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Thread: Mike McCarthy is the man

  1. #1
    Mountain Rat HOFer Brando19's Avatar
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    Mike McCarthy is the man

    From Packerreport.com:

    Mike McCarthy could have been greedy.
    Mike Sherman was, at least in the 2003 divisional playoff game.

    Philadelphia was a sneeze away from falling off the cliff. After 10 plays and 67 yards, Green Bay’s offense faced a fourth-and-goal at the Eagles’ one-yard line. Sherman went for six and a possible 21-0 lead. Green was stuffed. In hindsight, a Ryan Longwell chip shot from 19 yards would have prevented the fourth- and-26/Freddie Mitchell/Brian Dawkins/David Akers fiasco and sent the Packers to the NFC Championship Game.

    Monday night, McCarthy resisted temptation and it paid off.

    Facing a fourth-and-goal from Denver’s 2-yard line in the first half, McCarthy opted for a Mason Crosby lay-up. It seemed like a missed opportunity at the time. But as the miscues and penalties continued to pile up for both teams, three points appreciated beyond its typical value. The Packers eluded disaster at the end of regulation and Brett Favre did the rest in overtime.

    This is just one of the many subtle coaching decisions by McCarthy that have quietly shaped the youngest team in the NFL into a confident group of finishers. Week after week, the Packers are finding ways to win in all three facets of the game because McCarthy is picking his spots. He knows when to be conservative. He knows when to be daring. He never rides the fence.

    Monday night’s game would have eaten up many coaches in the league. The frustration of moving the ball without producing points is a common cause of recklessness. McCarthy did not trash his game plan as laundry scattered the field drive after drive. He made slight adjustments and was constantly one step ahead of Mike Shanahan.

    How many coaches would attempt two bombs against one of the NFL’s best cornerback duos?

    Not to a No. 3 wide receiver straight out of the doghouse.

    Not on the first play of overtime, when you’re supposed to count your blessings for even having the ball.

    Certainly not one game after two long balls were underthrown and intercepted.

    So there was Champ Bailey waiting for a slant, with his hips turned toward the quarterback. A so-called “possession receiver” then left Bailey diving for air. And there was Dre' Bly a step behind a receiver many NFL Draft experts pegged too slow to succeed.

    They weren’t ready.

    “If we’re in position, we make those plays,” Bailey said.

    “I can’t recall getting beat like that on the last play of the game for that much yardage,” said Bly.

    Credit McCarthy. If he would have folded his cards on these two plays, there is no telling how both offensive drives would have finished. (Probably with an Atari Bigby penalty)

    Winning five of six games by a touchdown or less is a reflection of attitude. As the Broncos drove 89 yards in 2:27, the atmosphere on the Packers’ sideline wasn’t the deftly quiet, pale face, ‘Oh, S&$%’ tone many teams (and fans) usually feel. McCarthy has instilled a culture that prohibits doom. The transition from nearly losing on a Jay Cutler draw to winning on a Greg Jennings touchdown was alarmingly smooth.

    “During the drive you’re managing the clock,” said McCarthy of Denver’s game-tying drive that began at their seven-yard line. “You’re getting your two-minute offense ready. You’re getting your four-minute offense ready. I really didn’t have time to ride the emotional roller coaster. I thought our sideline was excellent. I liked the way we responded to the overtime because it was electric in the stadium.”

    Jennings, who earned bragging rights over his cousin Ian Gold, sees a team attitude evolving over McCarthy’s 21 games. The Packers haven’t won 10 of their last 11 games by accident.

    “We want it all,” Jennings said. “That’s the thing we’ve been doing more this year. We’re going out there to set the stage, set the tone and win the game whenever we have the opportunity.”

    Establishing a nothing-to-lose mindset, while maintaining sound judgment is a balance coaches spend their entire career searching for.

    In one game, McCarthy had to make several such on-the-fly decisions.

    Pinned against his own goal line twice, McCarthy boldly chose to throw his way out of disaster against the Broncos’ blitz-happy defense. At the start of second quarter, on second-and-9 from the 2, Favre hit Donald Lee across the middle for 14 yards and the Packers drove 14 plays for a crucial Crosby field goal. With 8:15 remaining in the game, Favre connected with Jennings for 18 yards, throwing out of his own end zone.

    McCarthy will never be confused with Mike Martz. Conservatism is needed to keep the game in perspective. Without a proven running back, this has been McCarthy’s biggest challenge this season.

    Ryan Grant possesses the downhill running demanded from a one-cut scheme and McCarthy used him wisely Monday. Once Grant and the offensive line found a rhythm, Green Bay found balance for the first time this season- 27 passes, 27 runs, 430 yards. McCarthy did what Shanahan should have done with Selvin Young- force feed a running game that is producing four yards a pop.

    It paid off in the play action later. Bly wasn’t ready and he was on an island- a situation Favre took full advantage of.

    Guts is meeting trust and it’s building confidence throughout the entire team. During training camp, the entire coaching staff never appeared overly worried about any particular position or player. Optimism is high for every team in the summer, but now it’s clear that July’s confidence at Clarke Hinkle Field was genuine.

    Mike McCarthy is picking his battles, and the Packers are winning the war.

  2. #2
    Anti Homer Rat HOFer Bretsky's Avatar
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    Since we are on the topic of MM, I'd like to add this he's a CLASS ACT

    Case in Point: Per the Packer Beat Writers, Chris Francis father passed away a couple weeks ago. Francis is a practice squad player. MM flew back to where the funeral was to console Francis.

    Players notice it when coaches have a genuine care about their well being

    CLASS ACT
    The Pac 12 can Blow Me. HAND SLAP. Fly their asses back to Madision line em up in front of Season Ticket holders. Each one gets to kick them in the nads. There is your reprimand you pukes. Barry says he looks forward to seeing them.
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  3. #3
    Obscure Rat HOFer Lurker64's Avatar
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    Re: Mike McCarthy is the man

    Quote Originally Posted by Brando19
    And there was Dre' Bly a step behind a receiver many NFL Draft experts pegged too slow to succeed.
    I seem to recall that none of the scouting knocks against Jennings were about his speed. Prior to the year he was drafted, the knocks on Jennings were twofold: he came from a small school, and he's too slight for the NFL (might have problems going over the middle against hard hitting safeties and might be dogged by injuries). Nobody, from what I can tell had anything negative to say about Jennings's speed and quickness. In fact things like "He is a shorter, compact athlete who has fine speed and quickness. He has excellent hands, and has shown an ability to run after the catch. He has fine open-field running skills with the quick moves to make tacklers miss and the sudden acceleration to run away from defensive backs" were part of most scouting reports on Jennings (that was from rivals.com).

    I think the writer missed on his facts there.
    </delurk>

  4. #4
    Senior Rat All-Pro Fred's Slacks's Avatar
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    Kicking the FG was a good decision by MM but I have to say, Sherman's decision to go for it wasn't bad. When Sherman made that call, he had one of the best offensive lines and one of the best short yardage backs in the league not to mention a shaky D. Completely different situation for MM. MM has the worst run game in the league and a very good D. They both made the right choice.

    I've never faulted Sherman for making that call. It was the choice to punt on 4th and a foot later in the game that was the bone headed call. When you have the choice you have to give your best players an opportunity to win the game. In that case it was the OLine and Green that should have been given that opportunity, not Bidwell and the D. I hate the fact that so many years later that game still bothers me. But I guess if we would have won that game, its possible Sherman would still be our GM.
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  5. #5
    Please. The dude thought a Packers' offensive drive was gonna be stalled by an Atari Bigby penalty! How can he be expected to actually check the scouting reports on Jennings...
    "Greatness is not an act... but a habit.Greatness is not an act... but a habit." -Greg Jennings

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MJZiggy
    Please. The dude thought a Packers' offensive drive was gonna be stalled by an Atari Bigby penalty! How can he be expected to actually check the scouting reports on Jennings...
    Sarcasm, ziggy.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred's Slacks
    I've never faulted Sherman for making that call. It was the choice to punt on 4th and a foot later in the game that was the bone headed call.
    It was actually 4th and at least a full yard. Maybe even a yard and a half. I still think he should have gone for it.

  8. #8
    Senior Rat HOFer ND72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarveyWallbangers
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred's Slacks
    I've never faulted Sherman for making that call. It was the choice to punt on 4th and a foot later in the game that was the bone headed call.
    It was actually 4th and at least a full yard. Maybe even a yard and a half. I still think he should have gone for it.
    NO question. My problem was I thought it was a stupid play call. You have a big, powerful offensive line, and we pulled a guard and didn't make all the blocks.....go straight ahead and power that bitch in there.

    oh well, hindsite.
    "I would love to have a guy that always gets the key hit, a pitcher that always makes his best pitch and a manager that can always make the right decision. The problem is getting him to put down his beer and come out of the stands and do those things." - Danny Murraugh

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ND72
    Quote Originally Posted by HarveyWallbangers
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred's Slacks
    I've never faulted Sherman for making that call. It was the choice to punt on 4th and a foot later in the game that was the bone headed call.
    It was actually 4th and at least a full yard. Maybe even a yard and a half. I still think he should have gone for it.
    NO question. My problem was I thought it was a stupid play call. You have a big, powerful offensive line, and we pulled a guard and didn't make all the blocks.....go straight ahead and power that bitch in there.

    oh well, hindsite.
    I meant the one later in the game. People remember it being 4th and a foot now. It was longer than that. It would have taken some 'nads, but I would have still gone for it. Top rushing team. Worst rushing defense. Ahman was lights out in short yardage that year. Go strength against weakness--rather than leave it to the weak part of your team.

  10. #10
    U Rat All-Pro BF4MVP's Avatar
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    Mike McCarthy IS the freaking man..Great hire by TT..Lock him up long-term.

  11. #11
    Senior Rat All-Pro Fred's Slacks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarveyWallbangers
    Quote Originally Posted by ND72
    Quote Originally Posted by HarveyWallbangers
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred's Slacks
    I've never faulted Sherman for making that call. It was the choice to punt on 4th and a foot later in the game that was the bone headed call.
    It was actually 4th and at least a full yard. Maybe even a yard and a half. I still think he should have gone for it.
    NO question. My problem was I thought it was a stupid play call. You have a big, powerful offensive line, and we pulled a guard and didn't make all the blocks.....go straight ahead and power that bitch in there.

    oh well, hindsite.
    I meant the one later in the game. People remember it being 4th and a foot now. It was longer than that. It would have taken some 'nads, but I would have still gone for it. Top rushing team. Worst rushing defense. Ahman was lights out in short yardage that year. Go strength against weakness--rather than leave it to the weak part of your team.
    Ok. My memory may not be as good as yours. I thought it was pretty short but I'm probably wrong (wish I could blame old age). Regardless of the distance you got my point. When you have one of the best running games in the league along with a punter who can't pin a team deep to save his life and a defense that has let you down every time you need a stop, its easy to see whose shoulders you should put the game on.
    Fred's Slacks is a Winner!

  12. #12
    Postal Rat HOFer Joemailman's Avatar
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    McCarthy's success doesn't surprise Schottenheimer

    By Rob Demovsky
    rdemovsk@greenbaypressgazette.com

    Marty Schottenheimer knew only two things about Mike McCarthy before he met him: He came highly recommended from offensive guru Paul Hackett, and more importantly, he knew McCarthy’s roots.

    It was early in 1993, and Schottenheimer had a few openings to fill on his Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff. McCarthy got his foot in the door thanks to Hackett, who Schottenheimer would hire that same year as his offensive coordinator.

    But that’s not why he gave McCarthy his first shot in the NFL.

    “Don’t misunderstand that from the outset of this thing, the fact that he was from Pittsburgh was important to me,” Schottenheimer said this week in a telephone interview from his vacation home in Palm Springs, Calif.

    “People chuckle about this, but western Pennsylvania, you go back and look at the history of coaches who have come out of that area, I mean it’s amazing.”

    Schottenheimer, who grew up in McDonald, Pa., an industrial town located 18 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, figured only a Pittsburgh guy would understand.

    So imagine Schottenheimer’s surprise when told this week that Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson, a native Texan, mentioned McCarthy’s “Pittsburgh macho” as something that impressed him during McCarthy’s interview in January 2006.

    “Did he really say that?” Schottenheimer said. “See what I mean? Chuck Knox was from Sewickley. Joe Walton was from Beaver Falls. (Bill) Cowher’s from there.

    "Basically, you realize very early on in your life that nobody’s going to give you anything, and you’re going to have to work your tail off if you’re going to have any measure of success. It’s kind of that steel-mill, coal-mine type of mentality.”

    Today, McCarthy returns to his NFL roots, when the second-year Packers coach will lead his team into Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

    To be sure, success in the NFL — especially the kind McCarthy has enjoyed in his second season as the Packers head coach — has more to do with football than place of origin. Schottenheimer knows that. After all, he’s hired coaches from all over who have gone on to succeed at the highest level. The list of men who received their first jobs because of Schottenheimer reads like a who’s who of coaches and includes Cowher, Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, Cam Cameron and Wade Phillips.

    McCarthy was a relative coaching neophyte when he walked into Schottenheimer’s office nearly a decade and a half ago. After serving as a graduate assistant at Fort Hays State for two years, he was volunteer assistant at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989 — the same year he worked the graveyard shift as a toll-booth operator on the Pennsylvania Turnpike — and then a graduate assistant there for two years before Hackett promoted him to receivers coach in 1992. It was under Hackett that McCarthy learned the West Coast offense.

    “Paul recommended him, and he came in and I was extremely impressed with him,” said Schottenheimer, who is out of coaching after being fired by the San Diego Chargers after last season.

    “Of course, being a western Pennsylvania guy, that fit, but I was very, very impressed with his understanding of football, in particular the offensive side and quarterback play. And of course, he was a good worker, and he had a much more controlled demeanor than I did. It’s always important to get a balance on your coaching staff. So, we got together, and he did a terrific job for us, and of course he’s done a terrific job as he’s moved on. We’re really enjoying watching what he’s doing in Green Bay this year.”

    It was in Kansas City where McCarthy met Edwards, the current Chiefs coach. Edwards was a scout for the Chiefs in 1990 and 1991 and then became defensive backs coach in 1992, when Dungy left to become the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator. He worked for the Chiefs until 1996, when Dungy brought him to Tampa Bay.

    “I tease all those West Coast (offense) guys,” Edwards said. “I grew up on the West Coast. I knew about coach (Bill) Walsh and all those West Coast gurus, and Paul was one of those guys. When Mike got here, I was egging him. I said, ‘Paul, this is the next genius, huh? Because all you West Coast guys are geniuses.’ And we started laughing.

    “But you could tell then that the guy was into (football). He stayed late, worked hard, did all the (grunt) work. I mean he did all the (grunt) work. And that’s how it starts for all of us. You’ve got to be willing to come in and do whatever they ask you to do, and Mike was good at it. He did it, learned, and that’s why he’s doing a good job up there.”

    Don’t count Schottenheimer among those surprised that McCarthy has turned the 6-1 Packers into a contender in the NFC.

    “It’s great football and a great football story,” Schottenheimer said. “The thing about it is there’s no fanfare about Mike. I mean, he has, I think, the single most important quality that any team player can have, and that is he doesn’t care who gets the credit. That, in my mind, is a critical and essential quality for anybody who is going to be involved in a team environment, because in this business there’s so much focus and so much attention that if you have people that are interested in reading about themselves in the newspaper or watching themselves on television, you’re not going to have a good teammate. And Mike doesn’t care about that.”

    How McCarthy will handle success if the Packers continue to tear through the regular season is anybody’s guess, but Schottenheimer believes McCarthy will avoid the trap of changing with success.

    “I don’t have any doubt he’ll (avoid) that,” Schottenheimer said. “We believe in the old adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But more important than that is he has great confidence in what he’s doing and the way it needs to get done. There’s flexibility certainly because anybody with any reasonable amount of intelligence is going to operate on that basis, but I think where Mike will excel is when adversity sets in, because he understands that there is a plan, and you don’t want to get too far off track.

    “With Mike McCarthy, when you open the package the first day, it’s there, and it’s not going to change.”

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bretsky
    Since we are on the topic of MM, I'd like to add this he's a CLASS ACT

    Case in Point: Per the Packer Beat Writers, Chris Francis father passed away a couple weeks ago. Francis is a practice squad player. MM flew back to where the funeral was to console Francis.

    Players notice it when coaches have a genuine care about their well being

    CLASS ACT
    Great post. I agree completely. Wish I could say the same about Bob Harlan, though. I'm kind of disgusted over the Max McGee funeral fiasco.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Partial
    Quote Originally Posted by Bretsky
    Since we are on the topic of MM, I'd like to add this he's a CLASS ACT

    Case in Point: Per the Packer Beat Writers, Chris Francis father passed away a couple weeks ago. Francis is a practice squad player. MM flew back to where the funeral was to console Francis.

    Players notice it when coaches have a genuine care about their well being

    CLASS ACT
    Great post. I agree completely. Wish I could say the same about Bob Harlan, though. I'm kind of disgusted over the Max McGee funeral fiasco.

    What happened?

  15. #15
    Rat Starter Him8123's Avatar
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    I remember when they first hired MM and I said who? but half way through the 1st season even though we had lost most of our 1st half of the games last season I remember telling my dad, I like him alot. He maybe inexperienced at the head coaching position. But he just seemed like he had "it" very confident. Glad it worked out. I like his formula for success, I just hope he sticks around when we win the superbowl and not leave like holmgren.

  16. #16
    I may be wrong but I think the time has passed when the HC's want both roles in the organization. It burns them out!
    Pass Jessica's Law and keep the predators behind bars for 25 years minimum. Vote out liberal, SP judges. Enforce all immigrant laws!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rastak
    Quote Originally Posted by Partial
    Quote Originally Posted by Bretsky
    Since we are on the topic of MM, I'd like to add this he's a CLASS ACT

    Case in Point: Per the Packer Beat Writers, Chris Francis father passed away a couple weeks ago. Francis is a practice squad player. MM flew back to where the funeral was to console Francis.

    Players notice it when coaches have a genuine care about their well being

    CLASS ACT
    Great post. I agree completely. Wish I could say the same about Bob Harlan, though. I'm kind of disgusted over the Max McGee funeral fiasco.

    What happened?
    Yeah WHat happened?

  18. #18
    Senior Rat HOFer GBRulz's Avatar
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    I'm taking a guess here, but perhaps Partial is irritated over the fact that Harlan didn't attend McGee's funeral. The Packers sent two representatives from the organization that both knew McGee, but Harlan himself didn't go.

    According to several websites, other members of the front office couldn't go because of the road game in Denver.

    Flags around Lambeau were flown at half staff to honor McGee.

  19. #19
    THats was my gut feeling on what happened. It could'nt have been major becuase nothing was reported.

  20. #20
    Red Devil Rat HOFer gbgary's Avatar
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    Re: Mike McCarthy is the man

    Quote Originally Posted by Brando19
    Mike McCarthy is the man
    to me he's good but his conservative play calling, at times, puts the team in a tough position.

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