Packers coach Mike McCarthy returned to the team facility not once but twice after his firing. He addressed the coaching staff Tuesday before talking to the players Wednesday.
The Packers gave their former coach a standing ovation when he returned.
Normally, when teams fire a coach, the coach disappears from the team forever. He is not allowed a good-bye.
But Packers president Mark Murphy, General Manager Brian Gutekunst, vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball and interim coach Joe Philbin gave McCarthy their blessing to return and speak.
“I was happy to see him,” Matthews said. “Obviously, first things first, you understand that this is a business and not many people get that opportunity — and the player as well. We’re in the same boat. For him to invest the past 13 years in this team, has given his heart and soul to us, to have that kind of closure, it was great of the organization — Joe, Gutey, Mark and everybody that allowed him to come in and say his piece. I know we really enjoyed it. I’m sure he did from a closure standpoint. Obviously, we gave him the respect he deserved and sent him off with some final words.”
McCarthy’s return served as closure for both the coach and his players.
“[He] just let us know and tell us how much he cared about us and the job and just the Packers and Green Bay in general,” defensive tackle Kenny Clark said. “It was really cool just to get to see him and talk to him one last time before he left.”