Packers set to hire McCarthy

Was quarterbacks coach under Ray Rhodes in 1999

Mike McCarthy, a former Green Bay Packers assistant coach, will be named head coach of the Packers, sources have told has confirmed that the Packers and McCarthy, who was the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator this year, are working on a contract.

McCarthy's agent, Gary O'Hagan, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was in the process of working out a deal with the Packers, but he could not say when an agreement would be reached. The fact the two are working on a contract means that Thompson has picked McCarthy from a list of seven candidates to be his head coach.

"We're working on it," O'Hagan told the Journal Sentinel.

McCarthy beat out finalists Jim Bates, Sean Payton, Tim Lewis, Ron Rivera, Maurice Carthon and Wade Phillips for the job. Thompson was scheduled to meet with Pittsburgh Steelers assistant head coach/offensive line Russ Grimm on Friday, but decided on McCarthy, whom he interviewed on Sunday in Green Bay.

McCarthy, 42, was Green Bay's quarterbacks coach in 1999 under Ray Rhodes and knows the West Coast offense. Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks had his best years under McCarthy and struggled this year after McCarthy left to join the 49ers. Thompson was Green Bay's director of player personnel under general manager Ron Wolf in 1999 when McCarthy was with the Packers.

"I like guys that do their due diligence," former Packers general manager Ron Wolf told the Green Bay Press-Gazette earlier this week. "I was very impressed with how he presented himself, and when he said something, it was well explored and not just off the seat of his pants."

McCarthy is in line to become the 14th head coach in Packers franchise history. Mike Sherman was was fired Jan. 2 by Thompson after six seasons in Green Bay.

With McCarthy taking over the job, the Packers will continue with the West Coast offense, and likely will increase the chances of Brett Favre returning for another season.

It is uncertain if McCarthy will be able to persuade Bates, Green Bay's defensive coordinator, to stick around next year. Bates is under contract but he reportedly might seek to get out of his contract so he can coach elsewhere next season.

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