Green Bay Packers: Reaction to ESPN’s Mike McCarthy interview

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers looks on prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers looks on prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Former Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy sat down with ESPN’s Rob Demovsky to conduct his first sit down interview since being fired in early December.

Late on Tuesday night, Rob Demovsky of ESPN teased an interview with former Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy from his Twitter account.

Demovsky would tease the story by quoting McCarthy’s apparent distaste for the way his career in Green Bay ended.

During the interview, McCarthy discussed his tenure in Green Bay, the way he was fired, his relationship with Aaron Rodgers, and his advice for his replacement, Matt LaFleur.

However, it was McCarthy’s relationship with Rodgers and his view on the way he was fired that received the most buzz before the story dropped this morning.

In case you forgot, McCarthy was fired after the Packers ugly 20-17 loss on December 2nd against the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Merely hours after the game had ended, news broke that McCarthy had been dismissed. The timing seemed unfathomable considering the Green Bay Packers had never fired a head coach in the middle of the season before.

McCarthy was just as surprised as the rest of the fanbase.

In his interview with Demovsky, McCarthy described his conversation with Murphy that fateful evening as such:

"“Obviously. It couldn’t have been handled any worse. Anytime you lose a close game, it’s a difficult time emotionally afterwards, but when you lose a home game at Lambeau Field in December, it’s really hard. And that hasn’t happened very often. I walked out of my press conference, and I’m thinking about the game, thinking about how our playoff shot was now minimal. That’s where my head was at. And when I was told Mark Murphy wanted to see me — and the messenger was cold and the energy was bad. Mark said it was an ugly loss, and it was time to make change. He said something about the offense and the special teams, and he didn’t think it was going to get any better. There was no emotion to it. That was hard.”"

McCarthy would go on to talk about how whenever he cut a player he would look to get his words right. He believes there is a personal element to that aspect of the game and he felt that was lacking when Murphy relieved him of his duties.

Some fans will argue that McCarthy should just be grateful that he was not fired years earlier. A vocal minority of the fan base had been calling for McCarthy to be fired since the Packers blew a big lead in the NFC Championship in 2014. Those calls have gotten progressively louder every season since until it came to fruition in 2018.

Despite the fact that an argument could be made that McCarthy should have been fired sooner than he was, does not change the fact that the Green Bay Packers handled this situation poorly.

More from Dairyland Express

McCarthy was often the spokesman for the team during the most difficult times. He stood at the front and took bullets over things he had little to no control over. Examples include the Brett Favre situation in 2008, the Fail Mary in 2012, the backup quarterback situation in 2017, and their decision to release Josh Sitton as training camp was coming to a close.

In each of those instances, the organization would not make Ted Thompson explain his decisions. Instead, McCarthy stood there and answered for decisions he had little-to-no say in.

Those instances alone should have sealed a better fate for McCarthy.

The other big piece from the interview was the discussion of McCarthy’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers.

It’s a relationship that many reported has soured in recent years. It’s never been confirmed, but that is likely one of the biggest reasons for McCarthy’s demise.

Despite his former quarterback never failing to pass on a chance to give a passive-aggressive dig at his coach, McCarthy always took the high road as he never criticized Rodgers in front of the media.

And when asked about his relationship with Rodgers, once again, McCarthy would take the high road:

"“As far as our relationship, you have to put it through the proper lens like you always have to do with reflection and change. Where there’s change, let’s be real, especially the way the change happened, there’s things that come out after the fact. Things get said. He-said, he-said this and things like that. When I think about my relationship with Aaron, you’re talking about 13 years. That’s a very long time. It’s been a privilege to watch him grow in so many different ways and see him do so many great things on the field and off. To think you can be in a relationship that long and not have any frustrations, that’s unrealistic.” McCarthy said."

It’s clear that McCarthy has an appreciation for Rodgers and is proud of the work they did together. At this point, Rodgers has not commented publicly on the situation.

Finally, McCarthy’s love of the city of Green Bay and the Packers organization shined through when discussing his advice for Matt LaFleur:

"“Matt LaFleur. Totally embrace the Green Bay community with your family. It’s a phenomenal place to live. It’s a phenomenal place to raise a family. You know that, Rob. Heck, coach your ass off, have fun and enjoy the honor because it goes fast. Enjoy the honor of being the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Make the program your own. That’s very important. You were hired here for a very good reason; don’t get too far away from that. You have a great group of men in that locker room. I think they’re special, and they’ll work their butts for you.”  McCarthy said."

McCarthy has always raved about the city of Green Bay and his pride in being the coach of the Packers has always shined through. In what is likely to be his final interview with the Green Bay media, McCarthy portrayed that again.

Most of the fan base was happy to see McCarthy fired. He’s someone who will likely have a legacy that becomes more appreciated with time. There’s even an argument to be made that he’s the second best coach in the modern era history of the franchise.

Next. 3 reasons to avoid Morgan Burnett. dark

One fact that remains indisputable is that despite the way things ended, McCarthy will always look back fondly on his time in Green Bay.