Hey folks, Ryan Wood here. Big day in Packers history. I imagine you might have some questions. Let's get to them.
It actually did not catch me by that much of a surprise, as hard as that may be to believe. That's just a testament to how terrible of a loss Sunday was. The Cardinals might be the worst team in the NFL, and the Packers lost to them at home. That loss alone changed my mind from "no way McCarthy gets fired before Black Monday" to "you know what, it could happen now" in the span of about three hours. I just hadn't seriously entertained the idea that the Packers would actually lose to the Cardinals. Worst regular-season loss of the McCarthy era.
Brian Gutekunst was handed a mess to clean up. The Packers have the pieces to be better than what they are, especially on offense where a MVP quarterback, No. 1 receiver, franchise left tackle and dynamic running back reside. But the defense has severe limitations. You could argue Gutekunst has already started the rebuild there, specifically at cornerback. It's an unusual situation he finds himself in, having to rebuild while in contention. I think not only does he need more time, but anyone would.
I'm not really on board with the Mark Murphy criticism, as fans currently construct it. Basically, he's criticized for doing his job, or what should be his job. Until January, Murphy's primary focus in his job was the business side of the Packers organization, to which he performed at a very high level. He left football to Ted Thompson. You could argue he was late to fire Thompson, and you could argue the same with McCarthy. But to criticize him for not being involved enough in football, to me, misses the mark. I think the bigger problem now is that he's too involved. Give him kudos for taking bold, swift action with McCarthy, even if the bolder, swifter action would have been to fire him when he reassigned Thompson in January. But Murphy needs to step aside and let Brian Gutekunst run football, including giving Gutekunst the authority to hire his coach. That's counter to the argument I've heard from the fan base, where you've wanted the Packers president/CEO to take action in football matters.
That's the big question to me. Because if it's just schematics, I think Lincoln Riley makes a ton of sense. But he's just 35 years old, almost exactly 3 months older than Aaron Rodgers to the day. And, make no mistake, as important as offensive schematics are, the coach-quarterback relationship is going to be paramount. For all the criticism of McCarthy's offense, the relational part of it is why he was fired. You can't lose the quarterback in this league, and he did. That's where someone with more experience than Riley (really, a synonym for age) might be important. I'd suggest the Packers target Riley for an interview to learn about his temperament as much as his playbook.
The team was flat. That reflects coaching. He shoulders a lot of blame.
Maybe. Or the quarterback could start playing markedly better. Both are possible.
Certainly worth a look. But if Joe Lombardi, why not hire his superior in Pete Carmichael?
Yeah, you're going to see a lot of moving parts on the roster, I'm sure. They need to overhaul edge rusher, safety, tight end, guard. A lot to do. All of those names mentioned could be gone.
I don't know if I'd put it that way, but they've reached the "developmental" portion of their season, no different than last year. In other words, give Robert Tonyan some snaps. Give J'Mon Moore some snaps. Give Jake Kumerow some snaps. Find out what you have in some of those youngsters before heading into the offseason.
That's a fair question. What many Packers fans don't get is that Mike McCarthy is a very good coach. It's not a joke to say he's a "highly successful" head coach. He's going to have a job the minute he wants one. And I wouldn't be surprised at all if he wins. To answer your question, though, I have to know who Mike's next quarterback is. Because it is a QB league. Getting a QB is by far the hardest part of the Super Bowl equation, and the Packers have the QB. So without knowing that, I'd say Rodgers for now. I do think they can get another Super Bowl in the next five years. But this is closer than you might think.
I'd definitely go offense. I'd want a young, innovative offensive mind, along the lines of a Lincoln Riley. The question there is relationship with Aaron Rodgers. That's hard to know without knowing the person.
Until Black Monday, yeah.
No, but I'm sure whatever salary he receives from another employer will compensate for the buyout in his final year.
Well, you knew that would be the end result. One of them had to go. It wasn't going to be the quarterback.
Ha. That's very much a Packers fan base thing. Outside Green Bay, Mike McCarthy is viewed as a Super Bowl-winning head coach who won with admirable and enviable consistency. He's a big-time coaching candidate. Just the reality.
Yes. I really do wonder if the final nail was deciding not to go for fourth-and-2 in Seattle. That's probably a gross simplification, but that decision went over remarkably poor in the locker room.
That's a good question, and I very much wonder how Rodgers comes out and plays next week against Atlanta. I think that will be interesting.
Any head coaching candidate is going to relish the chance to work with Aaron Rodgers, or else they wouldn't be a head coaching candidate. That's not at all to say Rodgers has played well this season. He most certainly has not. But 35 is the new 30 in for franchise quarterbacks. There's no reason to think Rodgers can't go another five years at a high level.
It was Mark Murphy's call. He's not going to make a move of that magnitude without consulting the GM, but it was Murphy's call.
Big question. As of now, I get the sense Murphy plans to keep things in place as is. Which I think would be a mistake. Should make the GM the GM, which means giving him the authority to hire the coach.