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McCarthy Needs To Stop "Feeling" and "Hoping"

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McCarthy Needs To Stop "Feeling" and "Hoping"

For all his brilliance as an offensive tactician in the game of football, Mike McCarthy tends to let his emotions get the better of him at the worst possible times - usually by challenging plays he has no reason challenging or by making game altering decisions by "hoping" for an outcome.

Last night was just the latest example of McCarthy ignoring hard facts that were right in front of not only him but 70,000+ people in Soldier Field and indeed in front of a nation wide television audience.

First, the challenge.

McCarthy indicated in his post-game press conference that James Jones' fumble happened "right in front of him". How in God's Green Earth did McCarthy's eyes fail him so badly that he would challenge a play that everyone watching knew was legit?

Oh that's right - he was "hoping" the officials would bail him out.

Don't believe me? From the man himself:

I was standing right there and I had a pretty good indication of what happened. I did see the defensive back’s foot swing out of bounds, so I was just hopeful that the officials maybe saw that his foot may have hit. It was 2:18 [left to play], I had two challenges left, and that was obviously a huge play in the game that maybe we could swing our way.

To quote many of my neighbors in the fine borough of Queens: Are you friggin' kidding me?

Next, there was his reasoning for dismissing the idea of letting the Bears score so that his offense would have a bit over a minute to try and force overtime. When asked about that prospect, McCarthy said:

I did not consider letting them score at the end. I felt they [would miss] a field goal in the end.

Hoping. Feeling. What the hell is this, a football game or a support group?

Look, I'm all for a coach saying "Hell no we won't let them score. We play defense the way God intended and we take the ball away." But "feeling" the opposing team will miss a chip-shot field goal? Who is this guy, John Edward?

McCarthy needs to start dealing in black and white and stop coaching as if some magical fairy is going to come and make all his wishes come true.

Comments (49)

PackerMan's picture

Please hide Mike's red flag!!!

G-Town Mike's picture

He does lack the "stones" that is very present of the Packer nation, but so does the GM. That being said, Green Bay doesn't need nor want another Rex Ryan. I just wish he wouldn't answer questions so politically correct and get a little anger mustered up from time to time.

fish's picture

What happens to the Packers when they stink up the place? They're essentially the same team that Played games against Pittsburgh and Arizona last year that are quoted as the Best Games Ever seen.

davyjones's picture

I still feel like I need to puke in my mouth.

ShopeIV's picture

Great take aaron my thoughts exactly

darthvander's picture

A. I agree with not letting them score. What is this Super Bowl XXXII? no way. Can't purposely put your team behind that late. To quote someone way more eloquent than me, 'shit happens.' who knows if they miss that or fumble the snap...

B. There is a difference between winning and losing. And here's how you define it; The Bears did not win that game, The Packers lost it. 17 MF'ing penalties. (and not a one on Jarret Bush) That was silly. Embarrassing. Worse than the Bucs game last year. I hope this game serves as the same turning point that game did.

RickyBobby's picture

i got tricked AGAIN!

i gotta stop listening to pre season hype.

this is an 8-8 team.

undisciplined (again)
week up front (again)
garbage ST (again)
HC who mismanages the clock (again)
DC who loses his stones on 3rd and long (again)

crap.

packeraaron's picture

"this is an 8-8 team"

No, it's not. It's a talented team that played like crap last night. Let's see how they respond.

PackersRS's picture

It's a talented team, like in years past, that "penaltied" and ST'd it's way out of a win. Like in years past.

Too soon to be calling for MM's head, but the thing is it's a reoccurrent thing.

How's that saying, you fool me once, can't get fooled again?

packeraaron's picture

Just like last year after the Tampa game. Again, lets see how they respond.

nerdmann's picture

Seems like they're like this every year, until about week 8-10.

Idiot Fan's picture

I agree Aaron, I would feel a lot worse if they got outplayed by the Bears. They were clearly the more talented team last night. The penalties are frustrating, but over the 16-game season I don't expect too many games like yesterday. If there's a silver lining, this may give them the kick in the butt they need (like Tampa did last year).

RickyBobby's picture

start bulaga NOW.

Bad Knees's picture

Which side?

RickyBobby's picture

i don't care.

work's picture

I say RT.

NoWayJose's picture

I wonder if McCarthy was "hoping" that Chad Clifton would stop cheating off the line of scrimmage against good pass rushers or jumping twice a game this year . . . OR IF ACTUALLY TRIED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

When repeated penalties are indisputably a hallmark of your coaching tenure, you need to look at yourself first.

Will's picture

There needs to be someone who does a statistical analysis of Mcarthys decisions. It would be easy to say he is horrible at that aspect. He needs to let some one else control the red flag. We should have a Twitter vote and I bet cheesehead nation would do a better job deciding to toss a flag on the field

NickGBP's picture

I think you're getting caught up in semantics a little too much, especially with the second example. If you ask him why he picked the post pattern that Jennings scored on I bet you he'd say the same thing; he felt that that play would be the Bears coverage in the red zone. And he was right.

The "hoping" thing was completely silly and that's a great example of him regretting his decision later. But I don't think that's a damnation about his ability under pressure. He just is a shitty challenger.

NickGBP's picture

"If you ask him why he picked the post pattern that Jennings scored on I bet you he’d say the same thing; he *felt* that that play would BEAT the Bears coverage in the red zone. And he was right."

Emphasis and correction.

bucky's picture

I've generally supported McCarthy in his time here; I think he's been an improvement over Mike Sherman and has generally increased the level of performance of the team. But my biggest criticism of Sherman - the lack of accountability during his later years- seems like it may be developing under McCarthy as well. At some point it needs to be understood- by the coaching staff as well as the players- that a performance as sloppy as last night's will not be tolerated and that consequences will be forthcoming.

One particularly disturbing trend is that it sure seems like, the bigger the game, the less focused the performance. Both of the Vikings' games last year, for example; the Arizona playoff game, and last night. Obviously a team that's looking to go far in the postseason cannot melt down when the stage lights start getting brighter and hotter.

The season's still young; we're not even a quarter in yet, and there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic. And there is a lot of talent on this club. But in order to maximize the return on that talent and reach the ultimate goal, this team has got to begin to exhibit a hell of a lot more mental toughness than they showed last night.

PackerBacker's picture

I agree that they need a bit more mental toughness, but what would suggest MM do to the people who commit penalties? Bench them? That doesn't leave us with much of a team after last night.

BearsStillSuck's picture

Whenever my high school team made a bunch of bonehead mental mistake that resulted in a penalty, coach would run us until we puked...

MarkinMadison's picture

Offense - Tauscher and Clifton looked overwhelmed, and we have no running back. The Packers need to look at putting different players in there, as much as Clifton and Tauscher have done for them.

Defense - Too many great plays were negated by penalties. Sorry, that ball was not too far underthrown for the flag that killed Collins' interception. It wasn't just the rookies. The lack of enough healthy DL was also a problem.

Last year I commented early and often about penalties. Up until this week, things looked better. Hopefully, this was a fluke. But when you look at Tauscher's penalties they were not a fluke, just a sign that he was playing scared. That you can't fix.

Cuphound's picture

No. I need to stop "feeling" and "hoping." You know, I thought that the worst game against the Bears that I would ever see was the game they beat us 26-0 in 2006. That was shock. We had no o-line any more. We were the tree-trunk with internal rot that suddenly gave way. It was hard.

This game was worse. <I>We're better than them</I>. There's no excuse for this. Our team has talent and lacks discipline.

I know that I will never respect Mike McCarthy. And I won't say anymore about him. There's nothing more to say.

Bad Knees's picture

He is playing scared because his body is broken down. He is no longer athletic enough to play the position. Tauscher had a great career, time to hang it up. Same for Clifton. Hopefully the young linemen will step up and perform.

PackersRS's picture

You know what's the single most depressing thing? We can't blame this one on Jarrett Bush. Or can we?

JerseyPackFan's picture

I feel that I should let you all know that I maybe part to blame for the Packers loss last night.
Normally, I watch the games alone or with my kids. My wife really does not like football so she either goes to another room to watch something else or goes shopping and leaves me to three hours of therapy. Screaming words at the television that would make Rex Ryan blush.
Now when she has sat down to watch a game with me. Somehow the Packers always seem to lose. So last night I was kind of stunned when she decided to sit down on the couch at game time.
I turned to her and said "Are you really going to go through with this?" She said "Yep" and well we all know the outcome of what happened next.
So it's my fault guys. I should have tempted her to go to the other room to watch a night of good television on A&amp;E with the programs "Intervention" and "Horders". I promise it will never happen again.

PackersRS's picture

You bastard! I blame you and Bush for the lost!

Jack's picture

Maybe one of the Packers assistants on the sideline could follow McCarthy around with a Taser. If it looks like MM is about to throw the red flag out unneccessarily, the assistant could Tase (?) him to the ground momentarily. Hey, you got a better idea?

glorious80s's picture

MM is a very good head coach in a lot of ways, teaching, developing and motivating, desiging plays to use the players' strengths. The team is always competitive most of the time. As to the game managment on the field, maybe he should take a cue from Lombardi, design the plays during the week and let the players have at it. :&gt;) Of course they need to mature a little more.

PackersRS's picture

You just described an OC that struggles being a HC. Just saying.

glorious80s's picture

You'd have to say the same thing of Lombardi then. His players are quoted as saying he was useless on the field. See "When Pride Still Mattered."

glorious80s's picture

Make that useless on the sidelines during the game. My bad.

PackersRS's picture

Quite the opposite.

MM is a borderline genius when identifying mismatches and with offensive gameplanning, and is a good playcaller. But mental preparation is not his focus.

Lombardi didn't call plays. You're right on the clock management thing, but his team was always hungry and prepared, and always played smart football...

glorious80s's picture

I do believe MM prepares his teams during the week and the off season. It appeared the team lost their composure and everything they were working so hard on in the off season. Where were the team leaders calming things down? Back to Lombardi, he let the players call the plays based on his designs. Starr was Lombardi's mind. MM said in an interview in SI that he had turned the Offensive playbook over to AR moreso than any QB in his coaching career. So letting AR go with the calls, be MM's mind, might not be so far out.

dennis's picture

Why is it that no one has mentioned that while MM made a terrible call on challenging the Jones fumble, he made an even bigger gaffe earlier in the game when he didn't challenge an obvious fumble caused by WOodson. He has no feel for the challenges and is absolutely terrible with the decisions regarding them.

JerseyPackFan's picture

Are you talking about the one where Woodson punched the ball out? That ball went out of bounds.

PackerBacker's picture

I'm pretty sure that play couldn't be reviewed. Can't remember what it was though.

BearsStillSuck's picture

Yeah that ball was down by contact, it was not challengeable.

I was surprised when Gruden, Jaws, and Tirico were calling for his head...

david's picture

If I understand the set up correctly, the Packers have a coach who has access to the video reviews, right? Why doesn't McCarthy listen to that guy up in the box? He had to see what everyone at home saw, that it was clearly a fumble and McCarthy should simply keep the red flag in his pocket. We would have had an additional 45 seconds at the end of the game, not a great chance but at least there was an additional chance that was robbed by McCarthy throwing the stupid challenge flag with zero chance of success.

WoodyG's picture

A typical 'over-reaction from Nagler ..... 'Feeling' &amp; 'hoping' are very difficult terms to clearly define as used by MM (or by anyone) ...... I'd rather have a sit-down with MM &amp; understand his "real" feelings than rely on a 'knee-jerk' reaction from a blogger ........

To make it even worse ...... The lemmings all sidle up &amp; follow suit with their inciteful head-bobbing ....... You know, it's not illegal to disagree with the essence of a blog every once in awhile.

packeraaron's picture

"A typical ‘over-reaction from Nagler"

And a typical missing-of-the-point from Woody. Glad we've all got our roles defined...

WoodyG's picture

Per Aaron ......

" Mike McCarthy tends to let his emotions get the better of him. "

Same with you &amp; the essence of this blog ....... As much as the debacle in Chicago leads to disappointment, a 16-game season allows a team to evolve into what it will be .... I'd much rather have game 3 of a season be a wake-up-call than much later in the season ........

Job 1 for MM/TT is to fix the running game ...... It's pretty obvious.

PackersRS's picture

Job 1 of MM, since 2007, is to fix the goddamm penalties and sloppy play.

WoodyG's picture

It's very possible that MM has several "job 1's" to fix ...... But I don't have any concerns about his word usage in a presser .... "Feeling" &amp; "hoping" are just words ....... On field changes/adjustments are the key to a more consistent performance..... Unless you picked GB to finish 16-0, a loss at Chicago in game three shouldn't be an emotional drain for any fan or blogger.

FITZCORE1252's picture

"I’d much rather have game 3 of a season be a wake-up-call than much later in the season …….."

Tru dat

BearsStillSuck's picture

I agree that feeling and hoping are just words. But it's clear from his decisions that's precisely what he bases his challenges off of! Just keep it in your pants MM!

FITZCORE1252's picture

"many of my neighbors in the fine borough of Queens"

Ever ran into Doug and Carrie Heffernan? Nice couple.

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