Tag:Mike McCarthy
Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:50 am
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McCarthy on Flynn: 'It's his time to play'

After playing behind Rodgers, Flynn's in line for a starting job in 2012. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

As is the case most years, the 2012 combine is all about the quarterback. Sure, there are plenty of other players to evaluate but the NFL is a passing league. To win consistently, teams need franchise quarterbacks. (Just take a look at the recent Super Bowl winners for proof -- Eli Manning (twice), Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger (twice), Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.)

While much of the focus falls on Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there has been plenty of talk about current NFL QBs -- old faces possibly playing in new places in 2012. Peyton Manning tops that list even if no one can speak to when he'll be healthy enough to return to the field.

After Manning, there's Matt Flynn who has often been compared to Kevin Kolb for his lack of on-the-job training followed by what's sure to be a big payday to be some team's starter. The comparisons are probably unfair, especially if Flynn can play in a system that fits his strengths (like, say, Miami).

First things first, though; after the Packers signed tight end Jermichael Finley to a two-year deal this week, the speculation was that the organization would then franchise Flynn with the plan to then tag and trade him before March 5.

On Friday, Packers general manager Ted Thompson wasn't interested in speaking in particulars, telling the media that “I’m not going to stand here and tell all the 31 other teams what I think about Matt Flynn.”

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, however, was much more forthcoming.

“Matt’s had a chance to play versus New England (in 2010), versus Detroit (in 2011), so based on what I’ve seen in the every day — classroom, practice field — he’s ready,” McCarthy said via NFL.com. “It’s his time to play.”

“You don’t ever know if that backup quarterback can take that next step and go out and play 16 games. I know mentally, he’s ready; emotionally, he’s definitely ready,” McCarthy continued. “But until you play the position and go play those 1,100, 1,200 snaps, that’s when you really find out. I think Matt’s ready for that.”

On Thursday, NFL Films' Greg Cosell made the case for Flynn to the Dolphins and it came down to this: "It would make good sense for Flynn to join his former offensive coordinator in Miami. [New head coach Joe] Philbin understands from personal experience Flynn’s strengths and limitations. If he gets the chance, he will take a page from the Bill Walsh book, and cast Flynn in his rightful role: an efficient passer in a multi-dimensional passing game in which the scheme rules, not the quarterback."

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is reportedly "infatuated" with Manning but Sports Illustrated's Peter King thinks Peyton-to-South Beach doesn't make a lot of sense.

"As one GM told me today, problem with Peyton to Miami is Philbin wants to control his team and his offense -- not cede it to Manning," King tweeted Friday.

General manager Jeff Ireland said the organization would be okay with a "short-term solution" at quarterback but added that "Obviously you'd like a long-term solution, but you can do both."

The pool of free-agent quarterbacks is pretty thin. In fact, if you're willing to accept that Manning's future remains uncertain, Flynn is easily Miami's best option. If they agree, then the question becomes whether they can get him for a good price.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:12 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 10:16 am
 

Are the Packers and Wells headed for a breakup?

Will Wells be around in Green Bay to protect Rodgers? (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Last October, when we told you about the Packers signing receiver Jordy Nelson and guard Josh Sitton, there seemed to be optimism about Green Bay eventually inking tight end Jermichael Finley and center Scott Wells to new deals that would preserve much of the team’s offensive core.

Well, Finley still is in limbo, as the possibility of the franchise tag hangs over his head, and now it appears there’s a real chance that Wells could be on his way out of Green Bay altogether.

Considering Wells is probably the best Packers linemen -- and one of the best centers in the game -- and considering he just played in his first Pro Bowl, this revelation comes as quite a surprise. But that’s the word from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which writes, “Wells is being told by the Green Bay Packers that he has overvalued himself as an undersized, 31-year-old center no matter how well he has played for them. Wells basically is telling the team, ‘Watch what happens.’”

As the paper writes, this isn’t a salary cap issue, because the Packers could pay Wells what he’s worth. It sounds like they’re just not willing to do it, because, I don’t know, he’s not important enough to the team.

And if the Packers don’t pay him what he wants, Wells could hold a grudge that’s been years in the making.

Latest NFL News, Notes

From the Journal Sentinel:
Wells hasn't forgotten that the Packers cut him at the end of his first training camp.

More critically, he hasn't forgotten how Mike McCarthy and (Ted) Thompson cast him aside after three years as their starting center and replaced him with Jason Spitz in 2009. …

Wells responded with his finest season in '09, topped it in '10 and probably was even better yet in '11. Unlike so many of his teammates, Wells wasn't offered an early extension and played for base salaries of $2.25 million in 2010 and $2.75 million last year.

He remembers that, too.

What’s working against Wells: he’s 31, and he’s undersized for a center. And no matter what he’s done in the past for Green Bay, those two characteristics could cause the Packers to look elsewhere if his asking price isn’t right.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Rodgers 'embarrassed' by NFC effort in Pro Bowl

A. Rodgers said he was embarrassed by the NFC's players effort in the Pro Bowl (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

The Pro Bowl, as we all know, is a joke.

We tried making some suggestions last year (um, hello, running clock?!?), and this year, we described why the changes the NFL did make didn’t improve the quality of the game.

Not only do we see this game as an exercise in irrelevance, mostly because the players’ effort is lacking, but apparently so does Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

During his regular appearance on ESPN Milwaukee, Rodgers said  the NFC players “embarrassed themselves” during the game last Sunday. He also said he was "disappointed in the lack of pride.”

Said Rodgers: “I feel like there should be some pride involved in a game like that, and I was just surprised by some of the efforts of some of the guys. This was my second Pro Bowl. (I) played in the one in 2010. It was down in Fort Lauderdale/Miami. I felt that that one had a lot more energy.

“The AFC side obviously had more energy. I think they were upset about the second onside kick (called by Packers coach Mike McCarthy), and at that point they played a lot harder than we did. But even in the early going, they were playing definitely harder than we were.”

Obviously, there’s no reason for the Pro Bowl selections to go all out and risk injury, and the NFL enforces special rules in the game to decrease those chances as well. But when the defensive linemen are basically shaking hands with the offensive linemen each time the ball is snapped and when would-be-tacklers let ball-rushers run right by them for touchdowns, you have to ask yourself, what’s the point of watching this?

And maybe now Rodgers is asking himself, what’s the point of playing?

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: January 12, 2012 11:39 am
 

Without Philbin, Packers feel his absence

Joe Philbin hasn't been at practice since his son died (AP).By Josh Katzowitz

As the Packers continue to ready themselves for their showdown with the Giants this weekend, they’re having to practice and prepare through the pain that offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is feeling after his son, Michael, drowned in the Fox River last Sunday morning in Oshkosh, Wis.

Philbin has not returned to the team since police positively identified the body, and it’s not clear if and when he’ll be available for the team’s playoff run. Until then, the Packers continue on with heavy hearts.

"Honestly, there's nothing anybody can really say that'll make the pain go away,” Packers guard T.J. Lang, said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Philbin wasn’t in Green Bay for Packers practice Wednesday, and afterward, an emotional Mike McCarthy told the assembled media, “The reality of this just gave everybody a punch in the heart to let you know the reality how fortunate to be where we are."

Without Philbin at the team facility during the week of preparation, McCarthy had delegated Philbin’s responsibilities to other assistant coaches. As the newspaper writes, “Philbin doesn't call plays on Sundays. The offense is in McCarthy's vision with a MVP front-runner serving as the triggerman. But Philbin is a behind-the-scenes force that keeps the unit in unison. He's the one leading offensive meetings at the start of each week, breaking down certain plays.”

And at the end of the week, when the team is finishing up its final practice, Philbin takes over the drill as the first-team offense goes against the scout-team defense. As the Journal Sentinel relates, "'It's a lively scene,' (Evan) Dietrich-Smith said. Players are jumping, yelling and trying to stump the starters. Philbin raises the urgency. It's one way he pushes Rodgers and the offense as a whole."

So, how do the Packers cope for now?

"When you step into our building, you have to find a way to focus on the task at hand and when you go home you deal with things there," said Lang, who also revealed that he’s been dealing with the emotions brought on by a sick father. "But I think we've always had a strong team. We're a very close team.

"Guys rally around each other when you're going through tough times."





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Posted on: January 3, 2012 9:08 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 9:11 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 17

Posted by Will Brinson

Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 17 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  Cruz Broncos  Akers McCarthy
Judge  Flynn  Allen  Akers Coughlin
Prisco  Flynn  Allen Carpenter Coughlin
Brinson  Flynn  Allen Carpenter  Coughlin
Katzowitz  Flynn  Allen  Akers Harbaugh
Wilson  Flynn  Suggs Carpenter  Turner
The NFL's regular season is over. It seems kind of crazy, right? Somehow the lockout was just a few months ago and now we're headed for the playoffs. Whatever, that doesn't stop us from handing out our final regular season Eye on Football Awards of the year.

Matt Flynn wasn't completely a consensus pick for the Eye on Offense Award, but with his performance there's no question he's making some coin in 2012.

Jared Allen can't love his ex-teammate Brett Favre, since he'd have the NFL single-season sack record if Favre hadn't flopped for Michael Strahan. Somehow I doubt the Week 17 Eye on Defense Award will make up for that.

Usually I give tiebreakers to the guy I picked ... and I'm doing it again this week. Dan Carpenter's 58-yarder nudges him past David Akers, despite a touchdown pass, for the Eye on Special Teams Award.

And Tom Coughlin closes out the season with the Eye on Coaching Awards similar to how he closed out his real season: by winning two straight headed into the playoffs.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Victor Cruz Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
Big play after big play when the defense knows Eli Manning is going to him. He still produces. He obliterated the Cowboys as he has almost every team he's gone against within the latter part of the year. It's been incredible to watch him become the next great receiving star.
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
He's the backup for Green Bay, and he doesn't play much because ... well, because that's what happens when you sit behind Aaron Rodgers. So , when he does get his chance all he does is throw for six touchdowns and set a franchise record with 480 yards passing.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Matt Flynn Matt Flynn, QB, Packers
Flynn makes his first start of 2011 and throws for 480 yards and six touchdowns in place of Aaron Rodgers, who the Packers were resting. Wow. He made himself a lot of money.
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
Credit the Packers for finding hidden talent (even if Flynn won a BCS title). Flynn's not hidden anymore -- 480 yards and six teeters Sunday against the Lions means Flynn's the head of the class in terms of free-agent QBs heading into the 2012.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Matt FlynnMatt Flynn, QB, Packers
It’s unfortunate for Matthew Stafford that he came up against Flynn, who set Packers club records in passing yards (480) and touchdown passes (six). Flynn was incredible, leading Green Bay to a victory and making himself a ton of money in the process. By playing him this week, GB assured themselves that they’ll lose him in the offseason.
Matt Flynn Matt Flynn, QB, Packers
If nothing else, Flynn's performance on Sunday (480 passing yards and six touchdowns in a win against the Lions) proves that Aaron Rodgers is a system quarterback. So does that mean Flynn deserves to be in the MVP conversation, too?
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Von MillerDenver Broncos, DST
This is a team award presented to one of the best and most underrated defenses in football, saddled with a terrible quarterback. The Broncos defense held the KC Chiefs to a touchdown and still lost, 7-3. Denver's defense has actually been one of the great surprises of the season.
Jared Allen Jared Allen, DE, Vikings
He produces 3.5 sacks to finish the season with a league-leading 22, just a half-sack short of Michael Strahan's single-season record. What I love about Allen is his motor. The Vikings won three games, but this guy never let up and never quit.
Prisco Brinson
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
Allen had 3 1/2 sacks against the Bears, but feel one short of Mike Strahan's single-season record for sacks in a season with 21.5.
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
Allen got his Ginsu on against Chicago's line and nearly broke Michael Strahan's record for 22.5 sacks in a season. His 3.5 on Sunday left him just short but considering Brett Favre's flop and how horrible this Vikings team is, he really deserves it more.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jared AllenJared Allen, DE, Vikings
He was a man possessed as he went for the NFL season sack record, and though he fell a half-sack and a Brett Favre dive short of Michael Strahan’s record, Allen put the exclamation point on the best year of his career, recording 3 ½ sacks against Bears.
Terrell Suggs Terrell Suggs, OLB, Ravens
He had a sack and a forced fumble in a game that a lot of people thought the Ravens would lose. Now they're perfectly positioned for a Super Bowl run and Suggs could be the defensive MVP
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
David AkersDavid Akers, K, 49ers
Lined up for a field goal but it was a fake. Excellent throw by Akers who tossed a touchdown throw to Michael Crabtree. The most amazing thing about Crabtree's throw? He had better form than Tebow.
David Akers David Akers, K, Eagles
He sets the single-season record for field goals one week, then throws a touchdown pass the next -- a touchdown that, oh, by the way, is the difference in the 49ers' game-ending victory. The more I see of Akers the more I wonder Philadelphia gave up on him.
Prisco Brinson
Dan CarpenterDan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
Carpenter made four field goals, one from 58 yards, as the Dolphins beat the Jets to end their playoff chances. Carpenter's 58-yarder was into the wind.
Dan CarpenterDan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
If not for Carpenter, the Dolphins don't send Jason Taylor out the right way and end Rex Ryan's hopes. Carpenter converted field goals after three turnovers (4/4 on the day) including banging home a 58-yarder that was good from 73.
Katzowitz Wilson
David Akers David Akers, K, 49ers
He established the new league record for field goals byfinishing the season with 44, and he threw an awesome TD pass on a fake field goal that helped the 49ers beat the pesky Rams. For his career, Akers is now 2 for 2 passing for 25 yards and a score. With a passer rating of 158.3.
Dan Carpenter Dan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
Carpenter was 4 for 4 on Sunday against the Jets, including a 58-yarder. With his perfect performance, he helped the Dolphins seal the Rex Ryan's fate and finish the season with a 6-10 record (after an 0-7 start).
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Bill BelichickMike McCarthy, HC, Packers
McCarthy lost one game all season. He beat Detroit with Matt Flynn at quarterback. He might have the best offensive system going in football right now. He's the offensive Bill Belichick.
Mike Munchak Tom Coughlin, HC, Giants
For the second straight week he pulls off a huge victory -- this time winning the NFC East with a decisive defeat of Dallas. For weeks, Coughlin was subjected to questions about his job status and the Giants' second-half collapse. Then he produced the season's two most important wins, and, just like that, the questions ended.
Prisco Brinson
Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, Giants
It was win or go home and he had Coughlin team ready to play against the Cowboys for the NFC East title. Coughlin is good in big games, which bodes well for the playoffs.
Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, HC, Giants
At this point, I'm rooting for the Giants to run the table, win the Super Bowl (again!) and have Coughlin set his pants on fire at trophy ceremony, just to make the fans happy that his seat is finally hot enough. Great job getting his team ready down the stretch.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jim Schwartz John Harbaugh, HC, Ravens
His brother received so much credit this season, but look at what John pulled off Sunday. He beat the Bengals in Cincy and earned a playoff bye and homefield advantage in the second round. Given how mediocre Baltimore is on the road, that’s one heck of an accomplishment.
Hue Jackson Norv Turner, HC, Chargers
Did he really save his job? Turner and the Chargers beat a Raiders team with everything to play for -- in Oakland, no less. If Turner does return, imagine how good San Diego will be if they ever put together an entire season mistake-free football.

Posted on: January 1, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Matt Flynn has record-breaking day for Packers

M. Flynn threw for six touchdowns Sunday (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

Perhaps knowing that he’d make Aaron Rodgers inactive for the day, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he wanted to see backup Matt Flynn perform even better than he did last season against the Patriots. He also said he wanted Flynn to win the game.

Flynn did him better than that. By completing 31 of 44 passes, Flynn threw for a franchise-record 480 yards and a franchise-best six touchdowns to lead Green Bay to the 45-41 victory against the Lions in what was a wild game.

Considering Flynn is a free agent after this season, it seems clear that he might have created a nice little free agent market for himself.

And if Rodgers, for some reason, gets knocked out of a game or can’t play during the playoffs, Flynn has proven that he can win a game against a quality team as well.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK




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Posted on: December 30, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Will the Packers shut down Rodgers on Sunday?

FlynnBy Josh Katzowitz

With the Packers already locked into their No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs, I wouldn’t expect quarterback Aaron Rodgers to play the whole way Sunday vs. the Lions. And though it makes sense that Green Bay would want to play him some -- you don’t want the guy not to play for two-straight weeks -- it sounds like the Packers are pondering not using him at all.

“The most important thing with Aaron is he’s ready to play,” coach Mike McCarthy said, via the Packers official website. “Whether he starts, we’ll talk about that today.”

McCarthy, though, might have given a little hint when he said this, “I want to see Matt Flynn play like he did in New England, but take it a step further -- win the game."

Flynn, of course, is Rodgers’ backup quarterback who nearly beat the Patriots last season. He was ultra-impressive, completing 24 of 37 passes for 251 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and though New England pulled out the win, I blamed the Packers coaching staff for its disorganization in the final half-minute and not Flynn.

Either way, Flynn, though we still don’t know that much about him, drew some trade interest in the offseason -- enough where McCarthy said he wasn’t letting go of Flynn -- and obviously would like to show what he can do against a potentially-scary Lions defense.

If he gets the chance to play, that is. Which, sounds like, he probably will.

“I’m not really trying to go out there and prove anything to anybody or the rest of the NFL,” Flynn said. “I’m going to go out there and try to win the game. My job as the backup is to do my best to not let there be too much of a drop-off at the position.

“Go in there, execute the offense, move the chains and put points up. That’s my job, and that’s all it should be.”





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Posted on: December 12, 2011 6:40 pm
 

Greg Jennings should return in 2-3 weeks

Jennings should be ready to go by the playoffs. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

File this under: living right. On Sunday, Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings suffered a knee injury and there were concerns that it could be enough to end his season. During his Monday press conference, head coach Mike McCarthy said that Jennings suffered a sprained knee, is expected to miss a "couple of weeks' and that “he [should] be back for the playoffs.”

The Packers ran their record to 13-0 after whipping up on the Raiders in Week 14, and their remaining regular-season games (at Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit) point to the real possibility of 16-0. It would be the second time in four years a team has made it through the regular season undefeated (if you're just back from Mars, the Patriots did it in 2007).

And while the never-ending stories about the feat would quickly become tiresome, they'll we welcome next to the inevitable "Hey, we wonder what Mercury Morris thinks about this?" angles.

(For the sake of all mankind, here's to hoping the Packers lose before the playoffs. It would be the ultimate example of taking one for the team.)

With Jennings on the shelf until the playoffs, McCarthy will look to others to pick up the slack.

“We feel we have enough to move forward,” he said. “Greg will be missed, but with that, it’s more opportunities for the other perimeter players.”

While Jennings leads the teams in receptions (67), Jordy Nelson has more receiving yards (957 to 949) and tight end Jermichael Finley has a higher yards-per-catch average (14.3 to 14.2). Then there's veteran wideout Donald Driver and rookie Randall Cobb, who have combined for 50 receptions and five touchdowns this season. Oh, and Aaron Rodgers, 2011 NFL MVP, is still under center.

Thankfully, Jennings will be good to go in a few weeks. But even if he's not, the Packers -- with no shortage of big-play threats -- would still be a huge favorite to win it all.

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