The Argument For Retaining Mike McCarthy

As Green Bay Packers fans absorb yet another loss, this time at home to the Arizona Cardinals, and a second-straight year without being in the playoffs, the noise about Head Coach Mike McCarthy's future with the franchise is going to get louder. But, while many will be calling for his head, I'm taking a different route and think the Packers should, instead, stand behind their head coach.

Now, to be clear, I'm not saying his performance this year has been satisfactory. And, I do think keeping him needs to come with certain conditions, such as a new special teams coach and maybe simplifying the offensive coach structure and getting rid of positions like passing game coordinator and run game coordinator. There is also likely going to need to be some relationship mending between him and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. However, even with that being taken into consideration, there are reasons to keep him around and even give him more than a one-year extension.

First, this is only his second non-playoff season with a healthy Aaron Rodgers. Those who are arguing this is the Packers' second-straight non-playoff season are also conveniently overlooking the fact Rodgers' was on injured reserve most of last year. If you ignore that season (as you should), the last time McCarthy failed to get the Packers into the playoffs was 2008, Rodgers' first season as a starter. Maybe it's just me, but, based on his past success, this non-playoff year feels more like a fluke than a sign of things to come.

Second, the youth can't be overlooked. Three of the Packers six active receivers are rookies and a fourth one, Jake Kumerow, is a practice-squad player who just played in his first NFL game today.  While those receivers have showed us flashes of raw talent and have made plays, especially with two of the Packers' top three veteran receivers missing time with injuries, they still need time to develop. Again, history has shown us McCarthy and his staff are good at doing that if given the time and it isn't unreasonable to think many of the offenses' woes won't be corrected once those receivers gain more game experience.

Last, the defense is still a work in progress. New general manager Brian Gutekunst made some progress by addressing a weak secondary during the draft and the defense has shown some improvement as a result. However, the Packers are still in desperate need of pass rusher help and maybe a little luck, injury-wise, for a change. One successful draft could help the defense play at a whole new level.

As I said, there are plenty of reasons to want to move on from Mike McCarthy after 13 seasons. However, considering a new coach doesn't guarantee improvement, I personally hope the Packers will look at his past success with the organization, realize the hurdles he had to overcome this season and give him a chance to prove this year was a fluke.


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