Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has many admirable qualities, both as a head coach and as a person.
One such quality is that he is incredibly loyal. McCarthy has stood by his coaches and his players when someone’s ability or dedication has been called into question. That is something so many people struggle with. When the stuff hits the fan, someone usually goes under the bus. That’s just the way society works, but such is not the case with McCarthy.
That said, at what point does loyalty evolve into stubbornness and when does that stubbornness turn into a negative instead of a positive?
That is the point where McCarthy has fallen in the eyes of many Packers fans as well as beat writers in the wake of the Packers’ stunning 45-31 season-ending playoff defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.
After yet another defensive implosion in the postseason, McCarthy remained so steadfast in his support of his allegedly beleaguered defensive coordinator that he said he was “appalled” that Dom Capers’ job security should even be in doubt during his season ending press conference. That comment in turn sparked passionate reactions from fans and local media alike.
While McCarthy should again be commended for feeling loyal to Capers, at what point does this stubbornness start to hurt the Packers?
One could argue that it already has and it has nothing to do with Capers. Look at how Mason Crosby struggled this season. Crosby flirted dangerously close the 50% rate on his field goals, which is horrible by NFL standards, yet McCarthy remained steadfast in his support for Crosby. While a missed Crosby field goal didn’t cost the Packers a game in the end, it was a big risk by McCarthy and he’s lucky he didn’t get burned by it.
In fact, what would have happened had Crosby cost the Packers a game? It would fair to assume that McCarthy would have then been forced to at least bring a kicker in to compete with Crosby. While that would have satisfied fan anger to a certain extent, it still should not have gotten to that point. McCarthy is beginning to show a habit of not making a change until the Packers lose because of it.