Legacies of Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson Coming Into Focus As Green Bay Packers Assistants Draw Interest Around The NFL
If someone were to ask either Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson or head coach Mike McCarthy about their legacies, both men would likely scoff at the question and say that they’d rather wait until retirement to reflect on that and instead say they are focused on the present.
They’re right. Still, with the Packers coming off a regular season in which they won the most games and scored the most points in franchise history as well as making a push for a second consecutive world title, the legacies of both men are coming into focus.
There is no further proof of this than the interest both Thompson and McCarthy’s assistants are drawing around the NFL. Before last season, I wrote an article wondering if McCarthy would soon be the next head coach to form a “coaching tree” like Bill Walsh and Mike Holmgren. Both men had assistants go on to long and successful head coaching careers and with McCarthy’s development of Aaron Rodgers, it seemed like a distinct possibility.
Well, with the Packers in position to win a second straight Super Bowl with one of the most potent offenses in the league such a tree is indeed beginning to sprout.
The first example is offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. Whenever an offense breaks all sorts of records, the offensive coordinator naturally is the one people begin to look at. Philbin has drawn interest from the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams.
However, Philbin is working for an offensive minded coach in McCarthy who also is the play caller. Given how much of a hand McCarthy has in the Packers offense, that could work against Philbin.
The more intriguing candidate on the Packers staff may be quarterback coach Tom Clements. Rodgers often publicly has credited Clements as well as McCarthy for how he has become the best quarterback in the NFL. Throw in the incredible play of Matt Flynn in Week 17 against the Lions and Clements could be a hot commodity in the offseason.
Let’s not ignore Thompson either. His masterful building of the Packers has made the franchise a model for the rest of the league. Thompson and his team have proven you don’t need a lot of splashy free agent signings and can create a championship (and perhaps dynasty)-caliber team mainly through the draft.