NOVAK: Green Bay makes big mistake

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, December 4, 2018

I have never been one to think players are more important than their coaches, no matter how much more money they make than the other one.

Players should never be allowed to make personnel decisions about staff or teammates as far as I am concerned.

I do not care if you are LeBron James, Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers.

Which of course leads me to the point of this week’s column.

It appears from everything that I have read and listened to since Sunday night when it was announced that the Green Bay Packers were firing head coach Mike McCarthy that Rogers had a hand in the decision.

It is baffling to me that a coach who has won a Super Bowl and taken his team to the postseason more often than not, would be fired because he and his star quarterback cannot seem to get along.

Now I do understand that the Packers are 4-7-1 this season after being 7-9 last season when Rogers went down with a season-ending injury.

He also was injured in the season opener, which leads me to one of my points about this situation.

I still do not believe star players should be able to have that much influence over a team. But I am definitely one who thinks that an aging star player who has become injury plagued should not be making those decisions.

Aaron Rogers has been a great NFL quarterback, but he is on the down side of his career and is starting to show signs of being a bit brittle.

So, with that in mind, let me lay out some facts about McCarthy before I get to my second and final point.

In his 13 years as head coach of the Packers, Green Bay has been 125-77-2, along with being 10-8 in the postseason.

The Packers won the 2010 Super Bowl and lost in three NFC Championship games, including as recently as two years ago.

How is that not good enough to keep your job, when Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati has never won a playoff game in his career and still has his coaching position?

Ask any fan of the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers or New York Jets.

I bet they would take McCarthy in a heartbeat. I know I would love to see him coach the Lions.

The timing of the firing is just a bit strange. After all, there are just four games left in the regular season.

So, the Packers could not wait out those four games and then fire McCarthy?

If it is true that Rogers had a hand in having his coach fired, then he better step up his game over the next four weeks because I can tell you, going 31-of-50 for 233 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals and 17-of-28 for 198 yards with a touchdown against arch rival Minnesota are not getting the job done.

It will be interesting to see who the Packers replace McCarthy with. We all know it will not be failed NFL head coach Joe Philbin, who is the interim coach for Green Bay.

Philbin worked for the Packers as its offensive coordinator for nine years before taking over in Miami for three-plus seasons where he was 24-28.

He returned to Green Bay this season as the offensive coordinator.

Good luck Green Bay as you try and find a coach who can replace McCarthy and have the same type of success that he did.

Those coaches do not grow on trees, as teams before the Packers have found out.

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at