I've received quite a few "Is this what it was like in the '80s?" queries over the course of the last few weeks. Let me put this to bed right now - this isn't even close.
Of course, this does nothing to ease the sting of what has become a nightmare season, one which began with realistic thoughts of the Packers repeating as Division Champs. And it's been awhile since we had to watch meaningless Packer games in December. And yes, this Packer defense is historically terrible.
But I truly believe Mike McCarthy is the right coach for this team.
And although he has been hamstrung this season by his General Manager in more ways than one, the most important decision for this team going forward will be his and it will be looming over these final three games: Will McCarthy fire Bob Sanders? Nothing that happens this offseason, not the draft, not a return to health, not any free agent acquisition, will alter the Packers fortunes more than this decision. There has been a ton of speculation as to whom McCarthy might bring in should he choose to let Sanders go, from Mike Nolan to Romeo Crennel. This is fine and expected. But lets not forget that Bob Sanders is still the Defensive Coordinator - and McCarthy has proven to be one stubborn son of a gun. And we've seen many a head coach stick with coordinators that every sane observer could see were not getting the job done. It's called a "Shoop Phase" (dubbed by yours truly) and McCarthy is in the thrall of one right now and no other single aspect of the offseason matters much if McCarthy doesn't do what needs to be done and fire Sanders.
Now, will this solve all the Packers problems? Hardly. They need help everywhere, most notably on the defensive line, and every positional starter outside of Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Aaron Kampman and Charles Woodson should be put on notice that they are now officially auditioning for their jobs. There is some talent on this team, but a lot of it, especially on the defensive side of the ball, has been left untapped, undisciplined and underdeveloped. That's coaching, or lack thereof, and it's time for McCarthy to correct it.
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