Mike McCarthy: Team ‘hit a home run’ with changes made in 2014


Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, clearly hurt, disappointed and educated by the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Championship Game, told reporters in his season-ending press conference today that he’s “pressing on,” not only with his football team, but with his own family.

“Life is precious. I don’t have the words, or the emotional discipline, to take you through it. It’s very difficult. We’re pressing on.”

Having been gone from Green Bay for a week attending the funeral of his younger brother, Joe, McCarthy expressed his thanks for all the heartfelt gestures by everyone associated with the team, but told everyone early on in the presser that he wanted to say thanks and not talk about his personal situation.

With that out of the way early, McCarthy said that he was, of course disappointed in the team’s season-ending loss, but that he was ready to move ahead with making changes that will continue to put his team in a position to compete for a championship. He talked about pride and what this team meant to him:

He said that the Packers had every opportunity to win the game, but it was the breakdowns of special teams at crucial times that eventually doomed the team.

McCarthy, the man who is always looking ahead – learning and planning from previous experiences – also said that the evaluation process for the players and coaches will begin as soon as possible as he begins building the 2015 version of the Green Bay Packers.

Would he be considering the dismissal of any staff? Here’s his diplomatic response:

And on the special teams plays that hurt the team immensely in the Championship Game, here is what he said:

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  • But the loss in Seattle is no different from any other loss – of course the impact is greater because it’s the championship, but he said as far as using the experience as one from which to learn, he said:

    McCarthy also said the touchdown given up by the Packers on the fake punt was one in which the Seahawks executed better: “Fakes are risky. Jon Ryan can run, we know that. …Hey, we did not execute our responsibilities the best we can. They had a better play called than what we had called.”

    The mystery surrounding Clay Matthews sitting out several plays at the end of the game, McCarthy still isn’t exactly clear on what happened to the linebacker. He said that he was told Matthews “needed a minute” and thought it may have been his knee that had taken a hit. He said he didn’t think it was concussion-related.

    On free agency, McCarthy said again that he wanted to sign all his players back, but that it’s a process that will be addressed by himself and Ted Thompson as part of the rebuilding of the team.

    Many have questioned McCarthy’s decision not to go for the touchdowns when the team was inside the Seahawks’ five yard line in the first half …

    In addition, McCarthy said he agreed with the intent of Julius Peppers’ signal for Morgan Burnett to get down on the interception with about five minutes left.

    He also really liked the addition of Julius Peppers to the 2014 unit:

    McCarthy also praised the fact that the team has built continuity – a factor that should help the team well into the future. And in concluding, McCarthy said that he is feeling good, despite all that has transpired in the past 10 days or so.

    “Life is precious. I don’t have the words, or the emotional discipline, to take you through it. It’s very difficult. We’re pressing on.”

    Next: Mike McCarthy says Thanks