McCarthy’s odd press conference

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Now, all of what I’m about to say can be chucked out the window if the Pack lose next week and puke up their playoff chances. But I was listening to part of McCarthy’s press conference today and something seemed to me to be quite a bit different. HE was different. Over time, I have come to know McCarthy by virtue of watching and listening to tons of his press conferences, seeing him be interviewed, reading millions of articles, etc. But something was definitely different about how he answered questions today.

While I realize it’s a heck of a lot easier conducting a press conference after an impressive victory, McCarthy was far less defensive than he usually is and it seemed he wasn’t dreading the whole press conference thing as much as he seems to most of the time. Historically, whenever I’ve listened to the guy, he often starts interactions assuming folks doubt him and doubt his ability to coach. This puts him in somewhat of a defensive posture – sometimes from the first question on. He’s never been one to get nasty with responses or anything, but just a bit defensive – like he needs to justify what he’s done. And he also seems to generally dislike the whole press conference experience – while he’s doing it he just wants it to end. In the press conference today, he seemed very free explaining his take on the game yesterday, his philosophies, his goals etc – like he wasn’t going to limit himself for fear of it opening up the possibility of being second-guessed. Again, it’s easier when you’ve just coached a gem of a game and most questions/answers are positive, but there was a resoluteness, a confidence, a lack of easy cliches and a firmness of tone that I’m not sure I’ve heard from him before. Like he may be starting to trust himself or something.

Like I indicated in my post game post last night, I wonder if McCarthy may be developing that edge that coaches need to have to be good. It’s as though he seems to be realizing that he can’t control what others think so he might as well not worry about it so much anymore. This can be very liberating. (It’s something we see in the counseling world when a person’s self-esteem increases – a fundamentally less debilitating concern about what others think.) In fact, I’m starting to believe that perhaps McCarthy is turning into Peter from Office Space – he is becoming good because he’s not limiting himself and frankly – he’s stopped pressing so much. Wonder if “the Bobs” visited Lambeau recently.

As a final re-face if you will (opposite of preface, a preface made after a statement), I’ll say again that I’m not sold on McCarthy and I’ve had serious concerns about him over time. And I don’t agree with those indicating he should be in the discussion for coach of the year, at least up until this point. But if he can lead us to a big victory next week and then a respectable playoff showing, I’m wondering if he may have just turned a critical corner in his coaching career.

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4 Responses to “McCarthy’s odd press conference”

  1. mark Says:

    he just won a blow out dude i think thats all it was- that would make the biggest inner critic calm-never the less im with you – im not gonna give the guy a break just yet-though i had to admit to myself that onside kick against NE at the beginning of the game was hopefully what youre seeing in him- mind you i didnt see the press conference tough.

  2. Travis Says:

    He does seem different. He doesn’t seem like the same coach we normally seen. In the past few weeks, it just seems like there is something different about him. Not so passive. He’s not waiting, he’s attacking and figuring out what works, and what doesn’t.

    Plain and simple, he’s being smart. He’s coaching very good, and his preparation for each game in the last couple weeks has been fantastic.

    Time will only tell if this is the new MM, but I have a feeling he realizes what needs to be done to be effective, and I can’t imagine him going away from it.

  3. Tom Freeman Says:

    Sometimes I read the transcript, sometimes I watch the video. This time, in light of your post, I went back and watched the video even though I had already read the transcript. You are right: there was a different feel to the press conference as compared to others I have seen. He does tend to be defensive in these pressers, but then usually he has more about which to be defensive.

    Your thesis, that he has developed a nastier side in response to all the criticism, and that the nastier side is now being reflected in the team, is an interesting one. I hope you are right, because I have always had a real issue with the lack of killer instinct. I want the Packers to play more like the Patriots, who, to use Jersey Al’s phrase, go out and execute teams like cold-blooded killers.

    The other issue I have had with McCarthy is that he can’t seem to bring himself to admit a mistake. He would always “do the same thing again.” He always has no second thoughts about the call. Now, maybe he really does know when mistakes are made, but he just doesn’t like to admit it because it will just lead to more second-guessing. But the problem is that we never know if he realizes there was a mistake, or not. I would feel better if he could just come out and admit it, because then I would feel reassured that he won’t do the same dumb thing the next time.

  4. 56coop Says:

    Hope you are right on this. I’d sure like to see him win game by 3-4points rather than lose them. I agree though that when hitting on all cylinders, the Pack can play with anyone.

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