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Tag:Mike McCarthy
Posted on: February 11, 2011 6:47 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 6:51 pm
 

Packers GM Ted Thompson gets an extension

Posted by Andy Benoit
T. Thompson (US Presswire)
Shocking news out of Green Bay Or, wait, UN-shocking news….sorry. Packers GM Ted Thompson has been awarded a contract extension. Team president Mark Murphy announced the move Friday. 

 “We are thrilled to have Ted lead our football operations for the foreseeable future,” Murphy said in a press release. “He has done an outstanding job of building this team. We worked on this and reached an agreement in December, and we are pleased to be able to make the announcement today.”

And yes, you read that correctly: the Packers actually reached a deal with Thompson back in December. Good business move – there’s a chance Thompson would have cost more after he came back from his Dallas trip with a Lombardi Trophy.

Thompson, 58, has been with the franchise for six years. After enduring harsh criticism early in his tenure and dealing with the very public Brett Favre drama (which, looking back, the packers staff handled masterfully), Thompson now has a roster loaded with players in their prime. The Packers have reached the postseason three of the past four years and are already favorites for Super Bowl XLVI.

So Thompson’s contract is done. Next on Murphy’s list: Mike McCarthy. It's not known how long Thompson's extension lasts, but it's expected that he and McCarthy will continue to operate with the same number of years left on their deals.

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Posted on: February 7, 2011 11:50 pm
 

McCarthy wants current job to be his last

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Packers coach Mike McCarthy has two years left on his current contract, but it seems slightly possible that an extension might be coming his way. He didn’t want to talk about an extension during the season, and now that the season is finished, the Green Bay’s front office likely is gearing up to throw rather large sacks of money at McCarthy.

“I would hope this is my last job,” he said today during his post Super Bowl winning news conference. “I’m a builder and we have built something special. This program was built the right way, has quality people in Aaron Rodgers, and all the way through that are going to lead this football team for a long time.

“So I would definitely hope this is my last job.”

So, he would be interested in an extension, then?

Said McCarthy to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I’d listen to them.”

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Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:38 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 9:26 am
 

Young Packers play with a passion for the past

Posted by Will Brinson

IRVING, Texas -- No one questions the historic importance of the Green Bay Packers franchise, but it'd be entirely possible for the current rendition of the Pack to lose a sense of connection with the teams of the past.

That's not the case at all, though.

Even on this is young squad (average age: 25.88 years; none of the current players were even alive when Vince Lombardi died) there's an impressive sense of where Super Bowl 45 fits in the NFL's historical context.

That's probably because they hear it from the man in charge.

"The history of tradition with the Green Bay Packers is a tremendous asset for us as a football team and for us as an organization," head coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday. "It’s something that’s embraced on a daily basis.

You definitely want to win this game for the Packer nation, represent the tradition and history of the great players - Jerry Kramer and all the way down through. We understand where we are, it’s the standard of the Green bay Packers, it’s about winning Super Bowl trophies, and it’s time for the Lombardi Trophy to go back home."

[More Super Bowl coverage]

That's a sentiment that's echoed throughout the locker room "History and tradition is strong in Green Bay," center Scott Wells said. "It's one of the things when you get drafted or signed as a free agent -- they bring you in, and I remember they brought my family in and they give you a tour of the Hall of Fame.

Embracing tradition is obviously important in Green Bay -- a member of the Packers probably couldn't survive a tour in Cheeseland without a belief that the publicly-owned football team is more than just a simple recreational activity for fans and a business for players.

That's not to say it's a requirement, though -- Ted Thompson, the architect for this team, doesn't necessarily demand people who will embrace the Packer tradition.

"We look for good people," Thompson said. "We're very conscious of what kind of person we put in our locker room. We feel like that's very important. But in terms of them embracing tradition, it's something that's acquired.

And once you're there and once you see it and once you experience it on the streets and in the grocery stores, I think you have an appreciation for it and I think these guys do too."



Clearly the pride of the Packers lives in the city, but as almost any member of the team will attest, the walk to work is filled with piles of memorabilia that would serve to humble even the most talented of football players. For this team, though, it serves more as a challenge.

"When I first got to Green Bay to walk around and see the fans and see how much it means to them, and then you go through Lambeau and the Hall of Fame and see all the tradition, I think it motivates you," right guard Josh Sitton said. "You want to be part of something great and you thank all the guys who came before you and we're here because of them, so it's pretty cool."

The pictures of trophies -- named after this fella who once upon a time won some games in Green Bay -- in the media room are constant reminders of a goal, as well.

And they're not just there for show. In fact, there was a purposeful preseason placement for the photos.

"I gave Mike (McCarthy) that idea in the offseason," Aaron Rodgers said. "He might not tell you that, but a good friend of mine who is also a professional athlete, talked about how his coach motivated them in that way.

I thought that would be a cool thing for us to see every day in the meeting room because we start a day off in that room. To be able to think about the entire season what we’re really playing for by having that empty picture up on the wall."

Talent, good coaching and a little bit of luck probably didn't hurt the Packers get this close to achieving their goal, either.

But there's a very clear sense of purpose within the entire team -- and it all seems centered around the tradition they all embrace quite seriously.

None of them knew Vince Lombardi. And none of them even watched him coach. But because a heightened sense of pride's already instilled within the town, the team's substantially more focused on making sure that the NFL's biggest prize makes its way home once more.

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:58 pm
 

Packers learning to deal with Twitter

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

IRVING, Texas – In the heat of the moment, Packers LB Desmond Bishop has logged on to the Internet, clicked on his Twitter page and prepared himself to spill his thoughts online to the 14,000 or so who follow his feed.

Then, sometimes, he takes a breath, thinks about the possible ramifications and deletes the words he’s just written.

“All the time,” Bishop said Wednesday during the media’s morning availability at the team’s Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas hotel.

Really? All the time?

“Yeah, you have to realize what you’re writing before you put it out there,” Bishop said today. “There were times when I was going to write something in the heat of the moment, and I read it, and I was like, ‘I better delete this, because it wouldn’t be good.’ Sometimes you get that backlash when you press send, and then it’s too late. It’s out to the world.”

Some of the Packers know about Twitter backlash.

Like last week, when TE Jermichael Finley and LB Nick Barnett – both of whom are on Injured Reserve – complained that the Packers injured players wouldn’t get to sit for the team photo because of travel logistics.

It caused a mini-controversy for the team, and it prompted coach Mike McCarthy to talk to his team about the ramifications of social media.

“I wouldn’t classify that as a major issue,” McCarthy said. “It was really a situation we dealt with, and as long as our football team is not distracted by it, I don’t feel like it’s an issue. But it was talked about.”

Said Bishop: “He basically told us to have common sense. You know what’s right to say and what’s not right to say. Sometime you’re giving an option and you don’t expect it to be blown out of proportion.”

While a guy like G Josh Sitton won’t bother messing with social media – “I don’t even think about it. I don’t care,” he said – it’s still relevant on his team and in his league. Even though McCarthy isn’t a fan of Twitter and Facebook as either, he also has to deal with it.

“I won’t even let my daughter have a Facebook account, so I think that tells you what I think about Twitter,” McCarthy said. “I wouldn’t even know how to access a Twitter account right now. I understand it’s an important part of the network, but that’s something personally I have zero interest in.”

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Posted on: January 31, 2011 11:56 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 12:05 am
 

Super Bowl Scene Monday night

A. Rodgers (US Presswire)

Posted by Andy Benoit

IRVING, Texas -- The media got a police escort from the Sheraton to the Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas in Irving for the Packers’ Monday evening press conference. The three buses that were scheduled to leave at “4:00 sharp” took off around 4:30. As they raced down the empty streets, Dallas denizens lined the sidewalks, waving and snapping photos (they thoughts members of the Green Bay Packers were behind the tinted bus windows).

Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Charles Woodson, A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews were the only players made available. With Mike McCarthy’s press conference taking place a few rooms over, hundreds of media members crammed into a basement lobby to score a prime position around the players’ tables. Some tables were less crowded than others (see photos of Rodgers’ table vs. Jennings’ table….both photos were taken some 15 minutes before the players arrived).

Once the players came in and the questions started firing, the entire scene became somewhat of a cluster….the entire scene became chaotic. Going off strict observation, a reporter’s job is to ask a player a loaded, leading question before any other reporter can ask them a loaded, leading question. More entertaining than the players’ response (which is one of three things: canned, clichéd or politely evasive) are the facial expressions of all the reporters whose questions weren’t heard. A lot of people are left feeling like their toes have been stepped on.

And when a player does go outside the lines, he’s playing with fire. Jennings was asked if he told the guarded Rodgers to let his hair down this week. Jennings’ response – “I told him to spike his hair up” – was met with stone silence. Damn him, he wasn’t making the writers’ jobs easy.

Donald Driver made reports’ jobs easy, if a reporter was looking for a quote that involved the phrase “confidence level is high”. Each table has microphone and a speaker so that players can be heard. No joke: Driver’s speaker sounded like it was replaying the same audio clip again and again.

Back on the bus, writers flipped through notebooks of sloppy handwriting and replayed bites of mildly-garbled sound. They compared quotes and discussed amongst themselves the spin they would put on it (you’d be surprised how much spin is involved).
No police escort on the way back, which explains why the people of Dallas no longer acknowledged the bus.

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Posted on: January 20, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Hot Routes 1.20.10: Favre's next stop



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • It appears at this point that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis won’t make many – if any – changes to his coaching staff. Cincinnati fans have fallen out of love with offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, but it sounds like Lewis will bring him back anyway.
  • Former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has taken that same job on Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle. Well, since it doesn’t look like Brad Childress will return to coaching this year, I guess Brett Favre will just have to play next season with the Seahawks.
  • The Ravens gave up 40 sacks this season, and thus, Baltimore fired OL coach John Matsko and replaced him with assistant OL coach Andy Moeller – who faces seven charges, including DUI, from an arrest in September.
  • Packers fans probably aren’t happy to see the announcement that referee Terry McAulay’s crew will be working Sunday’s NFC title game. That’s because the last time McAulay had a Packers game, the crew penalized Green Bay 19 times (18 were accepted for 152 yards). For his part, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t sound too concerned.
  • Apparently, Bears LB Brian Urlacher and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers get along famously on the field. They have inside jokes, and they try to throw off the other one by calling out dummy audibles. Somebody needs to mic up those guys.
  • Once again, Bears S Chris Harris sat out practice today. He says he’s going to pla y Sunday, but you’d have to assume he’s going to have to get on the practice field at SOME point.
  • An interesting story in the NY Post on some of Darrelle Revis’ exploits in high school in a small Pennsylvania town.

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Posted on: January 19, 2011 11:34 am
 

Hot Routes 1.19.11: Beware of beards



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • A newer, faster, less sticky way to procure your beer at a football/baseball/rodeo/curling event? Sign me up and color me impressed. This is today’s must-read, by the way. Via Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports’ The Postgame.
  • Former Lions WR Charles Rogers continues to have problems keeping his houses from not going into foreclosure. This time, he owes about $421,000 for a condo in Birmingham, Mich.
  • A circuit court judge in Tampa has ordered former Buccaneers DL Chidi Ahanotu to give up his 2002 Rams conference championship ring, as his ex-wife tries to recover from him $130,000 in legal fees. Naturally, this news did not make Ahanotu very happy.
  • If you believe trash-talking fires up the other team or if you think Rex Ryan is trying to take pressure off his players with his continued proclamations, Ross Tucker of ESPN.com insists you’re completely wrong.
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan writes he’d rather have Packers coach Mike McCarthy on the sidelines than Vince Lombardi. An … um … interesting perspective. Writes Southan: “Clearly, McCarthy is the better coach. But in the interest of even-handedness, we have to give Lombardi this: He was the better dresser.” This is what we call the “minority voice.”
  • I wonder if Brett Favre can try to hijack major league baseball as well. A link to the MLB Facts & Rumors blog. I also think those boys are taking a shot at us.
  • Apparently, there are quite a few different ways to spell Chicago (my old Cincinnati Post buddies could think of at least one). The Green Bay Press Gazette came up with another attempt.

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Posted on: January 15, 2011 11:38 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 12:00 am
 

Everyone's ready to say Rodgers is elite, right?

Posted by Will Brinson



Mercifully, thankfully, the world can stop complaining about Aaron Rodgers's resumé; after dismantling the Falcons in Atlanta (to the tune of 48-21), everyone can officially hold a call him "elite" and -- finally! -- fawn over him publicly.

Wins are important in football, of course. And playoff wins are even more important. But you simply can't judge a quarterback -- in his third year as a starter, no less -- based entirely on his won-loss record in the postseason.

Particularly when it's 0-1.

That's what the world's done with Rodgers, though. For some ridiculous reason (it involves either his draft position or having to follow Brett Favre in Green Bay), he's never garnered the respect that his talent deserves. At least until now.

Even if the Packers lose the NFC Championship game to the winner of Chicago/Seattle, there's no question that Rodgers has arrived. His 10 touchdown passes are the most of all-time for an NFL quarterback in his first three playoff games.

Given the way he took the Dirty Birds out to the proverbial woodshed -- an absolutely bananas 31/36, 366 yards, 3 TD performance -- in the ATL, you'd either have to be Stevie Wonder (blind) or Skip Bayless (blindly stubborn) to argue that Rodgers isn't elite. Oh, and humble, and funny, and ridiculously talented to boot.

"It was one of those nights," Rodgers said, grinning, after the game. "Guys made big plays, I felt like I was in the zone, I was able to escape a couple of times, keep drives going -- we didn't punt all night.

"It was a fun night."

Unless you're the Falcons anyway. Speaking of which -- there's good news for people who enjoy badgering really talented quarterbacks! Matt Ryan's now 0-2 in the playoffs. Which means that we can officially start questioning his legacy, even though he's only three years into his career. (He didn't play well against the Pack, but Atlanta inexplicably abandoned a good gameplan -- give the ball to Michael Turner and throw it short to Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White -- for something that involved either throwing deep or just not holding onto the ball.)

But back to Rodgers. This guy -- to coin a phrase from Jon Gruden -- is one terrible defense away from being 3-0 in the playoffs. This guy's 78 yards short of starting his career with three-straight 4,000 yard seasons. This guy's got 86 touchdowns and 31 interceptions as a starter. And this guy is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL.

No, but seriously, he is. And you can worry about debating that if/when he wins a title in 2010.

For now, it's important to note that Green Bay was a 8/10 on third downs with Rodgers in the game, and while Mike McCarthy definitely deserves some love for his playcalling, there were numerous times when Rodgers was about to get sacked on third-and-long, evaded a blitzer or rusher and took momentum for a rollercoaster ride by hitting either Jordy Nelson or James Jones with a laser for a(nother) backbreaking first down.

That's the crazy thing too -- all due respect to Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, who are both very, very talented, but you get the feeling that the Packers could do what they do even if Nelson and Jones were their top two options.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out exactly why that is, either.

It's Aaron Rodgers. And while he probably "arrived" the day he took the starting reins in Green Bay, Saturday night offered an unnecessary, but official, coronation for Rodgers as one of the game's best.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com