Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
Interim coach Joe Philbin led the Packers (5-7-1) to a 34-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (4-9) last Sunday at Lambeau Field. Now comes a daunting test Sunday at noon against the Chicago Bears (9-4) at Soldier Field.
We'll start with former Packers executive Andrew Brandt's in-depth observations for The MMQB about Mike McCarthy, his abrupt firing and Green Bay's coaching search, based on his longtime association with the franchise and how it operates.
Packers president Mark Murphy talked about giving Mike an opportunity to get an early jump on the market, as well as the embarrassing loss to the Cardinals at home. While all of those were certainly factors, and I know Murphy well and like him, I’m not buying it.
My sense is that the Packers have their eye on a candidate that they wanted to contact now, someone not currently working for an NFL team, rather than having to wait until January. Absent a candidate outside the league, why make this move now to simply interview NFL candidates under contract until after the season? I believe they did not want to reach out to a candidate while Mike had the position. I do not know who that candidate might be, but it’s likely a college coach who has time to interview before heavy bowl game/college playoff preparation begins in a week or so.
Brandt also writes that the Packers' coaching job is the best in the NFL:
I have heard reports saying that the other current NFL head coach opening—that of the Browns—is more attractive than the Green Bay opening. To that I say… please.
We can debate which roster is more equipped for future success, but a roster comparison is a shortsighted way of determining which head coaching position is more attractive. Simply, there is no working environment in the NFL, indeed in all of professional sports, that puts coaches in a better position to succeed than in Green Bay. I have seen it up close and personal.
You can read the rest of Brandt's interesting perspectives here:
Tom Silverstein writes about longtime Packers nemesis Vic Fangio and why the Bears defensive coordinator is a worthy candidate to succeed McCarthy:
Tom and former Packers safety LeRoy Butler break down how cornerback Bashaud Breeland scored on his pick-6 against the Falcons:
The Packers are going to need more takeaways like they got against Atlanta if they hope to upset the Bears:
For the second straight week, a stunning dismissal in the NFC North:
Here's another take on the Vikings' move:
Mike Garafolo on whether DeFilippo still is head-coaching material:
Will the Vikings head coach and the general manager be the next to lose their jobs due to Kirk Cousins' erratic play?
Hard to believe, but if the Packers had just managed to beat the lowly Cardinals at home, they'd be positioned to win the last wild-card berth:
Our updated look at all that needs to happen for the Packers to reach the postseason:
ESPN's Rob Demovsky writes about the Jaire Alexander-Bashaud Breeland tandem at cornerback:
ICYMI, the excerpt from Peter King's lengthy column in which he speaks up for McCarthy:
Meanwhile, the Packers climbed up one spot after routing Atlanta and the Bears moved into the top 5:
The Bears suffered a setback in a case involving a Packers fan in court Tuesday:
Big loss for an NFC North rival (and Packers' season-ending opponent):
Safe to say the Packers under Ted Thompson were blind to this NFL trend: Explosive annual growth in the salary cap makes spending big on free agents a good investment:
And finally ... with so many questions about the Packers' coaching search, their playoff chances and more, be sure to join Pete Dougherty for his weekly live chat Wednesday at 11 a.m. CST.