What’s the ultimate goal of any football team? What are you really in it for?
Do you want to win championships? Or do you want to be the cute, loveable team that’s always sort of in the running, but never really in the running?
In other words, are you the New York Yankees or the Minnesota Twins?
Once again, Green Bay Packers fans learned the hard way that – as long as Mike McCarthy is the head coach of this team – the Packers will always – repeat: ALWAYS – be the latter.
At countless times in Sunday’s utterly embarassing 7-3 road loss to the Detroit Lions (the Lions – let that one sink in), McCarthy showed he has neither the intelligence nor the understanding to guide the Packers to a Lombardi Trophy.
And that is why, when the 2010 season comes to its merciful end, he must be relieved of his duties. It’s time, people.
There will be some who will suggest that the deck has been stacked against McCarthy from the beginning, that the Packers have just been done in by bad luck on the injury front. Okay – really bad luck. Those same people will point to Aaron Rodgers’ concussion, one that caused him to miss the second half, as a reason to give McCarthy a pass for this most recent disaster. He was working with a backup quarterback, after all, so what did you expect?
Sorry, but that’s all a bunch of garbage.
Remember, Rodgers was healthy for the first half, guiding an offense that was out of rhythm, out of synch and just plain disinterested. Detroit cared. The Lions battled. The Packers, particularly on the offensive line, never matched that intensity. Facing one of the worst secondaries in the game, Green Bay’s receivers failed to break free. Even 30 minutes against that defense would have been enough, had the team been prepared. But it was not, and that’s on McCarthy.
Then there’s that little matter of his abilities as a playcaller. In short, he has none.
Once Matt Flynn entered the game, things needed to be simplified. When they were, Flynn had a fair amount of success. But, once again, at the most crucial time of the game, McCarthy decided to drop that approach, instead carrying on with his moronic idea that Flynn could run the plays like Rodgers.
On Green Bay’s last two offensive plays, needing only one yard to keep the drive going, McCarthy let Flynn air it out, Flynn missing on both attempts. Now, perhaps Flynn made poor decisions, but who was the one that gave him an opportunity to make such decisions? Oh yeah – the man calling the plays, the same man who decided to stick with the ground game, even though it had exactly zero success.
Fans argue about McCarthy’s approach to the running game often. He needs to go with it more. He needs to ditch it. Neither side is wrong, really, but McCarthy usually is. Football games are fluid. From week-to-week, your approach has to change based on the flow of the game. The best in the business do this. In five years as head coach of this team, he’s shown no ability to do this and the running game is the perfect example. He’s stubborn when it’s uncalled for and he’s too quick to drift away from it when it’s needed. Do you see that changing? Show me the progress he’s made.
As for the injury excuse, sorry, but that holds no weight, either. In Green Bay’s five losses – by a combined 16 points – the Packers have been downed by four teams that they are out-and-out more talented than, even with the injuries (Atlanta being the lone exception). They lost to Chicago because of sloppy play (another wonderful trademark of these last five years). They lost to Washington and Miami due to poor playcalling. Sunday was a combination of both. Four wins left on the table, a lack of talent factoring in none.
This is nothing new, either. In his time as head coach, Green Bay has been blown out very few times. More often that not, the Packers lose by the smallest of margins, usually done in by rotten playcalling or by being sloppy and unprepared. McCarthy’s really good about standing up at the podium and putting the blame on himself. But you know what he’s terrible at? Correcting such failures.
Oh, sure, he can get his team to bounce back for stretches, maybe even gaining a playoff berth or two out of it. But the same mistakes, the same failures, well, they always creep back in. Because at a certain point, a guy just is what he is. McCarthy’s there now. His teams will always be the same. Pull off an upset or two, crush most of the bad teams and lose some heartbreakers they had no business losing. Playoff entry. Earlier than necessary playoff exit. Super Bowls? Not a chance.
And, if that’s the case – if we know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, which we do - then what the hell is the point in keeping him around? Don’t you want to win a championship? Isn’t 11-5 or 10-6 and a playoff game or two just not good enough, particularly with the talent on this roster moving forward?
Speaking only for myself, I dread the idea of becoming the Twins or the San Diego Chargers. That’s not enough for me. I went through this with this last guy coaching the Packers. I don’t want to be “in the mix.” I want that damn trophy.
And I know he’s never going to bring it to us. So the time to move on is now. The Packers may go forward or they may go backward. But at least we won’t be middling. My God, I’ve had enough of middling.