Mike McCarthy: Staff changes will help sagging offense, non-championship defense


Green Bay Packers

head coach Mike McCarthy took to the podium at 1265 Lombardi Avenue today to talk about the state of the


, new coaching hires and the staffing changes that will assist in lighting a fire under the offense and lift the defense to an elite “championship” level.

Today, he opened his press conference about the changes in staffing by saying this:

"Well thanks for coming out today. We had an opportunity to finalize our coaching staff, I know everybody’s seen the press release. I’ll take questions on each individual coach. It’s been a long process since the conclusion of the season. Had an opportunity to go through the exit interviews with our players and with that always comes out some information and things you can use to apply, recognize certain things to look that. From that we went into the evaluation phase with our coaching staff. With another process of exit interviews it was obviously broken up a bit with our participation in the Pro Bowl. So, it’s great to get to this point. We’ve actually just started getting into the scheme evaluation – started that yesterday – and we’ll meet with the personnel department as a coaching staff tomorrow and get ready for Indianapolis."

Yesterday, the Packers announced these new coaches who have been brought on over the past few weeks:

Brian Angelichio,  tight ends coach;

Ejiro Evero, defensive quality control coach;

Luke Getsy, wide receivers coach;

  • David Raih, assistant offensive line coach; and
  • Ben Sirmans, running backs coach.

    Packers.com described each of the new hires in a post yesterday. A portion of the site’s descriptions are as follows:

    "Gary Barnidge, who led the team with career highs in receptions (79), receiving yards (1,043) and receiving touchdowns (nine).Evero joins the Packers after serving as an assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers for the past five seasons. After joining the 49ers in 2011 as a quality control coach, he spent 2012-13 as an offensive assistant and the past two seasons as a defensive assistant. San Francisco was Evero’s second NFL stop after spending 2007-09 as a defensive quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Getsy will be entering his third season with the Packers in 2016, having served as the offensive quality control coach the past two seasons. Prior to joining the Packers, Getsy coached on the collegiate level for seven seasons (2007-13).Raih has been with the Packers since 2014, spending the last two seasons as a coaching administrator. Before joining Green Bay, he spent 2013 at Texas Tech as the director of high school relations before being promoted to outside receivers coach.Sirmans joins the Packers after spending the past four seasons as the running backs coach for the St. Louis Rams. This past season, he coached Todd Gurley, who was named to the Pro Bowl and the Pro Football Writers of America Offensive Rookie of the Year after leading all NFL rookies in rushing yards (1,106), scrimmage yards (1,294) and 100-yard games (five)."

    What’s probably most significant in these hires is the move back to a specific wide receivers coach.

    Alex Van Pelt
    Alex Van Pelt /

    The changes that Mike McCarthy instituted after the Packers lost in the championship game at Seattle at the end of the 2014 season included making Alex Van Pelt both quarterbacks and wide receivers coach.

    McCarthy admitted that was probably not the best move, and decided to promote Getsy from quality control to wide receivers coach.

    “We had a plan last year as far as how we delegated responsibility, and we definitely did not hit the target,” McCarthy said yesterday.

    “We had dropoff in offense. We’ve had time to evaluate it. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, all expressed a desire for Luke to get the job.”

    McCarthy expanded:

    "I think we had a plan last year. It wasn’t executed obviously to the level we look to achieve. The quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and o-line, running backs, the interactions between position groups has been a staple of how we operate the last four or five years. I think more has been made of it frankly as an excuse. With that, the excuses are over. We’ve changed and adjusted frankly the job responsibilities back more to what we’ve done in the past. My outlook is hopefully it’ll be a much better process."

    Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
    Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

    McCarthy’s promotions of Getsy and Raih may have been a surprise among many as they toiled behind the scenes, but they impressed McCarthy enough to make the moves.

    “David brings tremendous energy (and) passion to the game of football,” McCarthy said. “He has really grinded his way through the coaching profession. Anytime you see that in a young coach, it’s refreshing, and it brings a ton of new energy into that offensive line room.”

    And as for both Getsy and Raih, McCarthy had this to say:

    "We interviewed both two years ago and there was a focus on quarterback coaches. You can’t have enough offensive line coaches and quarterbacks coaches I think. David had a great interview and Luke came in the next day. I felt David knocked it out of the park. It was an extensive interview with the whole coaching staff. And then the next day, Luke had a tremendous interview. After that, everybody felt Luke hit it a little further. Now they’ll have a chance to coach and get our players to respond."

    McCarthy also indicated that new running backs coach Sirmans will do the job in keeping Eddie Lacy on track in his training regimen and has the experience to bring a fresh approach to the offense, given his experience with the Rams.

    Next: Wide receivers grades

    Here’s what McCarthy said about the issue:

    "Strength, conditioning, training, everybody is accountable to their areas and every coach is responsible for his position. As far as Eddie Lacy, I have great confidence it is something that will improve, and is improving as we speak.”"