Thursday, January 15, 2009

McGinn Slams McCarthy

The one of the best, and harshest critiques of McCarthy to date (sub req).  His central point being that good head coaches seldom fire members of their coaching staff.

This is a point that I made about a week ago.  My assumption was that good head coaches don't fire their assistants because they surround themselves with talented people and there is never a need.  McGinn suggests that even if that was the case,  Holmgren and Reid for example "both believe that if they were going to uproot a coach's family and the hire gave his all, they would take it as a personal challenge to coach the coach and, if his work wasn't up to par, tutor him until it was."

McGinn ultimately concludes that McCarthy's mistake was not so much firing Bob Sanders, so much as hiring him in the first place.  I agree.  However---and I know I sound like an apologist here---I think the motivation behind promoting Sanders was continuity.  Bates was the third DC in three years, and he finally got the Packer defense on the right track.  At some point I think there was a trade off between getting the best man for the job and maintaining the momentum that Bates had built.  I think McCarthy concluded that Sanders was "good enough" and the Packers could avoid starting over from square one. Wrong decision in retrospect, but I think I understand where it came from.

McGinn and I both agree that if there is a "next time," it will be McCarthy's neck on the line.


  1. As a first time head coach this is the kind of thing he'll learn from. I think that has a lot to do with his wanting an experienced DC this time around.

  2. McGinn's column is a bit shoddy. He says that the Packers will have a "drastically easier" schedule next year due to their 6-10 record this season. The schedule may be easier, but the only thing that your record affects is who you play in your 2 open games. (This year, those open games were the Colts and the Cowboys, where the Packers went 1 and 1.)
    Also, Holmgren, Bellichik, and Reid haven't had to fire OCs, DCs and assistants because those folks kept leaving to take other jobs. It's not like there wasn't a lot of turnover in those staffs. Those guys were constantly given the opportunity to tweak their staffs.
    This was an oddly poor piece by McGinn.