Content
X

Create Account

Or log in with Facebook

X

Log in

Or log in with Facebook

How McCarthy Will Need To Adjust With Wallace Under Center

By Category

How McCarthy Will Need To Adjust With Wallace Under Center

Regular Cheesehead TV reader (and all-too-infrequent commenter) "Paul Ott Carruth", a former player and coach who wishes to remain anonymous, breaks down different aspects of the Packers. Today he takes a look at the adjustments head coach Mike McCarthy will need to make on offense with a new starting quarterback. 

Flyswatter or Sledgehammer: How do you kill a fly?

The easy answer to the question is “both.” You can kill a fly with either instrument. The difference lies in the efficiency and recognizing the inherent characteristics of both. While both will kill the fly on contact only one is truly efficient by comparison given the size, weight and reaction time of the object (the fly) being struck.

Most intelligent fans know Seneca Wallace will never be confused for being Aaron Rodgers. The only thing that matters is McCarthy’s awareness of this fact. Should Rodgers be sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks, as has been speculated by numerous media outlets, this 6 week stretch will show you just how good of a coach McCarthy really is. In short, this is proving ground time.

Now some may suggest this will show up in wins and losses. I will respectfully disagree (although wins and losses will certainly be part of the litmus test as it coincides with the Green Bay’s playoff chances). As many of you know I’ve been highly critical of McCarthy’s “offensive prowess.” Casual observers of the game often get mired in the “he should’ve run it/he should’ve passed” it game. I don’t get caught up in that debate simply because the game of football is not linear in nature as say baseball. If the batter hits the ball he runs to first base before he can run to second. Certainly there is discretion as to when to stretch a hit in to a double but before that can happen the runner has to touch first base. You have to get 10 yards to get a first down but you can get more or less depending on the down and distance, time on the clock, timeouts available, personnel inserted in to the game, etc. etc. etc. I’m not suggesting there isn’t strategy in baseball but the sheer fact that you aren’t playing against time is a huge characteristic which makes football far less linear. But that doesn’t mean McCarthy couldn’t learn something from baseball.

If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, you know how Billy Beane, then GM of the Oakland Athletics, attempted, quite successfully, to put together a playoff team after losing some of his major batting power and run production. Instead of trying to replace a player like Jason Giambi, as his scouts suggested over and over, Billy Beane took a different path. The situation he was facing, primarily financially, would not allow him to take the traditional path. They were, as he said, “runts of the litter.” Now I’m not suggesting McCarthy can turn to a football equivalent of sabermetrics to address the present issue of losing perhaps the best QB in the NFL. The comparison I’m trying to draw is the fact that McCarthy has to recognize offensive production will look very different given Wallace’s skill set. When you have a quarterback that can make all of the throws and put the ball in places only his receivers can catch it is possible to become overly reliant on that individual regardless of what a defense might present. In my humble opinion, this is has been McCarthy’s biggest coaching flaw.

Mike McCarthy often gets lumped in with other coaches who have coached for “West Coast Offense” type coaches. The WCO is not plays. If you look at every NFL offensive play book you will find a “WCO” play or set of plays that the great Bill Walsh/Mike Holmgren/Paul Hackett devised. These plays have permeated the professional landscape. The WCO is an all-encompassing philosophy of attacking defenses and helping out your offense/QB regardless if they’re Joe Montana/Aaron Rodgers type quarterbacks or of the Ty Detmer/Steve Bono mold. Certainly Montana and Rodgers are in a different category when it comes to skills sets as compared to the latter two QBs. However, watching Rodgers and Montana you can clearly see Rodgers puts more velocity on the ball than Montana ever did. Does that mean Montana was never put in situations to push the ball downfield? Absolutely not. Any five step passing play has big play potential and Montana made those big plays when they were available. Rarely did you see a coach Walsh team force the ball in to coverage. Only after a defense became impatient with the “nickel and dime” approach would they strike deep.

Therein lays the difference between McCarthy and a true WCO philosophy. Just ask yourself these questions: Had the offensive line, Eddie Lacy and James Starks not elevated the running attack, how would the Packers move the ball against 2 high shells with pattern matching linebackers? How would they move the ball against Tampa 2 on 2nd & 8? If history is any indicator it would probably be by pushing the ball vertical…..right in to the teeth of coverage. Even though I’ve been critical of his approach, I do recognize McCarthy has changed his approach. Early on in this season I saw more check down opportunities presented in the “underbelly” of the coverage. I’ve seen more WCO staples, attacking the field horizontally, on simple 3 step concepts. It has gotten better. Never before has it been as important to attack the entire field considering the skill set now at QB for the 3 or so weeks, perhaps longer.

Wallace is not Rodgers….but he doesn’t’ have to be.

McCarthy’s approach can go a long way to helping out his QB and his team move the ball. It would be wise for McCarthy to use his backs in the passing game, not as after thoughts on checkdowns, but as viable receiving threats against overly aggressive linebackers playing the run now that Rodgers is out and the Packers are wounded in the deep passing game. But you see, this approach could have been utilized even with a healthy Rodgers and only supports the notion of McCarthy’s stubborn reliance on Rodgers abilities instead of looking at the pragmatic demands a defense presented.

Following the 2011 loss to the Chiefs the blueprint was established. No one is expecting John Kuhn to become the next Tom Rathmann and Eddie Lacy, while a phenomenal specimen of a running back/athlete, won’t be expected to become the 1,000 yd rushing AND receiving threat in the mold of Roger Craig, these players can run and catch. At the very least they can certainly catch a screen pass don’t you think? Accumulating yards and scoring points is going to have to look different. A change of approach may or may not translate in to wins (there are 2 other phases of this game) but we will certainly find out how good McCarthy’s “offensive prowess” really is in these next few weeks.

In Rodgers, McCarthy had both the sledgehammer and flyswatter. In Wallace he has a flyswatter. He may not inflict pulverizing damage but he can be efficient….as long as McCarthy recognizes what he has at his disposal.

  • Like Like
  • -1 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (59) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ZeroTolerance's picture

I feel so much better. Thanks Paul.

PackerPete's picture

Paul:

Those are some very good points. I am also very anxious to see whether McCarthy really is a good coach, and not just someone who greatly benefitted from having one of the best NFL QBs.
One question that I have is, how would you see Seneca Wallace' performance once he entered the Bears game? In my opinion, he looked really bad. And no, I didn't expect him to come in and be able to do the same as Rodgers did. But, I expected him to be in the game mentally, and I don't think he was. I know it has been mentioned that he had no "reps" in practice, but neither did McCown when he came into the game when Bears played the Redskins after Cutler was injured. And he played very well back then. It seems to me Wallace was not prepared to enter the game, and after having seen what I saw I doubt he can be the answer even for a short term.
Now I am just a couch potato and don't know the intricacies of the game, but I'd like to hear your opinion of Seneca's performance in the Bears game.

L's picture

100% agree Pete - I feel/felt the same way.

Also, we've seen McCarthy deal with a similar situation when M.Flynn had to step-in for Rodgers when he got a concussion in the Detroit game back during their Super Bowl year. I thought McCarthy and his coaches did a good job tweaking and tailoring the game plan around M.Flynn's capabilities and M.Flynn also demonstrated that the game wasn't to intimidating for him to be able to perform accordingly. The following week he even proved to outperform Tom Brady in New England of all places. S.Wallace on the other hand -- a so-called veteran who shouldn't be dealing with the same kind of nervousness and lack of confidence that a young untested QB would be naturally facing -- look way, way out of his league during his time on the field... he simply looked terrible and it wasn't as if the plays that were being called were asking him to make needle precision throws or bomb accurate deep balls.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

PackerPete

Wallace certainly could have looked better but I chalk that up to two things. The most obvious is the lack of reps and his familiarity with the McCarthy offense which is not the WCO of Holmgren. Second, and more importantly, McCarthy's mindset following the loss of Rodgers. This is merely speculative but I believe McCarthy thought Rodgers would be coming back. I honestly think it messed with his head. Trestman, on the other hand, is a very calm and cerebral coach. Reminds me a lot of coach Walsh. He doesn't show a lot of outward emotion and I believe that translates to keeping his team calm in tough situations. McCarthy shows much more outward emotion. Coach Holmgren was highly expressive and showed his displeasure with poor play but I don't recall him getting flustered when situations like this came about. Frankly I think guys like Trestman and Holmgren are better contingency planners with coach Walsh being the best. The other factor is the WCO philosophy. McCarthy doesn't provide many short range options for his QB. He puts Rodgers in the shotgun quite often. The WCO is a timing offense. When that back foot hits on the 5th step the ball is coming out or a hitch step is being taken before the ball is thrown or the QB pulls to run. How often do we see 5 step non-play action passing from McCarthy?

As it relates to Seneca's abilities I believe he can be a solid QB to take the team through 3-4 games. The key aspect though is the type of offense he operates in. He needs to throw the ball between the numbers and not outside. His strength is not in the deep comeback or deep out. He can hit the seam effectively. He needs to be moved from the pocket on dash passes and waggles/boots. The 3 step game will help him immensely....and yes, he needs to have backs to throw to underneath. Shallow crosses and drive routes will help too. Bottom line....McCarthy is going to need to go to the roots of the WCO if Wallace is to be successful. If he is given high percentage throws the majority of the time the Packers will be fine. If he's asked to adjust to the style of offense McCarthy likes to run it will be a long 3-4 weeks.

PackerPete's picture

thank you Paul, that does make a lot of sense. Really appreciate the explanation.

Of course that brings up a whole set of different questions, but those have to wait for another day. Obviously McCarthy and Ted are not stupid, so they must know why they brought in Seneca, and I also assume that McCarthy knows that he will have to change his approach. At the very least I hope that he does not just have "yes men" on his offensive staff, and that during game planning this week his coaches will point out if something doesn't work. Don't really know.

I really have one big favor to ask: If you at some point could write something about how coaches game plan, that would be great. As an average fan, I understand schemes a little bit and personnel decisions, but there is a bit mystery surrounding game planning. So, how does it work, one game is over, the preparation for the next opponent begins. Who provides the main game plan, how to attack the weaknesses of the opponents, how to limit the strengths, how much input do position coaches have? Time is relatively short, after a Sunday game and review of the tape, game plan has to be installed before the Wednesday practice. I'd really like to know how coaching staffs interact in that respect.
No rush, anytime is fine, but an insider's view would be priceless!

Nerd's picture

In other words, leave the stat whoring to Aaron.

Let Seneca play within his abilities, and give him high percentage opportunities.

Marlow's picture

Point well taken. In one of McCarthy's interviews after the game, he said, "I don't mind telling you, I was coaching with one eye on the tunnel." Well, no one is coming out of the tunnel this week but Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien. That should be an aid to concentration.

Thanks for writing this. It was a good article.

jack in jersey city's picture

packer pete- one other thing is that mccown has been in the bears system since 2011 and knows that offense VERY well. wallace has only been with the packers organization for 8 weeks and wasn't around for the off-season. he definitely played poorly on monday, but most backup QB's in that same situation wouldn't have played any better. it will be interesting to see how he fares this week.

p.o.c.- thanks! i always enjoy your contributions to this blog!

PackerPete's picture

jack - sorry but i don't completely buy that. Yes, McCown has been with the Bears since 2011, off and on. But with Trestman, they are playing a completely different offense than with Lovie / Mike Tice. I am living in Illinois and have to watch my fair share of Bears games, and believe me, there is not even a slight resemblance. so everybody on their team had to adjust. Now one valid point you make is that he was with the bears throughout all of off-season and training camp, so that is a plus. But, again, I would simply expect from a veteran such as Seneca Wallace to come in and be in the game mentally. And I would argue that he wasn't. He also made some egregious mistakes that you cannot simply dismiss as "having no reps". Running out of bounds and losing 3 yards instead of throwing the ball away at this point? Playing pass when the rest of the team plays run? Throwing into triple coverage? He didn't look good, and yes, this Sunday will be a good indicator as to whether he can be at least a short term solution. I am just surprised they signed him in the first place, since he had no prior experience with anybody on the coaching staff. And there are other veteran QBs out there who do.
But I think we will all see the next couple of weeks whether he can be effective or not. Time will tell. I for myself just don't have much confidence after what I saw last Monday, but POC did at least give me some hope that not all is lost yet.

Michael from Winnipeg's picture

It all sounds good. To me, this can all work, but it comes down to the offensive line holding up to pressure, so the play can develop, and give time for Wallace. Yes, some desgined screen passes can be broken up by a quick DE getting past the OT.

RC Packer Fan's picture

'It would be wise for McCarthy to use his backs in the passing game, not as after thoughts on checkdowns, but as viable receiving threats against overly aggressive linebackers playing the run now that Rodgers is out and the Packers are wounded in the deep passing game.'

This is something that I have been preaching for the whole year with Rodgers. Now without Rodgers this is exactly what they have to do.
For me it is time to use Franklin as well. Starks isn't the best receiver out of the backfield, and Lacy while better, he doesn't possess the breakaway speed that Franklin has. Franklin has great speed and shiftiness. Get him and Lacy in the backfield together. I would love to see that. Most defenders attention will be on Lacy, so that will allow Franklin some opportunities in space.

I personally think this is the game that they need to use as many options as they have. Franklin is the closest thing the Packers have to a Sproles/Bush out of the backfield. Time to start using him.

jack in jersey city's picture

let's just hope he can hold on to the ball!

RC Packer Fan's picture

I understand that is the reason why they haven't used him the last few weeks, and that Lacy has been so good. But they need a spark. They need a player where if you get them the ball they can make something happen with it. Wallace doesn't have the arm to throw it 30-40 yards down the field on a dime like Rodgers. So using the RB's in the passing game I believe will be more crucial.
Rodgers is a player that can throw a WR open, and he makes defenses stay honest. With Wallace he is going to need guys to make plays for him.
That's why I think a guy like Franklin used in the passing game could provide a spark. Get him outside away from the cluster of players he will be a better player.

PackerPete's picture

you are spot on RC. And the good thing is, other teams can't simply assume that Franklin is just there as a receiver, after the way he ran for over 100 yards against the Redskins.

razor's picture

I agree with all points of your assessment, especially the observation that even with Rodgers the play calling could have been more patient. Every "winning play" takes something out of the opponent's defense.

Would like to hear your assessment about our defense. To me it seems that there is too much reliance on schemes. I'm tired of the same-old, same-old.

bigfog's picture

I'm intrested to see how McCarthy responds with Rodgers being out. I'm willing to not completely forget, but set aside Monday night's result. The loss of Rodgers was huge not only from a player standpoint, as Wallace had take just 4 snaps with the first unit, but from an emotional standpoint as well. Players (Lacy for instance) and McCarthy admitted to looking for Rodgers to run out of that tunnel and save the day. When he didn't, it messed with them.

Well, Rodgers isn't walking out of that tunnel anytime soon. And now it's time to see what McCarthy and his staff is made of. Arguably, this is the best coaching staff that Wallace has had in his career. If they really are the best, the should be able to create a winning game plan for Sunday.

Tarynfor12's picture

When Rodgers went down, there was a deafening sound that came from a unison of defensive ears getting pinned back and a loud splash of salivation hitting the ground from every opponent left on the Packer schedule.

This post by P.O.C. is a remarkable read and the points being made so true that a lie detector would be embarrassed at the thought of daring to question them.

However, as much the possibility of Wallace playing well via the adjustments needed by MM, it would be an equally needed emphasis and play from the defense to keep the game in the range of this hoped for Wallace/McCarthy schematic to have a chance at success even to produce a .500 record over the next four games if that is all Rodgers does miss out on as that is the worst to be able to overcome.

Nerd's picture

Defense has to show up regardless of who plays QB.

Tarynfor12's picture

This defense cannot take games off like last year. They need to show up weekly and at even a higher notch.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Yes, the defense has to show....but an offense that converts more 3rd downs and plays ball control helps a defense. They have to "scratch each other's backs."

Nerd's picture

Looks like we're getting Clay back. Could be huge.

PackerPete's picture

and maybe Perry. He was at practice today. What a lift that would be to get both starting OLBs back.

cheddarhead's picture

Plus 1 The fact that the offense couldn't convert on 3rd down made it hard on the defense. That last drive tbe Bears had was proof, they had the ball for 9:00 minutes are defense was winded

Nerd's picture

What a breath of fresh air.

I fully expect Mike to begin adhering to fundamentals. You have to put Seneca in "high percentage" situations. He'll have weapons.

THEMichaelRose's picture

I feel like a Madden sim would have the Packers winning each of its next three games. Kinda comes down to gameplan / play selection.

Point Packer's picture

If I recall, Seneca Wallace was/is? a mobile type QB who could/can make plays with his feet. He seemed to do a fair amount of moving around in Seattle. He didn't show that in the slightest on Monday, but after the game I was reflecting on whether that was due to the fact there wasn't another QB in Green and Gold in the stadium and he was given explicit instruction by McCarthy to not take any chances.

I digress, my comment/question relates to Wallace's perceived mobility. Is there any chance we see MM introducing some QB running/option type plays into the Packers upcoming offensive repertoire?

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Point Packer

Wallace does have good mobility. If you remember, coach Holmgren played him at receiver when his receiving corp was struck with injuries. I think that speaks to Seneca's athletic ability. While most people think he is under 6ft. tall he is actually a shade taller than 6ft. if I remember correctly....at least his combine measurement was that.....long time ago. He's actually taller than Russell Wilson but Wilson's arm length and hand size make up for that. People get enamored with height and neglect other measureables that play a much more significant role in a player's ability to play the QB position. Hand size and arm length are key if a quarterback is able to put any velocity on the football. If you recall many speculated that Aaron Rodgers had a weak arm. I found that laughable because velocity is determined by things such as arm length (Rodgers has 32 inch arms) hand size (Rodgers are 9 and 3/8 inches from tip of thumb to tip of pinky) and mechanics in the feet, hips and core. It's certainly not determined by the number of arm curls or shoulder presses he can do. As it relates to Seneca I don't know. He's 6ft. but what how big are his hands. Drew Brees is 6ft. and has bigger than average sized hands and decent arm length (10 1/4" and 31" respectively). Russell Wilson has catcher's mitts for hands and he's only 5'11" It makes a difference when trying to generate velocity on the ball.

Will McCarthy integrate zone read in to the offense? In short...no. Okay...99.99999% chance of no. Anything is possible I guess. Wallace played in a WCO system under Holmgren, and while McCarthy is no WCO purist, I don't see Wallace being asked to do what Robert Griffin does.

Evan's picture

Yeah, NFL Combine has him at 73 inches. So, 6'1".

Al Katraz's picture

If he is 6'1 why does he look and play like he is 5'9. He can't even see over the O line. The announcers said he was 5'11 and I don't believe that either. All I know is the look in his eyes were terror. I think he wanted to be anywhere but on the field getting hit.

Stroh's picture

Arm length for a QB means next to nothing. And do you know why or what hand size means for a QB?

Arm length helps velocity a little, but you have to remember that the arm is bent at the elbow thoughout the majority of the throwing motion. Velocity is come thru the core and xfered through the shoulder. Its more a function of the efficiency that energy is maintained though the core and the shoulder than it is how long an arm is. Once the elbow is bent the difference in arm lengths is negligible.

Hand size is important for accuracy and the amount of spin on the ball. Larger hands means more spin and more spin allows the ball to move thru the air more effectively. A Large hand means just that split second longer connection w/ the ball that helps direct the ball longer.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Stroh

Arm length is not an unimportant characteristic for QBs. If it were, those measurements wouldn't be considered by personnel departments. Perhaps velocity isn't the correct term. I should have used the term acceleration. The length of any lever has a distinct effect on the acceleration and speed of an object. The longer the lever the greater the force being applied. The greater the force the more speed can be generated. That’s just simple physics. The arm is a lever. Yes, the elbow is flexed but not at the point of last contact with the hand. The arm is in full extension as the ball leaves the last contact point of the hand. Now, this isn’t to say arm length is the sole determinant of QB play. Everything is relative and everything is taken in to consideration. All of the other elements you’ve mentioned are important. No two ways around it. But without the length of his arms Drew Brees wouldn’t be able to put as much force and subsequent speed on the ball for a guy who is barely 6’ tall. Aaron Rodgers was listed as 6’2” at the combine. His arm length is roughly just over 32.” Russell Wilson’s numbers were 5’11” and his arm length is 31” Rodgers is 3” taller but has only a 1” advantage in arm length. Wilson dwarfs Rodgers hand as well. Again, not saying having a strong core and proper mechanics from the feet on up through the posterior chain aren't important. Merely pointing out that arm length is certainly important and is considered when looking at the stature of the quarterback.

Stroh's picture

Arm length does have an impact on velocity (arm strength) but there are a myriad of factors and the difference in the length of a 32 in lever vs a 31 in lever is negligible when factored into the many other factors. Like I said, its affect is minimal. The ground reactionary forces that are transferred thru the torso and shoulder determines the angular velocity of the lever. It has more to do w/ the amount of force that actually is generated and transferred to the lever is the greatest determining factor. Some of the angular velocity of the arm is determined by muscle fiber types in the shoulder too. Now if we were talking about a lever difference of 10% or more (3 in) that would make start to make a meaningful difference. But a lever difference of just 3% isn't enough to make the difference between a Brees arm and Rodgers. Brees doesn't have nearly as strong an arm as Rodgers and his arm length is just 1 1/4 in shorter.

Ive never heard about scouts being concerned about a QB's arm length in regards to his ability to throw the ball downfield. Its certainly a contributing factor but not enough to make it the determining factor like you seem to think it is.

Arm length is in the equation but the amount of power that reaches the shoulder joint is paramount.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Stroh

When it comes to the height of a quarterback arm length is a factor. Why do you think it is measured at the combine? Proportionally arm length takes on greater importance if you are a Wilson or Brees sized quarterback and not so much if you are Rodgers or Luck sized. Never said it was a "determining factor" but it is a factor when assessing a quarterback's stature. There aren't too many 6'0" and under quarterbacks who are successful that have 30" or shorter arm lengths. By the way...velocity is merely speed and direction. The proper term is acceleration of the object (football). To increase the acceleration of the football force needs to be increased. The length of the lever plays a role in determining the amount of force applied to the ball. Longer lever (arm) = more force = increased acceleration. Again, of course the other factors are more important (ie. core and hip rotation, front foot plant, etc.). If you were to clone Aaron Rodgers but alter the arm length of one the Rodgers with the greater arm length would be able to apply more force and put more acceleration on the football. Is it the end all be all of quarterback play. Of course not. Is it the determining factor? Of course not. Is it a factor when teams decide to select and "undersized" quarterback? It is.

Stroh's picture

They measure it for ALL positions. Some positions its far more important than others. OT, CB for example are 2 positions where arm length can make a big impact on a players ability. Not always cuz there are always outliers, but the length of a lever in the throwing motion isn't near being as important as you seem to think. Like I said if we're talking a 10% difference in arm length (3 in) I would start to give it a meaningful impact. Such is the case w/ Rodgers 32 1/2 compared to Brohms 29 1/2. Now that difference can mean the difference between Rodgers throwing 70 yds compared to Brohm being able to throw 50 yds, as a reasonable guess. Efficient mechanics mean a lot more than a 1 in difference in lever length.

BTW I have a bachelors in Exer Phys, am a former Strength coach and had my share of biomechanics classes in college. I think I have a pretty good foundation on which to draw my conclusions.

Stroh's picture

Oh and Brohm also had a poor arm slot when he threw and poor mechanics compared to Rodgers which only makes the difference in arm length less meaningful. Rodgers has impeccable mechanics, Brohm not good mechanics.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Well Mr. Stroh...I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this subject. Again, if you read my posts I never said mechanics aren't important. They are. Where are you getting that I said arm length was super important for all QBs? The fact is that when a quarterback is smaller in stature measureables such as hand size and arm length do take on greater importance. It's not the make or break determinant but it is a factor that professional scouts look at in the measurables game. You can disagree all you want but I happen to know this. Speaking of your expertise....I'd be interested in your opinions of the use of HIT in strength & conditioning. What does a typical mesocycle look like in your program? Curious to hear your thoughts.

Point Packer's picture

Thanks Paul.

I was thinking less about read option and more along the lines of utilizing the naked bootleg, designed QB draw, etc. Anything to utilize his mobility and try and catch opposing defenses off-guard.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Point Packer

Completely misunderstood what you meant. Yes, I could envision designed bootlegs. Maybe not QB draws though. Anything that varies the launch point will be helpful so defenses can't settle in on a pre determined launch point the entire game.

Point Packer's picture

Thanks for your piece, very interesting read. Greatly appreciated. And as mentioned by others, I feel a lot better about our near term "Rodger-less" situation than before.

That being said, our Defense needs to take the bull by the horns, create some turnovers and win the field position battle.

Longshanks's picture

Naked bootleg? You sexist pig you!! I'm telling Jayme!!

Longshanks

Point Packer's picture

You make it to China yet? You been digging that hole for awhile.

Longshanks's picture

"Amazing my wife can do anything but serve my every need and pop babies out"

Point Packer Oct 29, 2013 6:57 p.m.

Nerd's picture

Paul Ott Carruth should do his own site!

Point Packer's picture

Or become a regular contributor to CHTV. Paul's a great read.

Cuphound's picture

As always, an excellent piece. Thank you, Paul. Sunday will be a good learning opportunity for us to see how McCarthy reacts when forced out of his box. As much as losing Rodgers sucks, I think this could be a chance for McCarthy to really grow as a coach.

marcopo's picture

I don't always like what McCarthy does, but I've always respected what he's trying to do. When the Packers first hired him, I thought he was too "lunch bucket". I was dead wrong. When Paul speaks of "cerebral" in terms of another coach, he'd damn well better put McCarthy in that sentence. Further, to suggest that McCarthy has to prove himself is more then unfair. Where have you been Paul, when he's proved himself in the past many times over. It's ok to not like the man. I's fine to disagree with him, but don't you dare suggest he's some rummy. I'm totally confident that McCarthy, and his staff, will do everything within their power to have Wallace and the Packers ready to play winning football.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Marcopo

When I used the word cerebral I wasn't referring to McCarthy's general knowledge of football. Coaches at this level "know" football. Used in context, I was referring to how some coaches handle in game emergencies and swings much better than others. I'll be honest, I don't believe McCarthy handles those situations very well. That doesn't have anything to do with him knowing this game. It does, however, speak to his abilities to adjust and be flexible to the present demands. He admitted his focus wasn't on the game when Rodgers went down and that was a huge disservice to Seneca Wallace and the entire team. How many offensive series were wasted because of his lack of focus? This game requires adaptability, not just in the comfy confines of meeting rooms, but in the hectic and frenetic environment of a professional sideline. Decisions and adjustments need to be made quickly. You can't do that if you haven't made contingency plans in your passing game to account for this or if your focus in on the tunnel waiting for Rodgers to return. Again, that doesn't make him a "rummy" but it does show a lack of focus and even temperament when things aren't going your way and the best tools aren't at your disposal. Holmgren was EXTREMELY demonstrative on the sideline but only in regards to poor play and a poor play selection by his offensive coordinator on series when he turned over the reins. I have never seen him lose focus when a key cog went down. He wasn't pleased of course but it was out of his control. What was in his control was how he prepped his back-up in that moment. It would be quite interesting to ask Seneca Wallace the difference in approach between Holmgren and McCarthy in this type of situation since he replaced Hasselbeck and Rodgers in game.

So...that is what I mean by cerebral. The ability for the coach to be engaging in a thought process of how to solve the current issue at hand and not who has the highest football IQ. I will reserve my judgement of his ability to adjust to his current QB skill set once of I've watched the film. He has an entire week to prepare and put Wallace in situations to be successful. As long as he does that the rest is up to the execution of the players on the field. As far as putting him in the same sentence with guys like Holmgren and Walsh.....nope. He's not in their realm. Not even close. I would even put Sean Payton ahead of McCarthy in terms of utilization of personnel and adjustments. He just does a great job of getting to better mismatches. Not surprising since he cut his teeth at the professional level with Gruden. He acutally does a nice job of melding WCO principles with the vertical passing game of Coryell and Zampese.

PackerPete's picture

POC - thank you! I'll copy your comments on McCarthy and let me wife read those. She's sick of hearing me say over and over again "I am just wondering how much Holmgren could do with the current talent on this Packers team". So I am glad my opinion can be validated by a former Pro. Thanks a lot!!!

PackerPete's picture

and thinking a little more about it, the current situation with #12 just magnifies everything, but I think we saw before that McCarthy does not handle in-game adversity very well. Just remembering the Bengals game, after Finley went down, he didn't even attempt to attack the middle of the field anymore. Yet that was where Cincy was vulnerable. I understand that Finley is supremely talented compared to Quarless, Taylor, or whoever else is at TE, but abandon it completely? And that is just one example. It seems to me, at least only as a casual observer, that McCarthy has a certain strategy that depends on certain players. Once the player goes down, the "next man up" simply doesn't apply anymore. I may be wrong, but can think of quite a few examples. And this may be a complete disservice to the team, considering that this is a violent game and injuries happen all the time.

PackerPete's picture

"Holmgren was EXTREMELY demonstrative on the sideline but only in regards to poor play and a poor play selection by his offensive coordinator" - LOL. I just remembered a game when Bill Schroeder ran the wrong route - he came out and Holmgren was already waiting on the sideline. took him by the jersey and shook him :) I think a couple of other coaches had to separate them otherwise they'd have come to blows.
Man I wished Holmgren would've just stayed a coach and not tried to be a GM and coach. One of the greatest coaches ever IMHO.

marcopo's picture

What adjustments would have changed the outcome Monday night, what miracle. What hasn't been talked about is the fact that Chicago was playing lights out and a quarterback who performed better against the Packers then Cutler ever had. Actually, I can't recall a game in which the Bears played better. On the other side was a team that had just been dealt the biggest body blow possible in football, loss of a franchise quarterback. What adjustment could provide Wallace with the minimum reps he needed with receivers? Adjustments? The Packers have lost over 8 starters since training camp. Adjustments? What the heck do you think is going on everyday? If you're simply talking about game adjustments, that always a tough call. Execution rears it's ugly head. Newsome also reared his ugly head. No, destiny had that one wrapped up for the Bears. However, the Packers have a great history of overcoming the odds and rising to the occasion. Wallace has to win 3 or 4 of the next six games.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Marcopo

No miracle needed. I was hoping to see some movement passes (actually called Action in WCO nomenclature) to help out Wallace. Considering the Bears rush a screen here or there would have been beneficial. In the end would the Packers have won? Maybe not. But, the offense could have been more effective than the several 3 and outs it showed. Won't disagree on the execution but there were adjustments to the personnel that could have been made.

Chad Toporski's picture

Really like the objective analysis of how Mike McCarthy coaches the offense, and I certainly agree.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the ray of hope for me is what MM did against the Patriots with Matt Flynn. In that game, he seemed to adapt his normal game plan to better fit Flynn's strengths and weaknesses.

Can he do the same thing in the coming weeks?

John's picture

Great article. Not only is the a test for McCarthy, it is a test for Thompson also. It is easy to look good as a coach and a talent evaluator when you have Rogers making everybody look good. It is time now to see if McCarthy and Thompson are anything more than average.

packeraaron's picture

Regardless of the outcome, neither McCarthy or Thompson are average. There have been a few games this year where Rodgers played poorly and the team still won. That's because Mike and Ted are both good at their jobs.

Evan's picture

As if McCarthy and Thompson have nothing to do with Rodgers' success?

Point Packer's picture

Most NFL Teams would die for the McCarthy/Thompson combo. I understand some of the criticism regarding MM's play-calling, but I never get the outright "head-calling" that many fans voice for the duo. Its utterly ridiculous.

There are 25 + teams in the league that would fire their coach/gm combo in a minute if given the option to obtain MM/TT and at least two, and perhaps three in the NFC North!

marcopo's picture

By what standards are some fans always calling for Thompsons and McCarthy's heads? Based on any level of objectivity, it's absurd. Top of my head, Shields, Lattimore, Barclay, Bac-man, Jennings, EDS are just a few of the outta nowhere players the Packers have come up with. Always in contention, while drafting late, the Packers stay above the fray.

Longshanks's picture

Excellent article Paul Ott. I do agree MM needs to change the way he uses those backs. I expect alot more screens and I would also think Franklin should also be used at some point. He'll be a plus in the short passing game.

As for you Paul. I have to say you might want to tie one arm behind your back when you write just so you can make it a little more fair. If you continue to write like this you might be accused of being a sexist because you are making all the women writers here look like a bunch of desperate housewives trying to keep up. I actually fell asleep yesterday trying to read a certain woman's article here( I will not say who out of respect for her). Yours was very professionally done. Good job. Hope you continue to contribute more articles here.

Longhsanks

P.S Apologies for my post with Point Pecker. I just responded to him not knowing you were the writer of this piece. He's been stalking me for weeks about some sexist crap and I was getting fed up with the putz.

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook

Packers Tickets

Must Read

Quote

"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"The Bears still suck!"