6

July

Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy: Time to Beat the Good Teams…

I’ve had this nagging feeling for years now that the Green Bay Packers of Mike McCarthy’s tenure do very well against weak opponents, but tend to fold when it comes to stronger opponents, or at least not do nearly as well. So I went back and looked at every game, regular and post-season, that the Packers have played since their 2006 season opener against the Bears, Mike McCarthy’s first game.

My Theory: that McCarthy’s Packers have serious trouble beating teams 10-6 and above.

My categories went like this:

Category 1: Teams that went 0-16 to 6-10
Category 2: Teams that went 7-9 to 9-7
Category 3: Teams that went 10-6 and above.

(My reasoning here is that there doesn’t tend to be huge differences between 8-8, 9-7, 7-9 teams. Also, I wanted to measure how the Packers did against the best teams in the league, which I defined as teams with a 10-6 record or better.)

Year-by-year:

2009 Cat 1: 5-1, Beat St.Louis, Detroit, Detroit, Cleveland and Seattle. Lost to Tampa Bay.

2009 Cat 2: 3-1, Beat Chicago, Chicago and San Francisco. Lost to the Steelers.

2009 Cat 3: 3-4, Beat Arizona (weighted), Dallas and Baltimore. Lost to Arizona (playoffs), Cincinnati, Minnesota and Minnesota.

2008 Cat 1: 3-1, Beat Detroit, Detroit and Seattle. Lost to Jacksonville.

2008 Cat 2: 1-4, Beat Chicago. Lost to Chicago, Houston, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

2008 Cat 3: 2-5, Beat Indianapolis and Minnesota. Lost to Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas, Tennessee, Carolina.

2007 Cat 1: 3-0, Beat Kansas City, Oakland and St.Louis.

2007 Cat 2: 8-2, Beat Philadelphia, Washington, Minnesota, Minnesota, Denver, Detroit, Detroit, Carolina. Lost to Chicago, Chicago.

2007 Cat 3: 3-2, Beat New York, Seattle (playoffs) and San Diego. Lost to Dallas and New York (playoffs).

2006 Cat 1: 6-0, Beat Detroit, Detroit, Miami, Minnesota, Minnesota, Arizona. No losses.

2006 Cat 2: 1-3, Beat San Fransisco. Lost to Buffalo, St. Louis, Seattle.

2006 Cat 3: 1-5, Beat Chicago (weighted). Lost to Chicago, New England, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New York Jets.

Totals through four years:

Category 1 (0-16 to 6-10):  17-2.

Category 2 (7-9 to 9-7):   13-10.

Category 3 (10-6 and up): 9-15, with two wins against teams who had already clinched a playoff berth and did not play starters for most of the game (thrown games).

So if I may present my interpretation of this data…

-The Packers will almost always beat a team with a final record of 6-10 or worse, regardless of their own record. They don’t “lay an egg” very often.

-Good Packers teams (’07, ’09) will clean up in the mid-range department and beat the Category 2 teams, which are not easy or guaranteed victories.

-Even good McCarthy teams, however, won’t necessarily beat the other good teams. 2007 was by far the best, with a 3-2 record. But the record was only 2-4 in 2009 after subtracting the “thrown” game.

-When the Packers were able to beat the good and mediocre teams consistently, in 2007, they advanced to the NFC title game.

-If the Packers can beat the “good” teams consistently, they will be the Super Bowl contenders everyone is currently making them out to be. In each of the four “good” losses in 2009, the offense gave up five or more sacks and the defense allowed 31 or more points. With Minnesota and Arizona, as well as Pittsburgh, the other team was consistently able to attack the middle of the field. Bunched-up and stacked receivers killed the Packers against Arizona.

So my challenge to Mike McCarthy is the following.

Keep doing what you’re doing, fix those problems and keep your players from becoming overconfident. Get them prepared and downplay the hype you’ll hopefully be getting all season (coming next Packers note).

Do that and we might be looking at a division title and a first-round bye come December and January.

Seriously, if these guys take that second-year boost, we could be princes of the universe.

This year’s opponents:

Cat 1: Detroit (2-14), Detroit (2-14), Buffalo (6-10), Washington (4-12).

Cat 2: New York Jets (9-7), N.Y. Giants (7-9), San Fransisco (8-8), Atlanta (9-7), Chicago (7-9), Chicago (7-9), Miami (7-9).

Cat 3: New England (10-6), Dallas (11-5), Philadelphia (11-5), Minnesota (12-4), Minnesota (12-4).

I can’t wait for training camp, gentlemen.

For more of Andy Tisdel’s writing, check out Tisdel’s Tirades.

52 Responses to “Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy: Time to Beat the Good Teams…”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Green Bay Packers. Green Bay Packers said: Jersey Al's Packers Blog >> Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy: Time to Beat the Good Teams http://buzztap.com/-C47kET [...]

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  2. Asshalo says:

    Good thoughts Andy. I think the biggest hump is beating Minnesota. Outside MN, our NFC schedule isn’t very difficult (Dallas and Phili). If they take the division with a 5-1 or 6-0 record, I have a hard time believing they’de wouldn’t tie or get home field advantage.

    The last two games against MN weren’t even competitive for the majority of the game. Sure Green Bay got back in it, but whenever the Vikings wanted to they pulled the football right from under us. Then there would be the added bonus of beating your rival and Mr. Favre. Offensive Line troubles were the main reason for the losses despite the porous secondary. Hopefully added depth at LT and OG will punch the offenses ticket. Can’t wait to see what Rodgers can do with time to pass.

    Comparability on this statistic with other coaches would be nice, but that’s too much to ask of one person– that’s why FOs is so nice.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I think you are right on the money about the Minny games. They should be the best measuring stick during the season to tell us how far this team could go.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      I was thinking about doing some kind of broader survey, maybe looking at some of the top coaches’ records from the past decade or two (Belichick, Holmgren, Cowher, etc.) but I don’t have that kind of time right now. Providing some context would be a good next step though.

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  3. Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

    Really puts things in a better prespective.Considering the improvement of the Jets,Atl,SF,Mia,and the slight fall off of NE, and adjusting the Favre factor in Minn(injured or doesn’t play as well)I think we are looking at 7-8 games against teams in the cat-3 range and all more likely P/O teams,that Barnett boldness is a little harder to jump on at this juncture.
    It’s Bunjee Jumping with not knowing how large the previous jumper was and if the the adjustments(MM’s)were made. Yikes said the jumper after realizing the question!

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Based on 2009 records, there are 21 teams with tougher schedules than the Packers. So it’s far from awful, but I think you’re right, a lot of those teams will be improved from last year. Hopefully, so are the Packers.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      I’m kind of counting on the type of improvement from within that led to the two playoff seasons. We didn’t add anybody after 2008 and we still went 11-5 from 6-10, and so on and so forth. If we have that kind of improvement on what was already an 11-5 team, this team could be really scary.

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  4. Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

    Sorry,that should read “jump on the bandwagon”

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  5. Tom Freeman says:

    Excellent analysis, Andy. I guess I would add two thoughts to the mix. First, although there can obviously be exceptions to the rule, generally it makes sense that a team would do the best against bad teams, do pretty well against middle-of-the-road teams, and worst against the best teams. So in that sense the result is not unexpected, and it would probably hold up pretty well for practically every team. But it does point up the need for more emphasis on beating the good teams.

    Second, I complained all of last year that the Packers tended to play back in coverage against the elite QBs, rather than putting on the pressure. I have in mind the games against Favre, of course, but also the games against Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner. Favre and Warner were with Category 3 teams, and Roethlisberger with a Category 2 team. One time when the Packers did bring the heat against a supposed elite QB on a Category 3 team, Romo, the Packers won, pretty convincingly. So I think the phenomenon I harped on all last year is closely related to their record against the best teams. Fixing the pressure problem would probably go a long way to fixing the record against the best teams.

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    • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

      Tom,I agree with the playing back against elite teams.I will go out on the limb here and say it may have been a pre-game choice for those games.Meaning that with a new 3-4 concept and then the injury and lack of experienve in such,why incinerate, “what was being learned”, against more than apt offenses i;e Pitt,Minn,ARI,CINN(never mentioned for the kicking early) less DAL,and avoiding a “possible implosion” of confidence by camoflaging the unavoidable in a new system.(ego building-eehhhh)
      Hopefully a good learning tool for this year as we can bring it unto all teams this year.Stretching a bit?

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      • Tom Freeman says:

        Taryn:
        I hope you are right. And it does make sense to me that they would have been a bit more cautious, say, in the first half of the season because of the lack of experience with the new system. But the Steelers game was in week 14, and the Cardinals playoff game was as late as it gets in the season. Of course, as you point out, by that time there were big injury problems on defense. Anyway, I hope they are more aggressive against the elite teams, but I will believe it when I see it.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Tom,

      First, thanks for stopping in.

      Capers hands were severely tied over the second have of the season with the secondary injuries. He could no longer blitz Woodson as he had been and had to pick his poison. Blitz (which other than Matthews was ineffective) or play multiple DBs in coverage. Neither one would have worked out well, in my opinion.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      That holds for most teams in the NFL’s middle class, I guess. I wasn’t expecting the Packers to plow through the Category 1 teams quite so uniformly.

      I also think you’re right on the money with your comment about Tony Romo. More often then not, beating the Category 3 teams has required a dominating defense. Dallas. Three picks, three sacks and a fumble recovery for Baltimore. Two pick-sixes against Indy in ’08. Seattle in ’07. On and on. And QB pressure is the biggest part of that.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      Also, thanks! I’m glad you liked it.

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  6. Lacey says:

    I think this analysis would have greater relevance if you compared it with other teams’ success against “category 3″ teams.

    I imagine that the win distribution would be pretty similar for most any team, even teams considered better than the Packers. The 2007 Superbowl champions would be good examples of this. The Giants did not dominate the 07 season by any stretch of the imagination. Nor did they dominate the playoffs. They squeaked by in every win.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      That’s the next step. Although I’m not focusing so much on a team’s record as the record of their coach against each category.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Giants were very fortunate in 07. Everything fell their way that needed to.

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      • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

        I beg to differ Al,the Giants made things go their way in the run.How many road games in that march to the p/o’s.Even then ,the defense forced mistakes.A testament to building your confidence as the season plays on.They got more dangerous week after week.The Pack should watch that years film of them.Referencing the Barnett thing.

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        • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

          Luck played a big part in each of their playoff wins, and especially the Super Bowl. Not discounting their talent, but there were so many lucky breaks, with Tyree’s “chewing gum” catch the icing on the cake.

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          • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

            Luck plays a part in all playoff games and the SB at one point,but the tenatious play to reap the benefit of luck at a certain time is what makes a winner.Somebody said “you create luck by your ability to play”or close to that.

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  7. BubbaOne says:

    I think it shows maturity these young Packer teams win the games they’re suppose to and bodes well we’ll start to win the “Big” games as the players get more and more experience.
    Because of the youth and inexperience of the Packers all the 10-6+ we played against were veteran teams. Wasn’t the Cardinals playoff game a first for 1/3 of the team.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      Something like that, certainly for the draftees of ’08 and ’09. That’s kind of one more reason why this is a “no excuses” sort of season; we’ve had the crucible. The team played the craziest playoff game since the Tuck Rule. Now it’s all about using that experience.

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  8. titletown96 says:

    What a great read Andy! I actually have a poll going at CBSSports.com about Mike McCarthy titled “Grading Mike McCarthy’. I put it up on the 2nd of July my man! Its nice to see that I’m not the only one that has some thoughts on the leader of the greatest sports franchise known to man..

    Anyhow, there’s 75 total votes on the subject, thus far.

    This is what its looking like for MM.

    Its report card time. Give the Packers your grade on how Packers coach Mike McCarthy is doing in your eyes..

    We’ve all seen the ill advised challenge flags being thrown at the worsts of times that cost us valuable time-outs.

    We’ve also seen some ballsy play calling on fourth-downs.

    We’ve also seen the stupid penalties this team seems to get at the worst time imaginable.

    We’ve had that sweet surprise on-side kick from last year.

    We’ve also seen our special teams consistently rank near the bottom feeders year in and year out.

    We’ve also seen him develop Aaron Rodgers into a top flight quarterback in the league and is directly responsible for our team having one the most potent offenses in the league…

    So, with all that being said, just what do you consider a fair grade for the man?

    4% Amazing job! Coach of the year

    16% Great job! Keep it up!

    41% Glad we have him

    29% Average at best

    4% Q.B. coach at best

    1% Not that great

    4% Fire the man!

    Total Votes: 75

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    • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

      Titletown96,hello.I’m not a fan of polls but the one you have here 86% feel he is a good coach and higher thoughts of getting better.Teams that are consistant winners don’t change coaches every few years,they understand patience and fortitude in a league that is of the highest competition.Please know that I’m excluding coaches that were given SB teams.The teams that do change frequently do just that,change and go nowhere longterm.Like a NASCAR race,everyone knows before hand who isn’t going to be there at the end.This polls looks good for MM and I agree.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      Glad you liked it! Do you have a link to your poll? I’d like to throw my vote in if possible.

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  9. titletown96 says:

    @Taryn,

    I think he is decent as a coach too but, should he have a down season then that means the Packers had a down season. I don’t know about you but its getting played out to see the Packers have a great season one year only to follow it up by having a losing season the next year.

    If the Pack stink it up and do it without a major injury then I strongly feel that he should go. This is an organization that feels that they’re set for a big playoff push, if these are the prevailing feelings coming from within the organization (and that is the reason why they didn’t dip their feet in free agency again) then they should put their pay check were their mouth is.

    Who knows though, its still the off season, Maybe Ted Thompson pulls off a trade before the end of pre-season and brings in some kinda help for the defense? I’ve learned to never say never..

    The messed up thing about getting rid of McCarthy is that that it’ll be the end of the great quarterbacking school that he brings to the table every year. Oh, well, I’d be willing to trade that in for the Lombardi trophy all day long though.

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    • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

      Titletown96,
      MM has down pretty well considering since taking over in 2006.True an 8-8 year but expected when the 1st year.A major jump in 2007 with a 13-3 and an NFC CHP appearance and lost at the hands of Favre.2008 was a dissapointment for sure but not the fault of MM or TT completely IMO.

      Everything was in turmoil due to the FAVRE FIASCO,the fans weren’t behind Rodgers,the TEAM wasn’t truly behind Rodgers(off camera)and that effects everything.There are those who blame TT and MM, but to me they are more to blame for keeping the team from totally ralling around Rodgers and the new era,by hoping for a false reality with Favre.The 2008 year should have and could have been totally reversed.

      Looking at the rebound last year 2009,showed I think what this team was capable of doing the previous if the real support was there.A broken down OL and a new defense installed with a higher degree of success than any one thought it to have coupled with a true support base for Rodgers we made the P/O’s.

      As for TT and the FA market,I personally don’t like FA as most of the time you get a guy looking for the last contract and the contribution doesn’t get you want you expected.Paying guys high dollar who are in their 30′s is not IMO ideal.I’m in favor of the draft and overall the Packers are doing well with it and if those of FA mindset wiould take the blinders off,we have a very competitive team and youth is a constant.

      It would be a huge mistake to fire MM,as we would just become doormats in the north.A dynasty is not achieved in 4 years,and not by changing coaches every 3-5 as the losers do.

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  10. [...] Al says the Packers need to start beating the good teams & not just the crappy [...]

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  11. titletown96 says:

    Taryn,

    I hear what you’re saying about free agency, it would stink to have the headache that is Albert Haeynsworth, but I think that TT has already proved that free agency does work (proof of that is when he brought in Charles Woodson many moons ago.) I mean, it was a free agent that won Defensive Player Of the Year for the Packers, not one of his draft picks, all I’m saying is that it would be nice to bring in some more impact players like him (C.Woodson)to get us over the hump. I think I speak for every Packers fan when I say that I wouldn’t like to see the team have big financial problems like when Mike Shermhead was around. There has to be a way that the Pack can spend money to get players that they need and still be responsible with it. We don’t have to spend all kind of money like the Redskins do every year, that approach has shown us that it doesn’t work. Ted can pull off a trade. That approach does work, ala Ryan Grant..

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    • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

      Titletown96,
      Woodson is always the FA that in Packerland is brought into the mix in support of FA(rightfully so).A great move for sure but,Woodson wasn’t looking for his last hurrah check as are for ex;just today Ed REED whats a new deal and more garanteed cash even though he isn’t 100% well but 35%.That is the kind I want to stay away from.
      Trading is always good if you can get the right guy and don’t give away the house,ala Grant as you stated.

      Signing the FA coming off the first contract at age 27 great,he has produtive years to give,after 30 a waste of money and time,injuries and entitlement mentality.

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  12. PackersRS says:

    Very good article, Andy!

    BTW, I remember a certain mid-90′s Packers team that just couldn’t beat the better teams, mainly Dallas… And before someone (Taryn) jumps on me, I’m not saying this is the 96′ team…

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    • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

      PackersRS,C’mon now LOL. I only retort with some vigor and love the debate whether agreeing or disagreeing.Just passion as like yourself. Sincerely looking forward to more!

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      • PackersRS says:

        Passionate fans are the best. I’m one also, so… Yes. Self-adulation.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Hey RS – Where ya been? Into hiding after the Brazil loss? What’s your assessment of their result?

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      • PackersRS says:

        I’ve been posting a lot man… I’m not that into national soccer. I’m much more passionate about club soccer. Geography lesson here, but my state (and it’s citizens) kinda considers himself to be separated from Brazil. Our culture is much, much closer to Uruguay and Argentina than to the rest of the nation. Gaúchos, after all… And it didn’t help that Dunga is a supporter of the arch-rival, and that he brought players that completely failed with Grêmio (Felipe Melo and Michel Bastos) and didn’t the ones who suceeded (Anderson, Lucas).

        But I cheered, nonetheless. I think we dominated the match, I still think we had the best squad, but our team relied on 90 minutes of complete focus and commitment, and we only gave 45 in that game. Also, Felipe Melo disrupted Julio Cesar on the goal (but it was Cesar’s fault, also), failed to mark Sneijder in the second, and made that ridiculously stupid fault… Kinda hard to win when a single player makes so many mistakes.

        About the rest, I’m shocked that Spain beat Germany. Excepted Netherlands to beat Uruguay, since neither Lugano nor Suarez played. Now to me it’s a crapshoot. But noone has a title, so Brazil will remain ahead with 5, at least.

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        • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

          The thing with Spain is, you just don’t get to touch the ball much when you’re playing them. Germany had the fewest chances I’ve seen from them. And what a horrible mistake to leave Puyols completely unmarked on that corner, especially after his near-miss on a corner earlier.

          I had picked Holland as my pre-cup winner, so I’ll root for them. It will be a very tactical match, I think, with two teams that love to own the ball.

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  13. titletown96 says:

    @ Taryn
    I hear ya on the entitlement thing, these guys act as if their team owes them something. Forgetting that its a privilege to play in the NFL, not a GOD given right. I guess being a G.M. is a whole lot harder than what it seems. Not everyone can be a Bellicheck, or Parcells and have the ability to control their players egos and minds..

    It just seems that those coaches have the respect of their players, probably because those coaches hold their players accountable.. When players on those teams screw up on the field they tend to find the biggest rock to hide under. Is it fear? I don’t know but I like it..

    It doesn’t seem like McCarthy is holding his players accountable for their shenanigans on the field at times. One example is the head butt from J.Jolly.. After the penalty he went to bench smoldering as if he had every right to his actions. Parcells would of tore a new hole in him.

    Anyhow, I’m just rambling now and off into another area of discussion. :) Good lord! Can the NFL season start all ready???

    Anyhow, thanks for the thoughts though.

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    • Andy Tisdel says:

      @titletown,

      Have you ever read “A Few Seconds of Panic” by Stefan Fatsis? If not, you should. It is the best portrait of players (by a journalist/player, no less) that I’ve ever seen. Very good stuff.

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  14. titletown96 says:

    In case anybody missed it, Aaron Rodgers is the cover-guy on this issue of rotowire? Its fantasy time for him…

    Here is the link.

    http://www.rotowire.com/football/

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  15. Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

    BTW I just want to say to everyone ‘THANK YOU” for coming here and taking the time to read and comment. It means a lot!

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  16. Ruppert says:

    Great stuff Andy/Al. Well thought out and interesting. I mean, seriously, this is much more interesting than much of the summertime drivel from the major internet NFL sources.

    I want to chime in on those comments that mention McCarthy’s overall coaching ability. I think that, not surprisingly, he was as inconsistent as other areas of the team last year. Inconsistency was sort of the theme of the ’09 Pack. Dominating defense one week, giving up 500 yards passing the next.. losing to Tampa the way the did, then coming back the next week and beating up on Dallas…well IMO McCarthy’s performances were inconsistent in some ways, too.

    In my mind, when I “rate” a head coach, I break it down into 2 main areas. First is “Monday through Saturday.” This, of course, is preparing the schemes, gameplans, and of course getting the team “ready to play.” Second is “Sunday,” which is what he does during the game itself from any adjustments to on-field decisions.

    I don’t have any real data, (then again, I’m just a beer-drinking blogger), but I think McCarthy is still kind of learning on the job in the area of “Sunday.” One trait he shares with his predecessor is the utter cluelessness of when to throw a challenge flag. And I mean not only by likelihood of success, but when viewed in the overall flow of the game, and consequences of losing timeouts. He himself admitted that one challenge flag last year was basically due to emotion. I’m sorry, but that is not at all acceptable from a 4th year head coach. And I’m STILL sore over some of his playcalling in 2008, including Tennessee and Carolina. I don’t recall being infuriated with any playcalling last year, so I’ll believe he’s improving in that regard.

    I think he is definitely better at the Monday through Saturday portion in preparing the offense. No surprise here. It’s what he lives for. He is a QB/Offense coach and always has been. Going into year five, I’m still not convinced he knows how to be a head coach over a defense, but with the hiring of Capers, I don’t think he has to. I have to believe that Dom has an incredible amount of autonomy over the defense even though he’s not assistant head coach like the venerable Winston Moss…or is he? How many Asst HC’s can a team have?:)

    I don’t think McCarthy is an elite head coach, but I’m not sure he has to be one as long as he and Capers can coexist. And I am very much looking forward to this season, and I fully expect the offense to be better than last year thanks to #88, (hopefully) a better overall line, and the continued ascent of Aaron Rodgers into the elite QB ranks. This is a very unique offseason for us Packers fans…we follow an explosive, 11-win team that STILL can improve in a lot of areas.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Thank you for the compliment Ruppert. My mantra is to try to bring thought-provoking and discussion-encouraging topics to Packer fans, whether I write them or someone else does (Like Andy or other guest authors).

      Now let me compliment you. Your distinction between McCarthy the preparation coach and McCarthy the game-day coach is right-on. I do think he improved on the offensive side last year and I think with more pieces to work with, he and capers will improve the defensive calls.

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  17. Yoop says:

    In the last 3 years the Packers have been 3rd, 4th and 5th in points scored.
    3rd 2009, 5th 2008, 4th 2007. That in itself tells me MM does a VERY good job everyday of the week.

    Now lets look at the defense for those years.

    2007 6th in points allowed, 2008 22nd, 2009 7th.
    It all really comes down to how many points you put on the board and how many the other team puts on the board.

    So lets look at MM and his offense

    Offensive pass ranking 2007 #2, 2008 #8, 2009 #7
    Offensive rush ranking 2007 #21, 2008 #17, 2009 #14

    Defense against the pass 2007 #12, 2008 #12, 2009 #5
    Defense against the rush 2007 #14, 2008 #28. 2009 #1

    What happened after the 2008 season, MM fired the entire Defensive staff except one.
    And what happened with that defense. VAST improvement.

    And through all the went on from 2007 to 2009 the offense has stayed in the Top 5 in scoring and top 10 in total offense.
    I think MM is one of the best coaches in the NFL running one of the best offenses.
    And to think he has done this with the youngest team in the NFL year after year.

    What does that mean. His system and planing puts his players in a position to make plays.
    He and his coaches teach these players what they want and they get them to do it.

    That is an ELITE coach.

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  18. Josh Ike says:

    @Yoop I mostly agree with you. I think McCarthy showed a lot of guts canning Sanders, as they were only one season removed from a pretty decent defense, at least a competitive one. He was able to objectively take a peek under the hood and determined that style of defense capped in 07, and they needed change to improve.

    Even in 06 the offense was top 10 I believe, or very near it. McCarthy can definitely generate results offensively. Areas of opportunity for the offense to take the next step is clock management, and a sturdier offensive line, I’m in agreement with Charles Woodson when he says with time to throw, Rodgers is the best QB.

    In order to take the next step, really is for the defense to improve. The Offense is honestly good enough, if the offense gets any better it’s going to be record breaking: they already were the highest scoring Packer team ever this past year. The #2 defense was misleading as the scheme overwhelmed bad teams, and the talent was lacking against good teams (due to injuries, depth, etc). I’m not being a homer when I say this football team PROBABLY has the best depth it’s had since 6-7-8 years ago.

    @Andy I like your article because it confirms what I thought in my own mind’s analysis. These stats are going to be true of most ‘good’ teams due to polarity and homefield. If the Packers take the next step offensively and defensively there aren’t going to be many teams who can hang with them, thus they’ll improve in that area of closing out good teams. If you look at 4 losses in category 3, they ALL had shoddy or worse offensive line play, particularly vs. Bengals, @Minnesota, vs. Minnesota. @Arizona the last play of the game ended on a shoddy offensive line. Really only 3 of those 4 games the defense could have been better, the Bengals game I don’t count as Rodgers was getting tossed around like a rag doll so wasn’t driving for scores (similar to Minnesota, but the defense couldn’t stop minnesota AT ALL)

    @al I like the site, it looks like a good place! I read your article about the Packers/Hype on my phone last night so I had to visit the site and make some comments. I mostly agree with you, but if the Packers can’t handle adversity this season…I don’t see how they’re going to improve under this regime. Hype is what happens in a professional atmosphere, and if they’re professionals they’re going to have to take in the hype and crush their opposition. This team saw what happen when they went into Tampa and Arizona, they got rocked. This team got together and they’re going to be special if they stay true to their MO.

    If you ever need a guest writer let me know, I like to look at the underlying stats!

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      thanks for visiting and, yes, if you have an idea for an article, just let me know… email is:

      jerseyalgbp “at” gmail

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      • PackersRS says:

        Good to know that, Al. I’m kinda barging in, but if a moderately decent idea ever crosses my brain, I’ll make sure to send it to you. And I apologize in advance…

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  19. JonBob says:

    Mr. Al,

    Absolutely excellent stuff. This is the type of analysis and insight that is so hard to find on the internet now a days. So much of “blogging” and “reporting” is nothing more than rehashing tired headlines and boring cliches. THIS, the stuff you do, is fresh, interesting and relevant. Needless to say, you’ve been bookmarked.

    I’m new to this whole blogging thing, and I just wanted to let you know that the style of writing and analysis you use here is exactly what I’m hoping to achieve. Please feel free to stop by and offer your thoughts and suggestions, as well as just good ol’ Packer banter. (jonbobs.blogspot.com)

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Thanks! I didn’t write this particular one, (Andy Tisdel did) but I immediately recognized it was a good fit for the type of articles i want to put out there…

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  20. [...] July 6, 2010: MM, Time to Beat the Good Teams [...]

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