At long last, the biggest drain on the best quarterback to ever play the game has finally been relieved of his duties. Aaron Rodgers is now free of Mike McCarthy and he’s got a window to win more championships.
The Green Bay Packers made the brave decision to part company with McCarthy, cutting the overly-familiar association he’s had with the franchise for the last decade. And while change is always turbulent, sometimes you have to weigh up pros-and-cons and act.
Aaron Rodgers is the biggest asset the Green Bay Packers have. It’s easy for Tom Brady – he’s got the greatest coach in the history of the sport to support him when uncharacteristic inconsistency sets in.
But Rodgers has had to carry the famous franchise for far too long, when really, all he should have been is a poster boy for success being complemented by moving pieces around him.
McCarthy was afraid of scheming against teams because it would throw Rodgers off his game. He depended far too much on his superhuman QB, and, eventually, put him in plays he felt would work, but without any notable weapons to make those expectations into reality.
So toxic had the relationship between these two become that Rodgers didn’t embrace the scheme and he certainly didn’t trust his receivers. While stability in the NFL is always a positive given the intricacies of each coach’s plan to attack, McCarthy had gone stale and Rodgers was left uninspired, under-appreciated and over-relied upon to pull off miracles.
With the coach out the door, Rodgers’s Pack have a real chance of at least adding up to the sum of their parts, rather than continuing as a fragmented whole. McCarthy’s approach clearly hasn’t worked in some time and the biggest decision the Packers front office would have to make is now done.
They did win a championship under him, so the 55-year-old leaves with his head held high, but he also leaves behind the greatest player to ever receive a snap of the football, so he’s failed to capitalise fully on a golden opportunity to put his name among the greats by winning multiple titles.
All Green Bay had to do was design plays for him, instead of just relying on him to make throws that only he can.
Their talent levels have always been low enough either side of him. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams have all been good players at this level, but they were never elevated to the status you should automatically arrive at when being fed by the Cal product.
The Packers went heavy on defence in this year’s draft, and they can let the talent speak for itself in that regard. They need to appoint an offensive coordinator as a Head Coach and the Chiefs’ Eric Bienemy could be the answer.
Not only do Kansas City make creative splits through odd formations, but they get one-on-one matchups in situations where it seems impossible. If someone can scheme Aaron Rodgers into one-on-one matchups, then the Packers will win eleven games every year.
Instead, they’re likely to promote from within, letting the residue from McCarthy’s tenure linger over Rodgers’ legacy.
Despite his injuries, he is still the best decision maker under centre in the NFL. Sure, Mahomes has more arm talent now, but he’ll make the mistakes Rodgers simply won’t when he’s catered for.
Green Bay can go on to win two more Super Bowls if the appointment is right. The next head coach will be judged purely on that, meaning this appointment is one of the biggest front office decisions in recent NFL history.
Please don’t waste this once-in-a-lifetime career even more, Green Bay.