Every team in the NFL is looking for their own Sean McVay. They’re not wrong to, either, as pairing a offensive minded head coach with a young quarterback is the best way to ensure prolonged success in the NFL.
The thing is, Sean McVay’s can come in many shapes and sizes, and just because you hire a guy who is young and promising, does not mean it’s going to work out once that person is in the head chair.
Many of these young guns are getting head coach interviews, such as Matt LaFleur and Zac Taylor, and others teams have discussed reaching out to Big 12 hot shots Kliff Kingsbury and Lincoln Riley. These guys all deserve consideration, but I think choosing them over an experienced coach like McCarthy would be a mistake.
McCarthy got a bad rap in Green Bay, often for being unimaginative or having an offense that did not change enough on a year to year basis. There are fair criticisms to be had here. The Green Bay offense for the past years has largely operated like a basketball team that looks for the best one on one match-up, and looks to exploit it with a classic Rodgers back-shoulder dot. This offense can be border-line unstoppable when you have talented, headdy veterans like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, and an up and comer like DeVante Adams.
With Nelson and Jones gone, and Cobb not exactly the same player, the onus has been on Adams alone, along with a motley crew of other receivers like Geronimo Allison or Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Simply put, what you ran back in the Packers offensive heyday is not going to work now.
On the other side of this though, is #12. Aaron Rodgers is immensely talented, perhaps the most talented person to ever play the position. He’s also a diva. To say Rodgers would be a hard guy to work with would be putting it mildly. This year alone, he threw his receivers under the bus to the media calling their effort in practice ‘piss-poor’ and saying they had one of the worst meetings he’s ever had in the NFL. Plenty of former teammates like Jeff Saturday and Greg Jennings came out of the woodwork to criticize Rodgers for his bad attitude and body language as things deteriorated in Green Bay. It’s also no secret that Rodgers isn’t exactly a great guy, or a great teammate.
Oftentimes Rodgers just extends plays for no reason. Watching the Packers offense it often feels like the receivers don’t even want to run their own routes, and just wait for Rodgers to inevitably break the pocket and play backyard football. Many times, he is magic, and creates the plays that the media and fans often fawn over. Other times, the offense becomes inconsistent because of it, and the optics of Rodgers constantly running around and playing hero ball plays badly for McCarthy, even if it isn’t his fault.
The Packers struggles are on both guys, and as well as management there for not doing enough in free-agency to fill in the holes from failed draft picks. As for who is most at fault is impossible to say, but I think both McCarthy and Rodgers will benefit from a change.
McCarthy isn’t the flashy hire, but it’s the right one. He’s the only coaching candidate to have a Super Bowl ring as a head coach, and he also totes a winning record in the playoffs as a head coach. Teams with young quarterbacks like the Browns, Cardinals, and Jets should be dying to land him.
My pick would be the Browns. Although it’s a tired comparison, Baker Mayfield is the closest thing I’ve seen to Favre. Let McCarthy come in and spin some magic.