Many Packers fans made it clear on social media Thursday they’re ready for coach Mike McCarthy’s departure.
Green Bay fell to 4-5-1 with the 27-24 loss to the Seahawks, and some media outlets speculated that the lackluster performance might have been the final straw that gets McCarthy ousted after the season.
The coach, now in his 13th season in Green Bay, told ESPN Friday it can be tough on the team to have rumors like that circulating.
“I don’t think you can tune it out. That’s the old days,” McCarthy said. “That’s when you had newspapers. But I think today’s world, everything is accessible, everything is instant. I’m sure (players are) all aware. I think the bigger challenge is when you’re having a lot of success. I think negativity is an unfortunate part of this business driven by the externals, but that’s the business we’re in.”
Talk of McCarthy’s possible demise would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago. The Packers won the Super Bowl to cap the 2010 season, and made the playoffs nine of McCarthy’s first 11 seasons. But now the Packers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season; prediction site FiveThirtyEight.com gives Green Bay a 14 percent chance of advancing to the postseason.
While McCarthy’s .624 winning percentage in Green Bay is third among active coaches behind only Bill Belichick (.680) and Mike Tomlin (.662), there’s a growing sense that, barring a miracle, he won’t be back next year.
“We set a standard here the past 12 years and it’s our responsibility to play to that standard,” McCarthy told ESPN. “That’s the way we approach it, but that’s a blanket, general evaluation. There’s obviously more that goes into that. But at the end of the day, there’s so much that goes into each and every game throughout a seven-day period — obviously we’re on a 10-day stretch here — and that’s really where the energy has to focus.”
McCarthy is under contract through 2019.