Packers sign head coach Mike McCarthy to multiyear extension
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Mike McCarthy wanted to talk about the upcoming game with the Chicago Bears. It is the middle of the regular season, after all. But on a day in which the Green Bay Packers signed their head coach to a multiyear contract extension, whether he liked it or not, all of the attention Monday was on McCarthy’s future with the franchise.
Currently in his ninth season as the Packers’ head coach, McCarthy is already third on the team’s all-time wins list. Six more wins will put McCarthy at 99 total victories, which will be enough for him to pass legendary coach Vince Lombardi. It can be difficult to assess history as it’s being written, but with this contract extension McCarthy will further cement his status as one of Green Bay’s top coaches ever.
"You win 100 games in this league as a head coach, it’s definitely a milestone," McCarthy said. "I’m not going to compare myself to coach Lombardi. Let’s be real here. I understand my place, my opportunity and I’m very thankful for the people that came before me: Coach Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Mike Holmgren, Ron Wolf, they made this place, the foundation of the building.
"(General manager) Ted Thompson, (team president) Mark Murphy and my responsibility and Aaron Rodgers and the players’ responsibility is to make sure we leave it better than when we arrived. That’s the way I’ve always viewed it. I said it in my opening press conference."
Looking back at when McCarthy reached his first bye week as an NFL head coach back in 2006, it might have been difficult to think this day would come. The Packers were 1-4 and McCarthy was struggling to find early success on the job.
There’s a lot that’s changed about McCarthy (now 50 years old) and Green Bay since then.
"How am I different? I’m older. I’m definitely more experienced," McCarthy said. "I think when you’re younger, you have an idea of what you want to do and how you want to do it, and then you realize you have a lot more to learn than you want to admit. I think it makes you listen more, and I think it makes you check yourself. You’re maybe a little more open. At the same breath, I think you have to stick to your guns and push forward through tough times.
"I go back to that first year, shoot, we’re 1-4, 4-4, 4-8. Those were tough moments for a first-year head coach. Just staying the course. I look at some of the tough times we’ve had here, and I think that’s when Ted is at his best during those times. I think that’s all part of the growth of a head coach."
Specific terms of McCarthy’s extension are not known, but both sides came to the agreement during the Packers’ bye week. It seems likely that McCarthy’s extension will run through when Thompson’s contract is believed to expire: at the end of the 2018 season.
"I’m a young guy; shoot, I’m not thinking about the end, that’s for sure," McCarthy said. "This is a great place. I’m very blessed, very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach here. This is something that the organization wanted. I was thrilled about the opportunity to continue, so that’s all I’m really thinking about is moving forward."
McCarthy mentioned how this is the first time he’s signed an extension in-season.
"Frankly, I’m a little uncomfortable talking about it this time of the year," McCarthy said as he stood at the podium in a suit, clearly battling through an illness that had his voice hoarse. "This is something we haven’t done in-season in the past."
Including postseason, McCarthy has a 93-53-1 record. He’s led Green Bay to four NFC North titles and won a Super Bowl ring in February 2011. McCarthy even has a street named after him in Green Bay.
"We are very happy to extend our relationship with Mike," Thompson said in a statement. "Over the past nine years, he’s provided great stability and consistency to the Packers organization and our community as an excellent coach and leader. He’s a good man and we look forward to the future with Mike as our head coach."
With many more years to come now at the helm of the Packers, McCarthy has an opportunity to add a lot more successes to his resume.
"This is the greatest organization in professional sports in our view, and we’re excited to continue with our program," McCarthy said. "Very thankful to all the players, coaches and this great organization for making that happen."
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