On Johnny Jolly and Coaching

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When Johnny Jolly committed his foolish personal foul penalty in the first quarter, I thought Mike McCarthy should bench him for the game. Indeed, I thought he should be sent to the locker room, told to shower and instructed to finish watching the game there.

Harsh? Yes. And it’s entirely possible that with an injury up front or building fatigue, we would have really needed Jolly. But the Packers are an undisciplined team — a very undisciplined team. And though McCarthy pays lip service to eliminating stupid penalties, it’s hard to point to anything he’s actually done to accomplish this. (Indeed, sometimes when he’s answering questions he downplays the consequences of stupid penalties, which sends the opposite message.) So Jolly’s idiocy was actually an opportunity for McCarthy to make an important point about penalties.

It was a missed opportunity.

Read this from Bob McGinn’s piece today on Jolly’s reaction to the penalty. (Warning: If you are prone to cursing uncontrollably when you’re angry, you might want to close your office door or read this at home.)

Once again, Green Bay didn’t play smart football. The worst example occurred in the first quarter when the Packers had the Vikings stopped in the red zone, but defensive end Johnny Jolly head-butted running back Chester Taylor after the play.

That handed Minnesota a first down and led to a touchdown by Adrian Peterson, giving the Vikings a lead they never would relinquish.

Afterward, Jolly showed little or no remorse, in effect saying that was the way he played and would continue to play.

“Hey, I play on the edge,” said Jolly. “I play like that every game. Me playing like I play.”

That rings in your ears, doesn’t it? “I play like that every game.” And he does. On occasion, he makes spectacular, almost balletic interceptions that would make even the most coordinated defensive back proud. But he also commits dumb penalties that suggest he’s either not paying attention to the game or he doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions. Could it be that there are no consequences?

It seems to me there are two possibilities here — and both should give great concern about the coaching. Either McCarthy (or Dom Capers) did no get in Jolly’s face after the penalty or they did and he doesn’t care. I’m not sure which is worse. If the coaches did not get after him for commiting a penalty that cost the Packers four points, they’re not doing their job. And if they did chew him out and he still said what he said to McGinn, they’re doing their job but not doing it effectively. Either way, there is a discipline problem.

As Jolly says, he plays like that every game.

UPDATE: More here from Jason Wilde.

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7 Responses to “On Johnny Jolly and Coaching”

  1. Nick Ariens Says:

    Steve,

    Great to meet you and your family at the game. I continue to enjoy the perspective of both you and Andy on the greatest team in the world and look forward to reading more in the coming weeks.

    -Nick

  2. bucky Says:

    “McCarthy wasn’t second-guessing his decision; he was more upset with the easy sack Jared Allen had two plays before it when either Rodgers or the line blew the protection call and rookie T.J. Lang left Allen unblocked. That resulted in a 5-yard loss, and the Packers had to settle for Crosby’s field-goal attempt when Rodgers’ third-and-8 deep corner route to Donald Driver fell incomplete.”

    Here’s an idea- how about on second and two, you run the fucking football fior a change. While the run up the middle was generally going nowhere all day (to the surprise of no one except, perhaps, Mike McCarthy), the stretch left picked up some yards, especially in the second half. But no, McCarthy is too devoted to doing things his way, and not devoted enough to doing things in whatever way might get the team the win.

    I’ve backed McCarthy so far as head coach, but I’ve seen just about enough.

  3. 56Coop Says:

    I am beginning to think that MM is a very well made Avatar. He’s much to machinistic (if that’s a word) and seems to have no emotion. It’s all X’s & O’s to him. One can almost predict what he’s going to say in his presser’s about as well as opposing coaches seem to be able to predict his play calling. It’s either that or we have a serious “tell” in our formations. I totally agree with Andy wanting to see MM yell at the refs & totally agree he should have benched Jolly on the spot. There needs to be some zero tolerance policies laid down on that team & staff.
    Quit talking aobut accountability and become accountable.

    Oh well, this is nothing that has not already been said here.

    I’ve been a Packer Backer since the Bart Starr days & I always will be. I do not want to go back to the mediocrity of the 70’s & 80’s but the best I can see this team doing is 8-8, — at best. SOMETHING needs to change. It takes much better football minds than mine to figure it out, but something has to change.

    Now I must go to PFT for a bit and accept my smackdown.

  4. Doubting Thomas Says:

    Lombardi would have cut Johnny Jolly first thing Monday morning…

  5. Not So Jolly | Cheesehead TV Says:

    […] From Steve over at PackerGeeks regarding Johnny Jolly: […]

  6. foundinidaho Says:

    Lombardi wouldn’t have put up with Brent’s crap for years, either.

  7. Nick Says:

    Solution?

    Bill Cowher for Green Bay coach in 2010. Enough said.

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