A trip to his hometown of Pittsburgh over the bye week gave Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy some time to put a major milestone into a perspective he could use to inspire a group of students.
When the Packers beat San Diego last week, it was the 100th regular-season win of McCarthy’s career. He’s the 38th coach in NFL history to reach that threshold.
“I think you should smell the roses as you go, I do believe in that,” McCarthy said on Monday. But they say ‘stop and smell the roses.’ I think you need to keep moving and smell the roses. Just keep plowing forward.”
McCarthy didn’t take any time to stop and sniff during the bye. He did take a break to go back to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. McCarthy presented St. Rosalia Academy in his native Greenfield neighborhood with a commemorative Wilson Golden Football, as part of the NFL’s Super Bowl Honor Roll campaign, which recognizes communities that have produced Super Bowl champions in the 50 years of the championship game. Also, the city of Pittsburgh proclaimed it “Mike McCarthy Day.”
Strolling the halls of his former school, plus a trip to the family bar, made it quite the trip down memory lane.
“You know, I used to answer questions about ‘kid from Pittsburgh’ and ‘where you came from,’ and it’s just like I told the kids at St. Rosalia’s – you can go wherever you want,” McCarthy said. “I’m supposed to be here. And I’m here because of the Good Man Up Top and you have to believe that. You have to set your sights out there and go for it. It’s taken me some time to realize that. Sometimes I used to apologize for being here. Hell, I’m supposed to be here. I’m proud of what we’ve built here so far.”
McCarthy has built a perennial powerhouse that is 6-0 entering a Sunday night showdown at Denver. A week of self-scouting will culminate in a fundamentals-focused practice on Monday. Prep for the Broncos will begin on Wednesday.
“A lot of self-scout for us, frankly, was reinforcement,” McCarthy said. “We’ve done a lot of good things and we’ve got a good foundation of six weeks to build off of.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.