Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy

USA Today

Green Bay's Coaching Search

Aaron Rodgers has to be part of the process.

December 04, 2018 - 11:08 am
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The Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday and then yesterday met with the media to explain the decision. Not that an explanation was necessary. All they really had to do was lug in one of those carts with the TV and VCR that the substitute teacher always brought, put in the game film from Sunday’s Arizona-Green Bay game and hit play.

Because that game told you everything. If you watched that game and still needed an explanation as to why they fired McCarthy, then you were never going to get it.

And I know the argument that McCarthy did an enormous amount for the team and deserved better. I get that. Nobody wants to be fired in the middle of the season, especially right after a home loss to a struggling Arizona Cardinals. But this wasn’t going to turn around. And nobody wanted to go through a month of questions about McCarthy. Not the players, not team officials, and probably not Mike McCarthy.

In meeting with the media, team president Mark Murphy told everyone why he dumped the head coach 12 games into his 13th season. And how the process for finding a replacement will go.

According to Murphy, one person who will not be a part of that process is Aaron Rodgers: "Obviously, he's free to provide input and talk to us, but he's not going to be a part of the process. ... The other thing I would say, Aaron was no part at all in the decision to move on from Mike." 

And according to Jim Rome, that’s exactly what Mark Murphy has to say, publicly. 

He has to say that Aaron Rodgers is not going to be part of the process, but Aaron Rodgers has to be part of the process. It would make absolutely no sense to have one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history and not have him involved in one of the biggest decisions in franchise history.

I’m not saying that you need to have Aaron Rodgers in the interview room, reading applications from candidates and grilling them on the ins-and-outs of their schemes. But you don’t need to have him doing that in order to have him involved. 

In fact, if you need to do that to get his input, there are some major communication issues in that organization. Mark Murphy is a smart guy. I’m guessing he already has a sense as to what kind of a coach Aaron Rodgers would be looking for and if I’m Mark Murphy, I’m looking for someone similar.

Here’s something else that’s kind of insane and that we can nip in the bud right now: the notion that Aaron Rodgers got Mike McCarthy fired. Are you serious?

Mike McCarthy got Mike McCarthy fired. If anything, Aaron Rodgers added a few years to his career. This isn’t a situation where an elite player turned on a good coach for no reason and had he canned. 

The team was 4-7-1. They are not a good football team. And any coach, no matter what they’ve done in the past, would be on the hot seat at 4-7-1. Especially when everything around them has gone stale. 

13 seasons is a long time. A very, very long time to be the head coach of one team. That’s an amazing accomplishment. You have to be very good to last that long in one place. But you also have to keep winning and keep re-inventing. And Mike McCarthy did not appear to be doing that. Aaron and Mike might not have been best friends, but you don’t have to be. 

As Rodgers said: "I think him and I, like any relationship, we have our amazing times, we have our times where we butt heads. But the basis, like I said, was built on mutual respect and communication. We spent a lot of times here talking off the field, in my house, in his house. We spent time together and growing our friendship and we accomplished a lot together." 

They did. And now it’s time to move on. But for those who want to say that Rodgers fired his head coach, what were you seeing from this team that would make you think that getting rid of McCarthy was a bad thing? Again, they were 4-7-1. They were going in reverse. They were not turning it around. And just rolling out there for the rest of this season with McCarthy would’ve been bad for everyone.