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Packers Morning Buzz: Browns could pair Mike McCarthy with former Packers executive Eliot Wolf

Stu Courtney
Packers News

Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.

We'll start with Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reporting that former Packers coach Mike McCarthy will be the first to interview for the Browns job Thursday, and that he could be brought aboard to team up with assistant general manager (and former Packers executive) Eliot Wolf.

Green Bay Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf makes a phone call inside the war room during the 2016 NFL Draft.

Cabot writes:

If the Browns like McCarthy, he could pair with Browns assistant general manager Eliot Wolf, with whom he spent 12 seasons with Green Bay. Such a pairing is under consideration, a league source told cleveland.com.

Wolf, who joined the Browns under GM John Dorsey in 2018, was retained on Tuesday when Dorsey was let go, and could remain depending on who’s hired as head coach. The Browns are leaving their head of football job open to make sure their GM and coach are aligned.

McCarthy and Wolf would certainly fit that bill. They went to the playoffs nine times together in Green Bay, including four NFC title games and a victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

Cabot writes that McCarthy could have another advantage over other candidates:

Another positive for McCarthy, a former longtime quarterbacks coach, is that he’s coached both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, two quarterbacks with strong personalities. The Browns believe he’d have the firm hand and extensive offensive background to help get Baker Mayfield back on track, which is a high priority in 2020.

You can read Cabot's full story here:

McCarthy also reportedly is near the top of the Giants' list:

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY ranks McCarthy third among seven potential Giants candidates to succeed the fired Pat Shurmur.

Vacchiano writes:

When Shurmur was on the hot seat, but not yet fired, a source told SNY that McCarthy would likely get an interview, but probably wouldn't be a top candidate. Now that the search is underway, it appears his candidacy has a little more steam than expected. He is clearly the most experienced and successful coach on the list, with 125 wins, nine playoff berths and a Super Bowl championship in his 13 years with Green Bay.

The 56-year-old was a finalist for the Jets job last year, but there were some questions about whether he was burned out. After a year off, he appears re-energized and despite his problems with Aaron Rodgers late in his time with the Packers, he's still considered one of the smartest offensive minds in the league.

You can read the entire story here:

ESPN's Rob Demovsky takes a tour of McCarthy's extensive collection of tapes, game plans and more:

Aaron Rodgers' so-called decline in 2019 is being pointed to in Detroit as a reason for win-now urgency with Matthew Stafford.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press writes:

I couldn’t help but think of Stafford’s future — the Lions’ future, really — watching Rodgers and the Packers clinch a first-round playoff bye against the Lions on Sunday.

Rodgers threw two second-half touchdown passes and led two fourth-quarter field-goal drives to rally the Packers from a 14-point first-half deficit. He made some heroic plays down the stretch, but looked nothing like the player who once was the best quarterback in the NFL the majority of the game. ...

The Packers won the NFC North this year, but they did so in atypical fashion. They ran the ball better than they have in past seasons, they played better defense, and when they needed Rodgers to dial up a big play or two, the future Hall of Famer generally delivered.

Rodgers still was a big part of Green Bay’s success this year. He’s accurate, he rarely turns the ball over and he commands respect from everyone in the league.

But he’s also graduated from the Best Quarterback Playing Right Now to one who’s just good. Tom Brady did the same a few years ago — Brady’s the greatest quarterback of all time, but he doesn’t throw the ball like he used to — and Drew Brees, too.

Brady and Brees are in their 40s and Rodgers turned 36 last month, so they all have a few years on Stafford. But the reality is, it won’t be long before Stafford’s amazing skill set — he has more natural throwing ability than most quarterbacks in the league — starts to fade.

You can read the entire story here:

Tom Silverstein and LeRoy Butler look at some of Rodgers' errant throws against the Lions:

Not every future Hall of Fame quarterback is having accuracy issues:

It would be interesting to see how he'd fare in an NFC title game matchup with Rodgers:

Packers cornerback Kevin King is trending upward at the right time:

Could there soon be another LaFleur in the NFL head-coaching ranks?

The Packers held steady in the USA Today rankings entering the postseason:

Green Bay climbed a spot in the NFL.com rankings, but Dan Hanzus sounds less than impressed:

5  PACKERS (13-3)

The Packers finished the season at 13-3 and have collected one of the two all-important byes that greatly increase the chance of a Super Bowl appearance. So why does this team feel vulnerable entering the playoffs? Because of performances like we saw on Sunday, when the Packers allowed the Detroit Lions -- the same Detroit Lions team that lost 12 of its final 13 games -- to jump out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Aaron Rodgers and Co. figured it out after the slow start and got a Mason Crosby field goal to win it as time expired, but this is not behavior becoming of a legit conference superpower. Green Bay needs to be better on both sides of the ball if it's going to last in the sandbox occupied by the true beasts of the NFC.

You can read the entire rankings here:

A look back at the best and worst Packers games of the last decade:

Quite a distinction for Blake Martinez:

More praise for Packers pass rusher Za'Darius Smith:

Fascinating account of the winning touchdown in the "Ice Bowl":

Good news for Packers fans?

Incisive analysis on the Bears' lack of candor from Brad Biggs:

The Bears find some scapegoats for their offensive struggles:

And finally:

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