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Packers firing couldn't have been handled any worse - McCarthy

Published 03 Apr 2019, 22:28 IST
03 Apr 2019, 22:28 IST
Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy says the way he was fired by the Green Bay Packers "couldn't have been handled any worse".

McCarthy was dismissed last December after nearly 13 seasons as head coach of the Packers.

And the 55-year-old was not impressed with the manner in which he was told his services were no longer required.

"The timing surprised me. Actually it stunned me," McCarthy told ESPN. "But time provides the opportunity for reflection and clarity and that's where I'm at now. And it's clear to me now that both sides needed a change."

McCarthy's departure came after the Packers lost to the Arizona Cardinals, marking the first time Green Bay made an in-season coaching change in more than 60 years.

He explained he was called into Packers president Mark Murphy's office after the loss.

McCarthy said: "It couldn't have been handled any worse. Anytime you lose a close game, it's a difficult time emotionally afterwards, but when you lose a home game at Lambeau Field in December, it's really hard. And that hasn't happened very often.

"I walked out of my press conference, and I'm thinking about the game, thinking about how our playoff shot was now minimal. That's where my head was at. And when I was told Mark Murphy wanted to see me - and the messenger was cold and the energy was bad. Mark said it was an ugly loss, and it was time to make a change.

"He said something about the offense and the special teams, and he didn't think it was going to get any better. There was no emotion to it. That was hard.


"Every time I released an individual, you get your words right. There's a personal component to it. You know he has a family. He's family. There wasn't any of that. So that was off. The way people leave that building was very important to me. That's a part of the business.

"Hopefully moving forward for guys like Clay [Matthews] and Randall [Cobb] and Nick Perry and Jordy Nelson and T.J. Lang, it's important for them to leave the right way. That way represents the Green Bay Packers standard that I tried to uphold every day."

When asked if McCarthy believes he deserved a better ending, he replied: "Obviously."

McCarthy went on to say his dismissal "was hard to swallow," but he received an outpouring of support from a variety of former players, owners and media members that made it more bearable.

"When we won the Super Bowl, I received over 200 texts. That week, I had over 500," McCarthy said. "I got more than twice as many messages for getting fired then I did when I won the damn Super Bowl. It's remarkable.

"They were from current and former players, competitors, owners of other NFL teams, politicians, media members, guys I competed against that I had never even talked to. I was blown away by it, and still am."

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:27 IST
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