Over the course of the last month, Mike McCarthy has done some of the best coaching of his career – but you would never know it judging from the reaction of Packer fans on the Internet and on sports radio.
After a soul-crushing loss to the Detroit Lions that would have sent lesser (and poorly-coached) teams into a tailspin they could never have recovered from, McCarthy has turned around and delivered a near defeat of the best team in football (while starting his back-up quarterback no less) and gone on to engineer three straight victories, each of them must-win games. A loss at any point would have effectively (and literally in the case of the last two games) ended the Packers’ season.
Yet everywhere I turned on Monday morning when trying to take the pulse of Packer Nation I was confronted by the angry denizens of Packerdom, most in full throat about how McCarthy had “gotten too conservative” at the end of the Eagles game.
I mean, the guy just can not win with Packer fans.
When he calls a deep post or fly route on 3rd and 1, Packer fans are up in arms about how McCarthy is too aggressive. When his offense takes over with 4 minutes left and he drains the clock to near perfection by running the ball and taking away the other teams timeouts, giving them the ball back with 2 minutes remaining – he’s too conservative.
Lets say McCarthy calls pass plays and his offense doesn’t convert the first down. Now, not only have they failed to run time off the clock, they’ve left the Eagles with at least two of their time outs. Fans would be screaming “What horrible playcalling! Why is he so aggressive? Just run the ball!”
Packer fans would do well to recognize Sunday for what it was when it comes to McCarthy’s playcalling, which apart from some head-scratching decisions at the end of the first half, was just about the best game he’s called all year.