Mike McCarthy on the hot seat as Packers playoff hopes dwindle
With his Packers at 4-5-1, Mike McCarthy is on the verge of missing the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in his 13 seasons as Green Bay's head coach.
An unwanted by-product of the Packers' below .500 record are the increasing amount of questions surrounding McCarthy's future with the organization. It’s uncharted territory for the head coach who led Green Bay to a SB XLV victory and 8 straight playoff appearances prior to the 2017 season.
“I don’t’ think you can tune it out, I mean, that's the old days, that's when you have newspapers,” Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “Today's world, everything is accessible. Everything is instant. I'm sure they're all aware, but it's like anything. I think negativity is an unfortunate part of this business, driven by the externals, but that's the business we're in. That's the business part of it.”
After the Packers loss 27-24 loss to the Seahawks on Thursday, the negative buzz surrounding McCarthy’s coaching reached a much more audible level. If the Packers fail to make the playoffs, that outside noise may be altogether deafening.
“To me, that's part of this industry, or however you want to view it,” McCarthy went on to say. “Our job is to continue to work to be the best football team we can be, each and every week, so if we're wasting time on the externals then we're not maximizing our opportunity. I’m focused on what's in front of us. We have a 2018 commitment and that's all I’ve ever focused on.”
As was the case against the Rams and the Patriots, the game came down to a crucial play in the 4th quarter. The point of contention against Seattle was a controversial call by McCarthy to punt on 4th and 2 with just over 4 minutes to go.
“I mean, it's a run defense focus there, and it's a solid decision,” McCarthy said. “Frankly those are the kind of decisions that keep all of us up at night. My first reaction was to go for it. I already had the play that I wanted, but we talked it over game management, and that's the decision I made. You know, 3 and out puts us right above the 2 minute mark which is kind of—I have great confidence in our 2 minute offense especially with Aaron (Rodgers).”
The decision to punt sealed the Packers fate. It was the last time the team had possession of the ball.
“Now that I’m standing here, I know what the result is, them running out the clock you go, ‘Oh yeah, I wish I would have went for it on 4th and 2.’”
McCarthy is under contract through the 2019 season after signing an extension last season, but it was only for one year, the shortest of his career. McCarthy has signed three other extensions during his time in Green Bay. His extensions were in 2008, 2011, and 2014. All three were multi-year deals.