjusthapped April 8, 2019

    I was always entertained by those who said that if the Packers fired McCarthy, he would have a job in 5 minutes. Even if that were true, the Packers still needed to do what was in their own best interest.

    My view then and is now being acknowledged today is that McCarthy will never get another head coaching job in the NFL. The world has passed him by and he is the last to recognize it. I hope he saved his millions because his ego will not allow him to accept a lesser position.

    Reply
    1. PF4L April 8, 2019

      Saved? Hell, he’s still making millions, along with Ted.

      Mark Murphy: “i do what’s in the best interest of the Green Bay Packers”

      Sure you do Mark, sure you do..

  4. Marc wilson April 8, 2019

    Interesting that McCarthy wasn’t picked up by another team. He says he was only interested in the Jets, but it may habpve been the other way around. Think about it – a coach with his win/loss record ought to have been targeted by every team in need of a new HC, and a few that already had one. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still on the street in 2020.

    Reply
    1. PF4L April 8, 2019

      I forget who….but a GM was asked about McCarthy’s “highly successful” comment. He said, “of course he’s been successful, he’s had nothing but two HOF QB’s.”

      I’m not implying any fool could do it. But i think football people are pretty smart and know what’s going on with McCarthy and his coaching positives and negatives, aside form the comment.

      I know one thing, all this drama isn’t helping him if he wants back in, next season.

      1. PF4L April 8, 2019

        *from

  5. PF4L April 8, 2019

    Photo Caption:

    McCarthy: “Why are you crying?”

    Bennett: “Didn’t you hear him, Aaron yelled at me.”

    Reply
  6. KILLER April 8, 2019

    McCarthy did this interview because he knew that Bleacher Report story was coming out. They obviously asked him for comments on it and then he did this PR move to try to get out in front of it. Chose a reported who would serve as his willing lackey in dissemination of his story.

    Didn’t work. Anyone intelligent did not read that story and think McCarthy is blameless or a good coach or a good person. No one fell for it. Well, not no one, there is always a few suckers out there.

    By the way, McCarthy’s denial of the massages is a soft one with little outs. First he said he would not respond to that kind of thing like it was beneath him — while still criticizing the article so he actually was responding but in such a way he did not have to actually confirm or deny. That is the traditional denial non-denial by a politician. Honest people don’t do that. They just say “Nope, that did not happen at all ever in any way. Absolutely not.”

    Then he said he never skipped team meetings to get a massage. Team meeting in his mind can refer to the whole team instead of game plan meetings, offensive meetings, or other meetings. Or he gave himself permission to not be at a meeting therefore he did not skip it. Even though he wasn’t there while being massaged. You see? Carefully worded to deny while not being totally pinned down.

    McCarthy was and is a jerk. Rodgers is worse though. Nut case. Pathological. Cancer to the team and everyone he knows. All time biggest cancer. Malignant. An embarrassment to humanity.

    I wonder is Danica Patrick is regretting her deal to be his beard to help promote her book. Probably not. This might help her sell even more books!

    Reply
  7. Keith Mitchem April 8, 2019

    I swear people are rude as hell. I agree it was time for a change. McCarthy was defeated by a fan base calling for him to be fired. I was not one of those people. I saw one of the best coaching performances against the New England Patriots. When Mcarthy pulled out all of the stops to win the game. It was not done recently but when he had a QB who actually listened to a play call. Now why call a play at all when you have a QB who will change the play to something completley different anyway? Why try to be inventive with the play calling when the basic plays are not being ran? People forget what is called on the sideline may not be what is called in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage. I am not saying the blame was purely on Rodgers either. If anything I blame the GM. He broke apart the most cohesive qb wr duo in Packers history, Which pissed Rodgers off. All because Hundley didn’t throw to Nelson. If Nelson would have been on the team last year, Rodgers would have been happier, and the whole team would have played better period. Ted Thompson had a bad wrap for not spending in FA. You forget he signed Julius Peppers, and his drafting was beautiful early on. Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Clay Mathews were all top tier talent. That is just to name a few. Also if you think about it Rodgers 1 super bowl win was early in his career when he actually listened to coaching staffs.

    Reply
  8. Howard April 8, 2019

    Cole Madison back. That is a suprise.

    Reply
    1. Mitch Anthony April 8, 2019

      Yes, maybe a good surprise. Good for him and good for the team. Hopefully he’s in football shape and will be able to contribute. That O line needs the help.

      I gotta admit, I didn’t think this would happen.

      1. PF4L April 8, 2019

        That’s kind of funny because that’s exactly what i’ll be saying if he makes the roster.

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