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McCarthy praises unsung heroes on his staff

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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A story in Sports Illustrated this week about former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher talks about how much he enjoys his post-football life and that he isn’t necessarily going to go back to coaching some day. He doesn’t rule it out, but Cowher seems content as a CBS football analyst and having more time to spend with his daughters. “As a coach you spend every minute solving problems,” Cowher told SI. “Now I’m free.” I asked Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Friday about that aspect of being the head coach and needing to constantly be putting out brush fires. McCarthy said nothing as an assistant coach prepares you for the demands of being the head coach. “It’s a challenge,” said McCarthy. “You spend your whole life, your whole coaching career to be a head coach. Once you (become) the head coach, everything you accomplished as an assistant coach  and a coordinator was 95% football, then you get to be head coach, everything you’ve done to get that job, a lot of the responsibility is pointing away from how in the hell you got there in the first place.  That has always been the challenge for me.”    One key is to hire good people. For McCarthy, it’s important to have people around him that can help him be a better manager of his time. He specifically mentioned Matt Klein, football administration coordinator, and Lisa Waeghe, executive assistant to the head coach, who he said “basically run the head coach’s office.” “(They) really keep my administrative responsibility and time commitment to a minimum, so that I’m able to be downstairs, be in the meetings, be here where I’m supposed to be, around the football team,” said McCarthy. “There were times in prior years I felt I was upstairs (in his office) too much as opposed to downstairs.  Being critical of myself, that’s part of, ‘Did I do a good job of managing the pulse of the team?’ I think we all get better in time.”

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