McCarthy's approach refreshing

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media today in his pre-training camp press conference at Lambeau Field.'s Todd Korth was there and provides his thoughts on McCarthy's approach to the season.

One thing about Mike McCarthy that Green Bay Packers fans will enjoy is his attitude and approach. The new Packers coach doesn't beat around the bush. He refrains from carefully selecting his words when speaking to the media. He tells it like it is, more often ready to spit out a few cuss words than an eloquent sentence. Yet, he's approachable.

McCarthy is a coach's coach whom the media and fans will like.

When he took the podium to address the media today in his pre-training camp press conference, McCarthy made it clear that he is looking forward to coaching the Packers. Enough already with all the administrative work that comes with being the top dog of the coaching staff - OKing this, and approving that.

"It seems like the administrative duties have heightened from finalizing the scheduling and everything involved," McCarthy said. "I think the coaches and players are looking forward to being out on the field. I'm looking forward to getting on the practice field to find out where we are as a football team, and to start to grow."

McCarthy obviously is anxious to strap on his whistle, tuck a Sharpie in the customized holder on the back of his baseball cap, and coach the Packers to Super Bowl XLI in Miami next February. That's right, Super Bowl XLI.

That's another refreshing thing about McCarthy. Despite the Packers coming off a 4-12 season, and a handful of players questionable for the start of camp because of major injuries last year, McCarthy is aiming high. Some coaches, especially rookie coaches, would be cautious to utter Super Bowl in their season-opening press conference, but not the 42-year-old McCarthy. And why not? He's coaching a team that lost a handful of games last year by a touchdown or less. He's in a division with two other rookie head coaches. Why not shoot for the stars?

"I think parity in our business has been very evident over the last 10 years here in the league," McCarthy said. "I think you've seen turnarounds happen year to year. I will not be comfortable ever to be standing in front of a group of men and telling them we're going to go 8-8. That's not in my nature and I don't think it's the way you approach this business. I'm a big believer of playing the game a certain way. As long as you do that consistently, you're going to have an opportunity to win a lot of games. We have a style of play and approach with how we play the game. We will adhere to that, and I feel we'll be in position to win a lot of football games."

And that's another refreshing aspect of McCarthy. He made it clear that he plans to stick with a smashmouth, run-the-ball first approach from the moment practice begins Friday night at Clarke Hinkle Field through the end of the season. The Packers are utilizing a new zone-blocking scheme this season behind an offensive line that will be very young in the middle. Two of Green Bay's top running backs – Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport – are coming off major injuries, and the receiving corp is unsettled, but McCarthy believes in the talent he has on the 91-man roster.

"I think we have a very talented bunch of players," McCarthy said. "I think we're raw and young at some positions, but I think that's very healthy. I think we'll have competition across the board. That's all you can ask for. Those are good problems to have, so I think we have a team that, as we go through training camp, will start to come together. We're not going to be losing games because we don't have enough players. It's about playing a certain way, staying in tune with the way we want to play games, and being in position to win those football games."

In other words, McCarthy is making no excuses. He's not about to agree with football ‘experts' who say the Packers will be no better than .500 this season. He's not reading the preseason stories. Is he biting off a little more than he can chew? We'll see, but he plans to coach his tail off, so the Packers win this season. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but his attitude and approach has given him a great start.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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