Packers Morning Buzz: Mike McCarthy opens up on firing, plans for return to NFL

Stu Courtney
Packers News
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Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at

We'll start with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy sitting down with NFL Network's Tom Pelissero for a wide-ranging interview in which he discusses the aftermath of his firing last December and his hopes to be an NFL head coach again in 2020.

Pelissero writes:

The theme of his year away has been self-improvement, in every area, and thus was born The McCarthy Project -- a collaboration with fellow coaches Jim Haslett, Frank Cignetti Jr. and Scott McCurley that McCarthy says has made him "definitely a better coach" than ever before. Together, they've spent months preparing as if they're the NFL's 33rd coaching staff, from studying league trends and rebuilding playbooks to deep dives on analytics and mapping out a calendar for practices and meetings all the way through training camp. McCarthy also did a deep dive on himself, going through boxes dating to his early days as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh and with the Kansas City Chiefs to study how his philosophies have evolved over the past 30 years and where he needs to go from here.

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy watches over the warm up before the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions NFL game at Ford Field, Detroit, Sunday, October 7, 2018.

McCarthy says he's past having any bitterness toward the Packers organization and president and CEO Mark Murphy over his dismissal, Pelissero writes:

McCarthy still takes prides in the development of the Packers' young players when he sees them on tape. And McCarthy has praise for new coach Matt LaFleur and his team, saying: "I've enjoyed their balance. I think they've done an excellent job. ...

"My focus was always to be better, not bitter. And obviously, there was bitter moments, frankly, early in that transition," McCarthy said. "I think that's natural. And I think anybody goes through it, that those are natural feelings. At the end of the day, I'm thinking more about beginnings. And I've had time to think about the whole 13 years and there's been a tremendous amount of positive reflection with that. This has been an extremely healthy time for me, personally."

McCarthy also delved deeply into how the firing affected his family, Pelissero writes:

McCarthy says the biggest regret of his time in Green Bay was not having his family prepared for defeat -- his firing, the suddenness of it and the unique conversations it created with his children, such as one of his young daughters asking before a school pride day whether she can still cheer for the Packers.

He became emotional in our interview when I asked, why does he need to do this? Why move the family across the country to get back on the sideline?

"It's a very selfish profession," McCarthy said, his voice cracking. "Coaching in the NFL, I think that's a given. But what I've found through this transition is ... our family needs this. ... We need to do this ... just 'cause of everything that's happened, and this will be a great opportunity for us."

Why does he say, "We need to do this?"

"I just think it's how you handle things in your life," McCarthy said. "Coaching in this league's a way of life. And then you think it's a way of life for a coach, but it's for your whole family. We need football right now. We won't need it forever, but we need it right now."

You can read the entire story here, and check out the video:

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Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark got back into sack mode Sunday:

Disappointing offense deserves the blame for quiet Lambeau Field crowd, writes Pete Dougherty:

Packers fans are pointing their finger at the quarterback:

ICYMI, be sure to catch the Green 19 Podcast with hosts Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski analyzing the Packers' performance:

This may be true, but there's no home advantage quite like Lambeau Field in January:

Tom Oates likes where the Packers stand but writes that the offense must improve:

As was feared in Chicago, Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith is done for the season:

Another season-ending injury to a key member of one of the top NFC contenders:

And it looks like the 49ers will be without cornerback Richard Sherman for a while:

And finally:

Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt

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