Whether or not Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy should have waited until the end of the season to fire Mike McCarthy as opposed to his doing so after last Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals is still being debated. But Murphy admitted during a news conference on Monday that Sunday’s listless performance was the last straw and a move had to be made.
“In evaluating the season, I really felt that change was needed and kind of Mike’s tenure had run its course,” Murphy said. “And quite honestly the performance on Sunday night to me made it very clear that a coaching change was needed.”
Contrary to what has been widely reported over the last several weeks, Mark Murphy said quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t get Mike McCarthy fired.
Rodgers was asked on Monday if he was the reason for Mike McCarthy’s dismissal.
“I hope that’s not the reason,” Rodgers said. “I think him and I, like any relationship, we have our amazing times, we have our 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.”
Murphy also made it clear on Monday that Rodgers would not have a role in picking McCarthy’s replacement either.
The majority of the players that were available on Monday said they expected McCarthy to be fired, but they didn’t think it would come until the end of the season.
The players showed nothing but respect for their former coach and right tackle Bryan Bulaga said the fans were too hard on McCarthy. “Knowing that we were in it every year, I think there’s something to say about that,” said Bulaga. “A lot of people weren’t upset when we were winning division titles and making runs in the playoffs. I think people need to look at it from that standpoint. Besides being a really good football coach, he is a great man, too. It’s been an honor to play for him the last nine years. Wherever he lands he’s going to do great.”
Murphy and General Manager Brian Gutekunst will work together on the hiring of the next head coach, but the final say will remain with the Packers’ President. Murphy changed that structure when he hired Gutekunst. But Murphy told reporters that he would not hire a head coach that Brian Gutekunst didn’t support.
Murphy didn’t offer any thought on the type of coach he will be seeking but did say that interim head coach Joe Philbin would be a candidate for the position.
Continuous questions were directed to Murphy over the structure, he said his hiring of the head coach is in the best interest of the organization.
“All of my adult life I’ve been involved in football,” Murphy said. “I’ve seen it from the perspective of a player. I’ve been an athletic director for 17 years. I’ve hired many, many coaches, several football coaches. So I think I have a lot to offer. I feel that I’m a football person even though I’m in a position of president.”
The Packers will play out the string with Joe Philbin in charge. It starts with Atlanta on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Murphy said the Packers won’t have a replacement for McCarthy before the end of the season.