Mike McCarthy got fired mid-season last year after spending 13 years as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. And for the first time since he was fired McCarthy spoke out about what happened and how he believes that the Green Bay Packers could not have “handled it worse”, in an interview with ESPN.
ESPN – GREEN BAY, Wis. — Mike McCarthy ranks 25th in NFL history with 135 coaching wins, including playoffs, and plans to add to that total with his next job.
As for his last one, he knew if the Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs in 2018 — something that had happened three other times in his 13 years as head coach — change was possible.
“If we missed the playoffs, I expected change might happen,” McCarthy told ESPN.com in his first sit-down interview since he was fired Dec. 2 with four games left in the 2018 season. “But the timing surprised me. Actually it stunned me. It couldn’t have been handled any worse.”
And here’s how it went down according to Mike McCarthy:
“I was told Mark Murphy wanted to see me — and the messenger was cold and the energy was bad. Mark said it was an ugly loss, and it was time to make change. He said something about the offense and the special teams, and he didn’t think it was going to get any better. There was no emotion to it. That was hard.
Every time I released an individual, you get your words right. There’s a personal component to it. You know he has a family. He’s family. There wasn’t any of that. So that was off…
That exit, frankly, Rob, the exit really stuck with me for a while. It was hard to swallow. The emotional challenge of shifting from humiliation to reflection was a very important step in seeking clarity so I could personally grow from the experience of my entire Green Bay Packer career; that’s what I wanted to get to, not just the ending of it.”
And now how was his relationship with Aaron Rodgers? McCarthy also spoke out about the relationship between him and his Quarterback.
“As far as our relationship, you have to put it through the proper lens like you always have to do with reflection and change. Where there’s change, let’s be real, especially the way the change happened, there’s things that come out after the fact. Things get said. He-said, he-said this and things like that. When I think about my relationship with Aaron, you’re talking about 13 years. That’s a very long time. It’s been a privilege to watch him grow in so many different ways and see him do so many great things on the field and off. To think you can be in a relationship that long and not have any frustrations, that’s unrealistic.
As far as coaching him, I’d use a lot of words. He’s challenging, very rewarding and fun. We had a lot of fun. Some of my greatest one-on-one conversations, accomplishments, adjustments and adversity we fought through have been with Aaron. The difficulty in coaching a Hall of Fame quarterback is keeping that connection, the efficiency and the fluency with the other players on offense. They want to do more. They’re capable of doing so much more, but the reality is you have to remember is it’s the coordination of 11 men on every play. But yeah, it’s pretty fun to go through your entire offensive playbook and know you can run everything in there with your quarterback. I mean, that’s a joy. His job was to score as many points as he can. My job was to make it all work. We can all grow personally and professionally, but because of the experience I had not only with Aaron but with all my players, I know I’m a much better person and a better coach than I was 13 years ago. I hope Aaron and all the players I coached, I hope they feel the same.”
We are pretty sure that McCarthy will get another opportunity to coach in the NFL he wanted to being a Super Bowl winning coach and renowned “offensive genius”.