The Green Bay Packers have finally fired longtime head coach Mike McCarthy after 13 seasons and it was long overdue. Packers fans have been calling for his head for the longest time now. Ever since Green Bay won Super Bowl XLV back in 2011, McCarthy has been criticized for not bringing the team another Super Bowl title since. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be the most talented signal-caller to ever play the game of football, and he has carried the Packers to many playoff appearances over the past decade. Many in the football realm think that he should have more than one Super Bowl title at 35 years old, especially Packers fans, but that has not been the case. Analysts and fans alike claim that this is primarily because of McCarthy. Either way, Green Bay fans are thrilled.
The Packers are an NFL organization primarily known these days for having two Hall of Fame-caliber quarterbacks back-to-back in Brett Favre and the aforementioned Rodgers. Despite this, they have only won a combined two Super Bowl championships since 1992 when they acquired Favre. The team signed Rodgers to a four-year $134 million extension this offseason after a down year when they finished 7-9, mainly because he missed significant time with a broken collarbone. This contract makes him the highest-paid player in the NFL, and many see it as justified.
Rodgers has been the primary reason the Packers have even been relevant over the past decade, just like Favre throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The team has relied on his otherworldly talent time and time again to carry them to the playoffs and beyond. Rodgers is 9-7 in the postseason, but he is in a tough and competitive conference in the NFC. Rarely does an NFC team make the playoffs in consecutive years?
The talents of both quarterbacks may have been a curse for the Packers, especially Rodgers. Their talents may have led Green Bay's management to believe that everything is fine after a failed season. Green Bay has consistently failed to build a proper team around these quarterbacks McCarthy and the Packers' front office may have been forced into a mindset that they would be competitive as long as they have Aaron Rodgers. They have neglected trades and big free agency signings over the years and relied on drafting prospects to support him.
This has not always worked in the Packers' favor. In fact, it hurts them now more than ever. General manager Ted Thompson may have been fired, but his failures weigh heavily on the organization today. McCarthy has also refused to adapt to the rest of the NFL as the years have gone by. As we can see now, this has cost the team dearly.
The Packers have reached the nadir by suffering a 20-17 loss at home to the lowly Arizona Cardinals, regressing to 4-7-1 with Rodgers starting every game. The 35-year-old is not his superstar self this season, barely completing 60% of his passes and missing wide open receivers a startling amount of times. Father time may be catching up to him, but his supporting cast and the coaching scheme have not helped matters. This can be blamed on McCarthy, who has been largely averted to change over the past decade.
In conclusion, McCarthy's firing was the right thing for the Packers to do. They may have a chance to build a proper supporting cast around Rodgers before father time envelops him completely and get him another Super Bowl ring before he retires in a few years.