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GM won't be comfy is McCarthy doesn't win

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPackerFan, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    "GM won't be comfy if McCarthy doesn't win

    The Packers will be paying Mike McCarthy slightly less than $2 million to coach the team in 2006. And they will be paying Mike Sherman $3.2 million not to coach the team next season.

    To President Bob Harlan, general manager Ted Thompson and other guardians of the budget at 1265 Lombardi Ave., this probably makes perfect fiscal sense. To the rest of us, we don't want those folks coming anywhere near our checkbooks.

    But as they say in today's wacky world of sports, "it is what it is." And to those of us who aren't spending it, this isn't about the money. It's about a bright and winning future in Green Bay. We think.

    Thompson, clearly not comfortable with Sherman as his head coach, fired the big guy on Jan. 2, just one day after Sherman turned in his first losing season (4-12) on a six-year résumé that included a winning overall record of 59-43.

    And 10 days later Thompson found his comfort zone and his head coach, the 42-year-old McCarthy who had just finished his first season as offensive coordinator of the offensively challenged San Francisco 49ers.

    Ted Thompson (left) says he's comfortable with his choice of Mike McCarthy as the team's head football coach.

    If you embrace statistics, wrap your arms around this: The 49ers were last in the NFL in total offense in 2005, averaging just 224.2 yards per game. They were last in passing yards (118.6 per game). They were 30th in scoring, averaging just 14.9 points a game. Most important, they finished the season with a 4-12 record. You could argue that they weren't quite as good as the 2005 Packers who went 4-12 and got Sherman fired.

    But hey, the general manager is comfortable, so it's all good, right?

    "I think it's important, especially in Green Bay with the way this organization is structured, for the head coach and the general manager to have a really good relationship," Thompson said after hiring McCarthy. "You need to be comfortable when you're sitting across the table and talking and being able to chew the fat. I guess that's just a feeling."

    When we're not hearing about the new comfort level of the GM, we are entertained by the stories of McCarthy's hardscrabble background that shaped his personality during those tough days of his youth:

    Born and raised on the mean streets of Western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. Tough, blue-collar background. Father was a police officer, firefighter and bartender. Devout Irish Catholic. Working-class neighborhood. Both parents had to work to support a family of five children. He's tough and a disciplinarian. A no-nonsense guy.

    This is all wonderful, interesting stuff. The more we can learn about the new coach, the better. But we're left wondering if any white-collar, lazy, soft, nonsense-laden, mama's boys ever grew up in Western Pennsylvania. And if they did, would we hear about them?

    But what we really want to know about the new coach is, "can he coach." More to the point, can he win in Green Bay? Immediately?

    Nothing about McCarthy's NFL résumé says big winner. In his one season as quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, the Packers were 8-8, the worst record in the Brett Favre era until this season. He also coached for the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and 49ers. In six seasons as an offensive coordinator, beginning in 2000 with the Saints, McCarthy's cumulative record was 47-51. In those same six seasons as a head coach, Sherman's Packers were 16 games over .500.

    So we're waiting for Thompson to put a positive stamp on the Packers. Maybe it's McCarthy. Maybe it will come with the draft or free agency. So far as general manager, he's an uncomfortable 4-12.

    When B.J. Sander was injured, Thompson signed, Ryan Flinn - a bartender - to punt for the Packers. After Thompson fired Sherman he hired McCarthy - the son of a bartender - to coach the Packers.

    We're not sure yet if Thompson is good for the Packers, but we do know he's bad for the tavern-keeping industry.

    Thompson lost a good, hard-working coach with a winning record when he fired Mike Sherman. And when he hired Mike McCarthy, he also drove away an even better coach in defensive coordinator Jim Bates. On Monday Bates and the Packers, "mutually agreed to part ways."

    By all accounts, Bates had a terrific interview with Thompson. But Thompson was more comfy with McCarthy. Bates should be someone's head coach. And plenty of jobs are open. But Bates will turn 60 in May. It's too bad if age factored into Thompson's decision. Too bad and unfair. And maybe a big mistake for the Packers.

    Marv Levy, at 80, just became general manager of the Buffalo Bills. Bates, at 60, has plenty of coaching life left in the NFL.

    Meanwhile, McCarthy did what had to be done with his coaching staff. He released offensive coordinator Tom Rossley, offensive line coach Larry Beightol, special teams coach John Bonamego, linebackers coach Mark Duffner, secondary coach Joe Baker and strength coach Barry Rubin.

    Rossley's time to go had come and being one of Sherman's best friends didn't help him. (Hey, McCarthy has to be comfortable, too).

    Beightol is a respected and successful veteran coach, but some say the linemen had begun to tune him out.

    Curiously, McCarthy hired Jeff Jagodzinski as his offensive coordinator. Jagodzinski had been the Packers tight ends coach from 1999-2003. He was fired by Sherman because of a personality conflict. (Hey, Sherman had his comfort needs, too).

    So you don't need daytime television to get your soap opera fix.

    Maybe Thompson's gamble with McCarthy will pay off. Maybe he's the right coach at the right time for the Packers. We'll see.

    When the Packers fell apart after the Vince Lombardi era and limped through the 1970's and 80's, fans replaced winning with a series of optimistic bumper stickers. Some will remember these classics: "The Pack Will Be Back" . . . "Things Will Be Fine With Devine" . . . "A Fresh Start With Bart" . . . "Infante We Trust" . . .

    And now, perhaps, the 2006 edition:

    "Our GM is Comfortable.""
     
  2. vikefan

    vikefan Cheesehead

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    I bartended in the past. I wonder if Thompson has a job for me?
     
  3. Buckeyepackfan

    Buckeyepackfan Cheesehead

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    How dare that MJS questions our "Savior"

    How long before their writers are banned from The Packer locker room?

    Hey we had one losing season, it is time to revamp the whole Packer organization!!!

    I don't care if it takes 20 years to win again.

    The Evil Mike Sherman Is Gone!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    Pufall was always one of Sherman's biggest supporters in the media, so this is not totally surprising. He also strikes me as being as much Packers fan as he is journalist (perhaps not surprising that he's my favourite writer from the JS).
     
  5. net

    net Cheesehead

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    I've renamed the new comedy duo Tedgar Bergan and Charley McCarthy, a silent man with a wooden dummy on his lap doing the talking.
     
  6. P@ck66

    P@ck66 Banned Banned

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    net,

    SherRossley is gone! YOu should really get over it.....

    I don't understand this blind allegiance and respect that you had for that un-dynamic duo...

    and your disrespect for the current administration....
     
  7. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    Personally I take my hat off to him. If the next year or two doesn't pan out he will be taking a lot more heat than if he had let Sherman stay. Now it's all on him for making the change and while he may feel more "comfortable" with it he still showed a lot of guts getting there.
     

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