Green Bay (WQOW) – Disappointment, but optimism for the future was the tone of a press conference Monday afternoon in Green Bay – a day after the team parted ways with head coach Mike McCarthy.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said it has been a difficult couple of days. Murphy said McCarthy’s tenure had run its course and it was time for a new voice.
“He was a tremendous coach for us,” Murphy said. “He had a great run here.”
Murphy said he would have preferred to make the change after the season, but based on the way the season has unfolded and Sunday’s performance, it made it clear a change was needed. Murphy said it is best for the organization to make the change now instead of waiting for the off-season.
Murphy also said this will allow McCarthy more of an opportunity to find a new job in the NFL for next season.
Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst joined Murphy at Monday’s press conference. He said he is confident the team will find the right guy for the job.
He said there is talent in the locker room, and he has faith in the players, but those players have not played up to their expectations. The two were asked how star QB Aaron Rodgers factored into their decision to fire McCarthy, and what say Rodgers will have in terms of who the next coach will be.
“I have a really good relationship with our players, but we are not going to consult any of our players on the search,” Gutekunst said.
Gutekunst said the team has not played well for most of the season, but it is important for the players to go out and do their best to win the final four games of the season with interim-head coach Joe Philbin.
Philbin spoke at a separate press conference later in the day. He said as offensive coordinator, he feels like he let Mike McCarthy down.
When asked if he wants to be the team’s next head coach, Philbin deflected the question saying he is happy with the position he is in now for 2018.
Philbin said he met with the staff and players for 15 minutes about the move on Monday morning. He said his focus is on week 13 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Philbin said he spoke with McCarthy twice since he was fired and both were emotional conversations. He said both he and McCarthy told each other they loved each other and he feels McCarthy will make a successful head coach with a different team.