McCarthy: ‘This is where we want to be’

Mike McCarthy has signed a contract extension to remain head coach of a team he's helped turn into one of the NFL's consistent winners. Since taking over the team in 2006, McCarthy has won one Super Bowl and four NFC North championships. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With the ink dried on a contract extension, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was ready to look ahead.

“Can we talk about the Bears now?” McCarthy asked, preferring to discuss Sunday night’s game against Green Bay’s longtime rival.

Not so fast.

McCarthy, whose previous contract ran through the 2015 season, said he signed the contract within the “last couple days,” though the team announced the deal on Monday. Terms of the contract were not available.

McCarthy has fashioned an excellent resume when compared not only to his peers but his predecessors in Green Bay. Since taking over the team in 2006, McCarthy has won one Super Bowl and four NFC North championships. He’s guided the team to six playoff berths and 93 total victories.

His 93-53-1 record, including playoffs, equates to a .636 winning percentage that is fourth among active coaches (minimum 60 games). Only Curly Lambeau (212) and Vince Lombardi (98) have won more games than McCarthy in Packers history. While Lambeau’s record almost certainly will last forever, McCarthy needs only six wins to pass the legendary Lombardi.

“I think you win 100 games in this league as a head coach, it’s definitely a milestone,” McCarthy said during his regularly scheduled Monday afternoon news conference. “I’m not going to compare myself to Coach Lombardi. Let’s be real here. I understand my place, my opportunity and I’m very thankful for the people that came before me. Coach Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Mike Holmgren, Ron Wolf, they made this place, the foundation of the building.”

McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson have built a rarity in today’s NFL: a consistent winner. Thompson, who in July signed an extension to keep him in Green Bay through 2018, became general manager in 2005 and hired McCarthy in 2006.

In 2007, the Packers played for the NFC Championship. After a one-year step back to the pack, the Packers won 11 games in 2009, the Super Bowl in 2010 and back-to-back-to-back NFC North championships in 2011 through 2013.

The Packers are 5-3 this season and in good position to make the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season. Only Green Bay and New England have qualified for the postseason in each of the past five seasons.

"We are very happy to extend our relationship with Mike," Thompson said in the team’s announcement. "Over the past nine years, he's provided great stability and consistency to the Packers organization and our community as an excellent coach and leader. He's a good man and we look forward to the future with Mike as our head coach."

Green Bay is 87-48-1 in the regular season since McCarthy took command in 2006. Only New England (106-30; .779) and Indianapolis (90-46; .662) have been better.

Under McCarthy's leadership, the Packers have won at least 10 games five times, including a franchise-record 15 victories in 2011. Green Bay was the sixth team in NFL history to reach that mark in the regular season.

It took McCarthy 114 games to reach 75 victories. That’s the fastest among current coaches, tied with Sean Payton and Andy Reid.

“This is where we want to be,” McCarthy said, speaking for his wife, Jessica, and their family. “This is the greatest organization in professional sports, in our view, and we’re excited to continue with our program. Very thankful to all the players, coaches and this great organization for making that happen.”

McCarthy, a week shy of his 51st birthday, found it “uncomfortable” talking about an in-season contract extension. The Packers are a game out of first place in the NFC North. Their defensive problems notwithstanding, they remain on the short list of contenders in the NFC. So, with such a bright future, McCarthy was focused only on today and not the finish line to a career that began as a graduate assistant at Fort Hays State in 1987.

“I’m not thinking about the end, that’s for sure,” he said. “This is a great place. I’m very blessed, very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach here. This is something that the organization wanted. I was thrilled about the opportunity to continue, so that’s all I’m really thinking about is moving forward.”

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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