Packers cut ties with McCarthy

Green Bay to search for new coach immediately
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The Associated Press Coach Mike McCarthy, left, walks off Lambeau Field for the final time after Sunday’s game. The Green Bay Packers fired McCarthy hours after the team suffered a 20-17 loss to the Cardinals.

Following Sunday’s uninspiring 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Green Bay Packers decided to part ways with head coach Mike McCarthy.

“The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers. As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately,” said Packers’ president and chief executive officer Mark Murphy in a press release just a couple hours after Sunday’s loss. “Mike has been a terrific head coach and leader of the Packers for 13 seasons, during which time we experienced a great deal of success on and off the field. We want to thank Mike, his wife, Jessica, and the rest of the McCarthy family for all that they have done for the Packers and the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities. We will immediately begin the process of selecting the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers.”

Following Sunday’s game, McCarthy addressed the media as he typically does, fielding questions about how disappointing a loss the team had just endured.

“Stating the obvious, that was clearly a very disappointing loss,” McCarthy said in an opening statement. “It was a game that we needed to win. We’re all disappointed. I did not do a good enough job. We didn’t do a good enough job as a football team…”

In the final question of his press conference, McCarthy was asked what he plans to do going forward with the team’s playoff chances just about extinguished and if he planned to play some of the younger players to get a better idea for the future.

“I’ve never been in this spot,” he said, “and I’m not going to act like I know what the hell I’m going to do tomorrow when they get in here. We’re going to do what we always do. We’re going to represent the Packers the right way. I know that. Other than that, we’ll focus on what’s in front of us.”

Moments after leaving the media auditorium, McCarthy was called upstairs, where the 13-year head coach was fired by Murphy.

McCarthy ends his time with the Packers with a 125-77-2 record in the regular season and 10-8 mark in the postseason, including a Super Bowl title in 2010.

During McCarthy’s tenure, the Packers made the postseason nine years, including eight in a row — a Packers record — from 2009-2016.

The writing has been on the wall for some time. Packers fans have been calling for the 55-year-old coach to be fired for the better part of a year now — if not longer.

Many fans believed that, despite all the success the Packers had, McCarthy should have led the team to even more greatness with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

There were also several reports over the past few seasons that the relationship between McCarthy and Rodgers had begun to splinter, leading to a combined record of 31-28-1 since 2015.

Rodgers, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Sunday, was shocked when he learned McCarthy had been fired.

“I found out, I’m sure, the same way most of you found out. I was at home with my folks in town for my birthday. When I found out, I was as shocked as many of you were, I’m sure,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers also mentioned all the different times he would sit down with McCarthy to just talk about life and how he enjoyed getting to know him on a personal level. Rodgers said he hoped the rumored fracture between him and the coach isn’t what got him fired.

Joe Philbin, who had been serving as the team’s offensive coordinator, will serve as the interim coach for the remainder of the season. The final four games will serve as an audition of sorts for Philbin, who Murphy said was a possibility to become the next head coach.

“Joe is a legitimate candidate, in my mind,” Murphy said on Monday during a press conference alongside general manger Brian Gutekunst. “He’s been a head coach in the league, he’s a part of the most successful teams we’ve had here…”

Philbin will guide the Packers (4-7-1) over the final four games of the season, starting this Sunday at home against the Atlanta Falcons.

A theme developed during Monday’s news conference with Murphy and Gutekunst at the stand. When asked who the team might target as the next head coach, the duo would not dive into specifics, other than saying that they’re going to find the the best coach for the Green Bay Packers.