Mike McCarthy: If he’s at halftime, the Green Bay Packers are fortunate
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
Yes, it’s April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke: Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy may be setting himself up to be one of, if not the most successful coach in the near-century-long history of the franchise.
That’s because this past week McCarthy said that he was only at “halftime” of his coaching career in Green Bay.
Refreshing news? Too much optimism by the head coach in this “what have you done for me today” National Football League?
But when one considers what McCarthy has already done in his tenure with the Packers, one can only agree with McCarthy and hope for the best over the course of the next decade. In fact, when General Manager Ted Thompson hired McCarthy way back when, how many of you thought he would last this long in Green Bay?
If he’s only at halftime of his coaching career in GB, McCarthy can look toward at least another eight seasons with the team – which would turn out to be the second-longest-tenured coach in team history, second only to the near-30 years that founder and first coach Curly Lambeau put in.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
With two of the best quarterbacks in team history, if not league history, working for him, McCarthy’s stay in Green Bay has not just been successful, it’s been a highly successful run – similar, in fact, to that of former coach Mike Holmgren. Though Holmgren coached for seven years in Green Bay, producing one Super Bowl winner and two Super Bowl appearances to McCarthy’s one Super Bowl title, their records are strikingly similar.
From 1992-98, Holmgren had a record of 75-37 (.670). In his eight seasons with the Packers (he’s entering his ninth), McCarthy has an 82-45 record (.637). The biggest difference between the two is their playoffs records – Holmgren finished with a 9-5 record, while McCarthy, to date, is 6-5, with some of the most disappointing playoff losses in team history – think N.Y. Giants (2007 and 2012), the Arizona Cardinals in 2009 and the 49ers the past two seasons.
And when looking at division titles, McCarthy earned his fourth title (third straight) this past season, while Holmgren, despite having those dominant teams of the mid-1990s, won the division just three times during his stay in Green Bay.
So, as we can see, McCarthy has had a heck of a run over the course of the past eight seasons and is looking forward to at least as many more in Green Bay. Packers fans have to be pleased with that stability.
Look around the league. The coaching musical chairs has produced a cacophony across the league and just as much disarray among teams and their fans. You should be feeling pretty good about the stability that resides in Green Bay.
Yes, we can throw our hands up at McCarthy’s inconsistency in play clock management and mutter to ourselves or shout from the mountaintops on Twitter about his play calling, but one thing is for certain – McCarthy is a rock who has continued the winning tradition in Green Bay. And the good thing is that he wants to continue.
Unlike Holmgren who bolted for Seattle after the lure of power and money, McCarthy is the perfect match for Green Bay. He is the ultimate football coach who’s not worried about dollars and cents. He’s worried about wins and losses – and that’s the way it should be.
So, the next time you curse him out for a boneheaded move – like running Eddie Lacy on a meaningless play at the end of the half against Atlanta last season that resulted in a sprained ankle that could have ended the rookie’s season – think about all the good he has brought to the Packers’ landscape.
We hope for many more years to come.
Thanks, Mike … and GO! PACK! GO!