Mike McCarthy: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card
1) Introduction: Mike McCarthy was hired as the Green Bay Packers head coach by Ted Thompson in 2006 to replace the recently fired Mike Sherman. In his first season, McCarthy led the Packers to an 8-8 record, and since then they have only produced one losing season (2008). One of his most notable decisions was to install the 3-4 defense in 2009, bringing in Dom Capers to spearhead the change. He has guided the Packers to four playoff berths, leading to a 5-3 postseason record under him and one Super Bowl championship title.
Michael John McCarthy
Position: Head Coach
Years as Packers Head Coach: 6 (2006-2012)
3) Expectations coming into the season: After losing in a display of offensive fireworks to the Arizona Cardinals in the 2009 Wild Card Round, the Packers followed up with an historic run to Super Bowl XLV in 2010. Their success in bringing home the Lombardi Trophy made them early favorites to repeat in 2011, and fans really expected nothing short of that.
4) Highlights/low-lights: Mike McCarthy’s biggest highlight this season was not necessarily an individual game, but the sweeping of the NFC North division. The Packers had not accomplished that feat since 1967, when the league went to a divisional format. McCarthy’s most disappointing moment, however, was the playoff loss to the New York Giants. Based on the uncharacteristic way the offense performed, many people will continue to debate resting players vs. playing them when your team has locked up their postseason seed.
5) Regular Season Performance: Though Mike McCarthy can only lay claim to a small percentage of Aaron Rodgers’ skill level, he is largely responsible for the way Rodgers runs the offense. Their working relationship is virtually perfect, and it has allowed the offense to continue progressing. McCarthy certainly takes credit for their record-breaking 15-1 season; still, the success was in large part due to the offense. Aside from that, his play-calling and game management were rarely under fire, and “bad challenges” were few and far between.
6) Postseason Performance: What is left to say that hasn’t been said? McCarthy must have been mightily frustrated with the way his team was underperforming against the Giants. Their high turnover count was a strange anomaly that was atypical of the way their season went. How many of those miscues can be blamed on the coach is up for debate; nevertheless, he must share at least part of the poor performance.
7) Conclusion: Mike McCarthy is 63-33 as the Packers head coach, and despite losing in the playoffs, he has proven himself to be a winner. Missing out on the big game in such a horrific fashion will always be the blight on this season, but it should not nullify the accomplishments that were made earlier in the season.
Season Report Card:
(B+) Level of expectations met during the season
(A) Regular Season Grade
(C+) Postseason Grade
Overall Grade for the year: A-——————Follow @ChadToporski