Skip to main content

McCarthy Looks To Return Green Bay To Its Championship Ways


The last time the Green Bay Packers hired a San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator, Mike Holmgren led them to two Super Bowls.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy, whose hiring the Packers announced on Thursday afternoon, carries the same expectations.

"There will be an unconditional commitment from Ted (Thompson) and myself to bring the world championship back to Green Bay," McCarthy said.

General Manager Ted Thompson, who signed McCarthy to a three-year deal, viewed McCarthy as the man to return Green Bay to that level of play for several reasons.

He felt comfortable with him, liked his leadership ability and admired the toughness of the Pittsburgh-born son of a fireman.

"I kind of like a little bit of that Pittsburgh macho stuff to him," Thompson said, "He's a good fit for us."

The 2005 49ers offensive coordinator's record for developing quarterbacks served as another factor. As an offensive assistant, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, 49ers and Packers, he helped tutor some accomplished passers. Those players inlcude Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme, Brett Favre, Rich Gannon, Matt Hasselbeck and Joe Montana.

Since Thompson began the coaching search a week-and-a-half ago, he has meticulously talked to general managers and coaches, and McCarthy's name became a common denominator in all of those conversations.

"Everyone that ever worked with him spoke glowlingly on him," Thompson said.

Although not the determining factor in Thompson's decision, McCarthy already has proven to be a good fit for the Green Bay, Wis. community. He served as Packers quarterbacks coach in 1999 and has friends in the area.

"This is a little bit of a different place -- in a good way," Thompson said. "He has an appreciation and a respect for this organization and the tradition here that was helpful."

McCarthy remains confident about returning the franchise nestled in NFL's smallest town to its Super Bowl roots.

"This is definitely not a rebuilding process," he said. "Clearly I'm purchasing my dream house. Now we might knock down a few walls and give all the rooms a fresh coat of paint."

While McCarthy makes those changes to the Packers, he has not yet determined the composition of his coaching staff. He plans to speak with the 2005 Packers assistants on Friday. After McCarthy hires his offensive staff, he will decide whether to call the offensive plays himself.

"That's a question that will be answered in the future," McCarthy said.

Another question is whether Favre will return in 2006 to play for his former quarterbacks coach. Thompson spoke to him on Wednesday. McCarthy will speak to him "very soon" and strongly endorses the return of his former pupil.

"I don't think there's a coach in the National Football League who wouldn't love the opportunity to work with Brett Favre," he said. "We had a very positive working relationship in 1999, and I'm definitely looking forward to working with him again."

Whoever quarterbacks the offense will run the West Coast offense McCarthy has implemented in Kansas City, New Orleans and San Francisco.

"I've always had great appreciation for the West Coast system," he said.

McCarthy also has great appreciation for his new position as 14th head coach of the Packers franchise. His brother, daughter and parents attended the afternoon press conference, watching him fulfill his dream of becoming an NFL head coach.

"It's definitely been a goal of mine," McCarthy said.

Now he will turn his objective to returning a title to Titletown.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.