Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy applauded by team after final speech
Following his abrupt firing after Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy initially didn’t have a chance to speak with his staff or the team.
On Tuesday, he met with the coaching staff and expressed his desire to address players of the team he had coached for 13 years. Given the respect McCarthy has in the organization, the top brass and interim coach Joe Philbin gave McCarthy their blessing to speak to the locker room on Wednesday.
Packers President and CEO mark Murphy tells @620wtmj that former coach Mike McCarthy was at Lambeau Field yesterday, addressing his players one last time. "I think Mike wanted some closure with the players," according to Murphy.
— Doug Russell (@DougRussell) December 6, 2018
“He did a fantastic job talking to the team not just about football and winning football games,” said Philbin before practice on Thursday. “His passion for the team and his love for the players was clearly evident. I’m sure it was emotional for him and everyone in the room. I thought he did a great job.”
While we don’t know the specifics of what was said, it is known it was emotional for everyone.
According to Rob Demovsky, Packers players gave Mike McCarthy a standing ovation when he returned.
“It was warranted and deserved,” linebacker Clay Matthews said.
Packers WR Randall Cobb said the entire team gave former coach Mike McCarthy a standing ovation after he met with players for the final time yesterday at Lambeau Field.
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) December 6, 2018
Philbin and McCarthy’s relationship goes way back to McCarthy’s hiring in 2006 when he was the offensive line coach. He had no hesitations about McCarthy’s visit and had gone through the same ordeal when he was fired by the Miami Dolphins.
“I think that’s the Green Bay Packer way,” Philbin said. “This is a first-class organization all the way around. It’s been like that for 100 seasons, I would guess. I’m not that old, but I’m guessing it’s been that for a long time. We do things the right way around here. Mark, Russ (Ball) and Brian were all totally supportive. They think that was the right thing to do as did I. Hopefully, it’ll help.”
McCarthy’s next steps are not set in stone. He has said he wants to “lay low” and may sit out the 2019 season despite the expected demand his coaching services will be in. For the time being, McCarthy can put his feet up, enjoy the time off and save his football worries for another day.