What’s next for the Packers after firing Mike McCarthy?

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers is seen in the second quarter in the game against against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers is seen in the second quarter in the game against against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

What’s next for the Green Bay Packers after firing Mike McCarthy?

Following another disappointing loss, the Packers have had enough and fired head coach Mike McCarthy.

After 13 mostly winning seasons, McCarthy will now be looking for a new job and the Packers will begin their search for a new coach immediately.

That McCarthy was fired isn’t a surprise, the team has not played up to standards and could not execute at critical moments.

What is surprising is the timing of it. It’s not like the Packers to fire a coach in-season. But after the 20-17 loss to the 3-9 Cardinals, it was clear the team was no longer playing for its coach and a change had to be made.

So what’s next for the Packers after the firing of McCarthy?

First and foremost, the pressure is now all on Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers no longer will have McCarthy and his play-calling to use as his personal punching bag. With Joe Philbin as the interim coach, Rodgers will probably have as big a say on what happens on offense as any quarterback has.

The next hire will also have Rodgers in mind. The new coach will have to be able to smooth things over with the franchise quarterback and avoid a situation like the one this year.

Rodgers has had many chances to have his coach’s back and give an endorsement for McCarthy, but that never happened. Rodgers’ body language expressed his frustration with the coach and he has been caught many times on camera showing his disgust and mouthing about the play-calling.

Again in this game, Rodgers was off target on more than a few of his throws. He may have developed some bad habits while playing though a knee injury, but someone as self aware as Rodgers claims to be should see what he is doing wrong and correct it.

But he has been as stubborn as McCarthy in this area and the team has suffered because of it.

So, he is now getting what he wants. There’s no telling how much say, if any, Rodgers will have in the next hire, but whoever it is will have to get the most out of Rodgers, and Rodgers will have to listen to that coach.

The Packers will now have to figure out what they want in a coach. There is a solid list of candidates they can pursue. The Packers will have to figure out the type of coach they want to hire.

Do they stick with an offensive minded coach or switch it up and go defense? Whoever it is, they will have to hire a coach that can command the respect of Rodgers.

McCarthy won a Super Bowl with Rodgers, yet that wasn’t enough for him to have his coach’s back.

The next coach will have to be a guy that has credentials Rodgers can not deny. Whether that be a winning record, proven track record of offensive or defensive success, or rings.

There will need to be something the coach can hang his hat on and make Rodgers listen. If not, this could happen again very soon with Rodgers a few years older and no closer to winning another Super Bowl.

Lastly, this season is not all on Mike McCarthy. This team has underperformed all season long and has fallen well short of expectations. But the lack of weapons put around Rodgers and the team over the last few seasons is also a reason why.

When injuries occurred this season, the 2015, 2016 and 2017 draft classes should be the ones moving into major roles, if not already filling them. Problem is, not many of those guys are around.

Gone is Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, Ty Montgomery and Vince Biegel, the list goes on but those names are fourth-round picks or higher that are no longer with the team.

Ted Thompson is gone, but his mistakes were still haunting the team this year.

Thompson’s aversion to free agency also hasn’t helped. One decision he made that is still sticking with this team is letting go of Jared Cook.

Thompson may have overplayed his hand and signed a washed up and unmotivated Martellus Bennet to fill in for Cook who had a good year in 2016. We all know how that worked.

Had Cook stayed, Rodgers may have had a trustworthy security blanket and one he can count on. As it is, the team swung and missed again with Jimmy Graham.

Brian Gutekunst will have to be as aggressive as last offseason, if not more. One area that could use a key free agent or trade player is the pass rush. I don’t think any coach would feel comfortable going into 2019 with a draft pick and Kyler Fackrell as their top options.

We all knew this was coming, the team has fallen short of expectations for some time now. We just didn’t know when.

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Mike McCarthy is now out and the Packers will get a head start on their next coaching hire. They better get it right or the wasted years of Aaron Rodgers’ career will no longer be because of McCarthy.