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Mike McCarthy after staff changes: “Offensively, we took a huge step back”

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The Packers offense was obviously an issue this year, and led to a number of changes.

But after firing a pair of assistants and reinstalling himself as the play-caller, Packers coach Mike McCarthy admitted the reason was a simple one.

“Anytime you change the responsibility, whatever your area of emphasis is. There’s a reason I went to those areas. There definitely will be input into the defense and special teams,” McCarthy said, via Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “Offensively, we took a huge step back. We’re not a championship defense. That will be the focus of our staff and players. On special teams, we need to take another big jump there, as well.”

Of course, McCarthy didn’t make major changes to other areas of the coach staff. But running backs coach Sam Gash and tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot were fired, replaced by Ben Sirmans and Brian Angelicho respectively. Also, offensive line assistant Mike Solari left to work for the Giants.

“You have change each and every year,” McCarthy said. “It’s important to thank Jerry Fontenot and Sam Gash’s contributions. The changes we made on offense. I think we definitely had two young coaches that we hired two years ago, we felt we had two promising prospects. Ben and Brian bring new energy, new ideas. It brings a freshness and aspect we haven’t really had a lot of. I felt Mike Solari brought that last year to us. It’s an opportunity to improve and grow.”

They also promoted Luke Getsy to wide receivers coach, allowing Alex Van Pelt to only coach quarterbacks after handling both spots last year.

“We had a plan last year,” McCarthy said. “It wasn’t executed to the level we look at achieve. The quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends and o-line, the interactions between positions have been a staple of how we operate the last five years. The excuses are over. We’ve adjusted the job responsibilities back more to what we’ve done in the past.”

Those shufflings will also put more pressure back on McCarthy. He gave up play-calling a few years ago to take a more broad-based look at his team and it didn’t work as he had hoped, which will return the focus to his role.

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62 Responses to “Mike McCarthy after staff changes: “Offensively, we took a huge step back””
  1. ariani1985 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:11 PM

    I think McCheeseburger needs to take a step back from the buffet line also!

    #OT You lose again!

  2. a1b24312 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:12 PM

    Isnt that his department?

  3. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Feb 18, 2016 1:15 PM

    “McCarthy also admitted that this will be the first of many stumbling steps backwards,” and that he is already planning on which scapegoats to fire next year in order to keep his job.

  4. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Feb 18, 2016 1:17 PM

    Big PACK guy here. I think MAcArthur should consider firing himself. And let’s not let ROGERS off the hook so easy either… Time to draft the qb of the future imo. Get on it Ted!!

    >

  5. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 18, 2016 1:21 PM

    Let’s see – offense is going backwards, and the defense is a porous as ever. Maybe they can see if Desmond Howard is still available for kr, that might be their only shot at a win next year.

  6. hawkforlife says: Feb 18, 2016 1:22 PM

    He kept saying “we” but it seems like he blamed everyone but himself.

  7. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Feb 18, 2016 1:24 PM

    The way we let people get away with things around here, Mike should be in Green Bay for life. With no possibility of parole.

  8. mongo3401 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:28 PM

    If the Packers do not make the playoffs this year it’s time for McCarthy to step down. His decision making ability has been fuzzy at best. Not saying he was a bad coach. Just saying it may be his time to just step away.

  9. codythao35 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:29 PM

    Time to step back 2016 even more bc the division will go through mn once again and for the next decade until Zimmer retires. How about that? Take it or leave it McCathy.

  10. zerotrophiessince1961 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:30 PM

    No doubt MM overreacted to losing the 15 NFC CG and screwed up the coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball a bunch this year.

    The good news is that GBs roster is the 3rd youngest in the NFL and has the 5th youngest average starting age. This team will have MANY more bites at the apple before ARod is done. They’ll win at least 1 more Lombardi in that time. Maybe 2.

    Better football for better people,

    >

  11. doe22us says: Feb 18, 2016 1:30 PM

    Poor Sam Gash, let down by an overeating Lacy. And TE’s come on now, the Packers dont really have any talent in that dept. This is just a case of i am firing people to make a point. Major Fail.

  12. codythao35 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:34 PM

    If you haven’t realized, division goes through mn and Packers are declining. That was the whole reason why. How’s that?

  13. diehardfootballfan says: Feb 18, 2016 1:35 PM

    WaaaWaaaWaaaa. Point the finger at yourself because your coaching has sucked for the last 2 years. What a whiner.

  14. billytodd2013blbaad says: Feb 18, 2016 1:36 PM

    Well if you take away the QB Green Bay has very little actual talent on the Offensive side of the ball, seriously nothing but average receivers and a RB that can’t keep his weight in check and on the Defensive side they’ve been over rated for years.

  15. cheeseisfattening says: Feb 18, 2016 1:38 PM

    “Anytime you change the responsibility, whatever your area of emphasis is. There’s a reason I went to those areas.”

    Translation Eddie Lacy needs a RB coach who could double as a personal trainer and the WRs need a coach who can be their baby sitter.

    “We’re not a championship defense. That will be the focus of our staff and players. On special teams, we need to take another big jump there, as well”

    Agreed but none of the coaching changing the Packer made this off season were defensive coaching change so why is he bringing that up when talking about coaching changes? Same goes for special teams.

    “It’s an opportunity to improve and grow.””

    True but it is also an opportunity to decline and regress.

    “He gave up play-calling a few years ago…”

    No, he gave up playing calling last year as one of the panic moves made after the 2105 NFCCG choke.

    Does anyone else get the feeling McCarthy is flailing. Give up play calling to focus on defense, take back play calling and then publically criticize the defense and offense.

    I am betting the excuses are far from over.

  16. surfinbird1 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:38 PM

    McCarthy then added… and none of it was my fault.

  17. gbpshareholder says: Feb 18, 2016 1:41 PM

    all this ‘discourse’ and the Packers still made it further into the post-season that a certain purple team who must have been still celebrating a division championship… GO PACK GO!!!!

  18. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Feb 18, 2016 1:43 PM

    I think Mike has been very offensive. But we will cover for him. I congratulate him. He fits in. And we accept him. He is one of us. In every way.

  19. smedley61 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:45 PM

    McCarthy actually gave up play calling a year ago. After the Seattle loss. It was only about 3/4 of a season he didn’t call plays.

  20. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Feb 18, 2016 1:50 PM

    I hope Mike can cook up something better. Second place must be eating away at him and is a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen it before. In the 80’s.

  21. In Teddy We Trust says: Feb 18, 2016 1:54 PM

    All of these issues will be forgotten when the banner for beating Washington in the playoffs is raised.

  22. gbbvan says: Feb 18, 2016 1:55 PM

    Wide left was a thing of beauty!

  23. fartweasel says: Feb 18, 2016 1:55 PM

    No one mentions that Rodgers, for all his talent, is a diva who loses interest when his receivers don’t catch every ball. Watch him, when things don’t go his way, he’s mumbling, throwing up his hands, etc. That’s not how a field general acts. He expects perfection from others on offense, but seldom looks at his own mistakes.

    The defense stinks. Mathews should be made a full time pass rushing DE because that’s all he can do. His instinct, coverage and tackling are terrible (youtube the Fitzgerald run in the playoffs). They should have drafted Kendricks instead of gifting him to the Vikings.

    No matter the changes McBurger talks about, I would expect little improvement in next years packers as the makeup of the team won’t change before next season. They are what they are.

  24. ninefingers9 says: Feb 18, 2016 1:56 PM

    This clown hasn’t a clue as to what the real problems with this franchise are. He will be fired within 3 years, with Rodgers to leave soon after.

    Holmgren/Favre 2.0

  25. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Feb 18, 2016 1:59 PM

    Many in my neighborhood have given up on the Packers. Along with everything else.

  26. Rolo Tomassi says: Feb 18, 2016 2:02 PM

    The only thing that the Packers have over the Bears is better control of the media, referees and schedule maker.
    Otherwise pretty even

  27. kazwhopper says: Feb 18, 2016 2:03 PM

    “He gave up play-calling a few years ago…”

    Just one year ago.

  28. Rolo Tomassi says: Feb 18, 2016 2:05 PM

    Bears fired Lovie after a 10 and 6 season.
    Funny how the cheeseheads are ok with McCarthy one and done again.

  29. Rolo Tomassi says: Feb 18, 2016 2:09 PM

    Unless your counting the “Victory over Redskins ” Hahaha

  30. dohczeppelin says: Feb 18, 2016 2:09 PM

    numba1wiscosportsfan says:
    Feb 18, 2016 1:17 PM

    Big PACK guy here. I think MAcArthur should consider firing himself. And let’s not let ROGERS off the hook so easy either… Time to draft the qb of the future imo. Get on it Ted!!
    _________________________

    Maybe it’s hard to realize this if you’re a “big pack guy,” but RODGERS is literally the only reason the Packers were at all relevant this season. Without him the Packers would be a 6-10 or 7-9 team at best. Sorry, but that’s just reality. He’s a transcendent talent who could take almost any team in the NFL to the playoffs.

    The way he moves in the pocket almost brings tears to my eyes… he’s just so good. I’m a Bills fan but Rodgers is my favorite player to watch in the NFL. Nobody else plays like him.

    As far as “drafting the QB of the future,” GB struck the lottery twice in a row. I wouldn’t count on winning it again. Look how many other teams have spent the last decade just looking for one that’s even serviceable… They don’t exactly grow on trees. Don’t be complacent. Just enjoy the next 4 or 5 glory years of having a QB who’s headed to the hall of fame. Most fan bases can only dream about having a decade with a true pocket QB like Rodgers or Brady throwing the ball.

  31. Rolo Tomassi says: Feb 18, 2016 2:09 PM

    Green Bay owns the schedule maker

  32. kvnhlstd says: Feb 18, 2016 2:13 PM

    And just think… with all the regression this past season they were still the team that went deeper in the playoffs than any other team in the NFC North.
    Think about that, we had a bad year and still finished ahead of Minny when it was all said and done.

    And the icing, Minny plays the 18th hardest schedule, the Packer play the 32nd hardest schedule.

    Packers might flirt with a 13-3 or 14-2 record with home field… Minny will just be Minny… worst Play Off record in the history of the NFL.

  33. davikes says: Feb 18, 2016 2:17 PM

    It’s amazing that they had one guy, Alex Van Pelt, coaching both QB’s and WR’s. Way to much on one guy’s plate. One more reason to question McCarthy’s judgement.

  34. shaggytoodle says: Feb 18, 2016 2:22 PM

    mongo3401 says:
    Feb 18, 2016 1:28 PM
    If the Packers do not make the playoffs this year it’s time for McCarthy to step down.
    _____________

    So if he misses the playoffs which would be the 2nd time in a decade he needs to go? Do you know how many teams wish they could have that? No coach is perfect but just to move on is something the Eagles did with Andy Reid and look what happened to their Franchise.

  35. infectorman says: Feb 18, 2016 2:27 PM

    Yeah, Losing Jordy Nelson will do that to a team.

  36. aaronrodgersisthenextcaitlyjenner says: Feb 18, 2016 2:28 PM

    LOL……#TRAINWRECK!!!!!

  37. kev86 says: Feb 18, 2016 2:30 PM

    They missed McAdoo.

  38. mavajo says: Feb 18, 2016 2:35 PM

    “He gave up play-calling a few years ago”

    —-

    You mean last year? I.e., less than 12 months ago?

  39. mavajo says: Feb 18, 2016 2:36 PM

    “Rolo Tomassi says:
    Feb 18, 2016 2:09 PM
    Green Bay owns the schedule maker”

    ————-

    You realize that’s all formulaic right? There’s no qualitative factor. The moment Week 17 is over, the opponents are determined based on records, along with home/away. The only thing that’s determined by a person is the specific weeks that each game will be played.

  40. ebdug says: Feb 18, 2016 2:40 PM

    The shock-jocks would have us believe the offensive woes last season were due to the Jordy Nelson injury. Why am I not surprised it turned out to be coaching?

  41. chillyball says: Feb 18, 2016 2:44 PM

    Erin Rodgers.

  42. Staticphear says: Feb 18, 2016 2:51 PM

    “They also promoted Luke Getsy to wide receivers coach, allowing Alex Van Pelt to only coach quarterbacks after handling both spots last year.”

    This was a huge mistake last year. NEVER have the QB coach also coach the WRs. WRs couldn’t complain at all because he would go right to Rodgers and he would shun them. Believe it!

  43. cottonjoe says: Feb 18, 2016 2:57 PM

    gbbvan, you’re right – wide left was a thing of beauty. At home. For the win. 26 seconds remained, from 27 yards out. Missed it by a mile. Is Blair Walsh related to Gary Anderson?

  44. fngs1 says: Feb 18, 2016 2:58 PM

    mongo3401 says:
    Feb 18, 2016 1:28 PM
    If the Packers do not make the playoffs this year it’s time for McCarthy to step down
    —————————————————————
    How many losing seasons has Jeff Fisher had? and some how he keeps his job. You then you want McCarthy to be gone after not making the playoffs twice in 10 years? A lot of teams wish they could be in that situation.

  45. diveleft says: Feb 18, 2016 3:03 PM

    McCarthy seems to be just rambling in incomplete thoughts. It appears that living in Green Bay has finally gotten to him.

    At least he realizes his team isn’t very good, so he hasn’t gone completely insane.

    Also, it’s funny how the Packer fans have resorted to counting on a weaker schedule to have a better record than the division champion Vikings next season. Times they are a changing…

  46. lindacaseauthor says: Feb 18, 2016 3:18 PM

    McFatso and Ted the Ghoul should be taking the bulk of the blame for the declining GB Packers. Both inherited one HOF QB and drafted another and only ONE Super Bowl ever since plus many failed playoff attempts. How many other teams in recent years can say they have had two HOF QBs in a row? Maybe one, Indy. Other teams have had one HOF QB and have more SB rings than the Packers. If the organization and coaching staff is as good as the fans boast, why such low success after having two elite QBs?

  47. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 18, 2016 3:28 PM

    McCarthy seems to forget, the only time his team sniffed the SB they had a #5 defense. Without it “All World Rodgers” has a losing playoff record.

  48. purpleguy says: Feb 18, 2016 3:30 PM

    The Pack offensive worries are limited, since they still have Rodgers. Wish I was wrong , but with healthier OTs and WRs, I suspect the offense will be back on track without the need for too much more gnashing of the cheese curds.

  49. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 18, 2016 3:36 PM

    “Maybe one, Indy.”

    Nope. They missed a year in between. Montana and Young, but that was years ago.

  50. wafflestomp says: Feb 18, 2016 4:14 PM

    In Zimmer’s two years of coaching the Minnesota Child Abusers he’s notched a 3-12 record when facing teams with a .500 record or better.
    Take your time and let that sink in for a moment.
    In other words, whenever Zim’s faced an average/good team he’s come up short 12 out of 15 opportunities.

    Now, I understand your desperate need to project your insecurities on the Packers and the fine people of Wisconsin.
    After 50 plus years of complete futility and uninspired football, it’s only natural to take it out on the object of most of your torment and ridicule.

    But, if any of you, who are obviously enjoying the taste of the Kool Ade, honestly thinks that next year’s NFC North title runs through anywhere but Green Bay, you are completely delusional.
    Take a simple poll of Bear and Lion fans about who’s the team to beat.
    I think you’d be surprised.

  51. deltaoracle says: Feb 18, 2016 4:21 PM

    Look at all the little Heidi trolls, so happy with their one year atop the NFC North. Enjoy it, because next season things will revert to what they have been with the exception that GB will be back in the Super Bowl.

  52. lindacaseauthor says: Feb 18, 2016 4:40 PM

    deltaoracle says:
    Feb 18, 2016 4:21 PM
    Look at all the little Heidi trolls, so happy with their one year atop the NFC North. Enjoy it, because next season things will revert to what they have been with the exception that GB will be back in the Super Bowl.
    ——————-
    Nice Fairy Tale. . .

    . . . But I have a better story: the window in Cheddarville is rapidly closing and all you Cheesers know it, thus your obsession, shown in every other post, with the Vikings being atop the NFCN. Getting it back means getting past Zim’s lethal defense and if you remember from last season, your precious QB doesn’t handle pressure very well. You know, just saying you’re gonna get it back next year don’t make it so. It’s gonna be tough for the Cheeseheads, really tough.

  53. shaggytoodle says: Feb 18, 2016 4:49 PM

    billytodd2013blbaad says:
    Feb 18, 2016 1:36 PM
    Well if you take away the QB Green Bay has very little actual talent on the Offensive side of the ball,
    ___________
    When you take away one of the best players in league there will be a drop off BUT the Packers have a QB in the works named Brett Hundley and while there would be growing pains I think he could have the team in post season position.

  54. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 18, 2016 5:13 PM

    Let’s take a look at this “best QB” BS.

    Rodgers and a top five defense = SB win.
    Rodgers without a top five defense for 5 years = NO Super Bowl win.

    Common sense says that Rodgers is not the catalyst for team success.

  55. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 18, 2016 5:22 PM

    “In Zimmer’s two years of coaching the Minnesota Child Abusers he’s notched a 3-12 record when facing teams with a .500 record or better.”

    Only three of GB’s 10 wins were against teams with a winning record last year.

    In 2014 only 2 of their ten wins came against teams with a winning record.

    So in the last two years GB has managed to beat 5 teams with a winning record. Two more wins hardly qualifies you for bragging rights.

  56. kvnhlstd says: Feb 18, 2016 5:51 PM

    “In 2014 only 2 of their ten wins came against teams with a winning record.”

    __________________________________

    Green Bay beat 6 teams in the 2014 with a record of .500 or better.

    Minny fans rely on bad stats to fuel their hate…

    Thanks for playing though.

  57. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 18, 2016 6:21 PM

    “In 2014 only 2 of their ten wins came against teams with a winning record.”

    __________________________________

    Green Bay beat 6 teams in the 2014 with a record of .500 or better.
    ——————-

    How is that different than what I said? They STILL only beat TWO teams with WINNING record. My stats stand as accurate, despite your reading comprehension problems.

    And I’m not a Minnesota fan. But thanks for playing.

  58. h0metownzero says: Feb 18, 2016 6:38 PM

    I think McCarthy needs to win at least one more Superbowl if he wants to get into Canton.

  59. BringBackTheFlex says: Feb 18, 2016 7:03 PM

    I don’t onsider McCarthy, or Coughlin for that matter, to be Canton worthy. Not enough sustained success at the highest levels.

  60. zygizag says: Feb 18, 2016 7:41 PM

    bring back the flex

    and how many of those wins were on hail mary’s too

  61. frank booth says: Feb 19, 2016 2:41 AM

    lindacaseauthor says:
    Feb 18, 2016 3:18 PM

    McFatso and Ted the Ghoul should be taking the bulk of the blame for the declining GB Packers. Both inherited one HOF QB and drafted another and only ONE Super Bowl ever since plus many failed playoff attempts. How many other teams in recent years can say they have had two HOF QBs in a row? Maybe one, Indy. Other teams have had one HOF QB and have more SB rings than the Packers. If the organization and coaching staff is as good as the fans boast, why such low success after having two elite QBs?
    ==================================
    Linda, do you watch football?

    How does Indy have two playoff QB’s in a row?

    Fran Tarkenton of the Vikings blew 3 Super Bowls, showing up with a 14.1 rating in one game, and had a HOF coach, and 5 other Hall of Famers on the team.

    There are tons of teams that go to the playoffs often and don’t win the Super Bowl. Aren’t the Viking the team that has tons of Division Championships and playoff appearances? 27 playoff appearances and nothing to show for it.

    As far as Super Bowl wins all-time, the Packers are tied for 3rd.

    There are 19 Super Bowl era QB’s in the Hall-of-Fame. 6 haven’t won Super Bowls.

    A good QB doesn’t guarantee a Super Bowl, but it helps. There are just so many variables. Then again, you can occasionally have bad QB play like Manning and still win. Super Bowls have been won with guys like Dilfer, Hostetler, Rypien, and McMahon.

    Also, keep in mind that QB’s go into the Hall-of-Fame because they’ve been on SB winning teams.

    Look at guys like Bob Griese and Joe Namath. They’re in because they were on teams that made the Super Bowl- not because they had stellar stats. In fact, in the 5 playoff games in seasons in 2 seasons when the Dolphins won the Super Bowl, Griese threw a total of 47 passes and 3 TD’s and 3 INT’s. Hardly Hall-of-Fame stats.

  62. 46plank says: Feb 21, 2016 10:51 PM

    Funny how Minnesota fans are popping off. I’m a Bears fan and there is zero question in my mind that the North goes through Green Bay. Minnesota has improved, no question. However, nothing they do is earth shatteringly awesome.

    Minnesota’s ceiling is not very high with teddy. Legit D? absolutely Legit running game? absolutely- As long as Teddy is running the show every game you play will be in question until the end because I just don’t think you will ever be explosive with him as your Q.

    Teddy is a young Alex Smith, maybe won’t ever even be as good as him.

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