Mike McCarthy visits Packers' facility twice after firing, reportedly could take a season off

Despite getting fired on Sunday night, Mike McCarthy returned to the Packers' facility twice during the week.

According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the decision-makers in the Packers' front office signed off on letting their former coach return on Tuesday and Wednesday to talk to the coaching staff and players. Since he was fired on a Sunday night -- after the Packers dropped to 4-7-1 with a shambolic loss to the Cardinals -- McCarthy wasn't given the chance to speak with the team immediately after it all went down. According to Packers interim coach Joe Philbin, it was "emotional" for "everybody in the room" when McCarthy made his return. 

"We all saw him as a staff, which was great," Philbin said, per ESPN. "Then we talked, and he wanted an opportunity to speak with the team. I was 100 percent, fully supportive of [it], and he did a fantastic job talking to the team. Not just about football and winning football games, but his passion. His passion for the game, his love for the players was clearly evident. I'm sure it was emotional for him and everybody in the room. It was awesome. I thought he did a great job."

He even got a standing ovation.

"I was happy to see him," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "Obviously, first thing's first, you understand that this is a business and not many people get that opportunity. And the player, as well. We're in the same boat. For him to invest the past 13 years in this team, has given his heart and soul to us, to have that kind of closure, it was great of the organization -- Joe, Gutey, Mark and everybody that allowed him to come in and say his piece. I know we really enjoyed it. I'm sure he did from a closure standpoint. Obviously, we gave him the respect he deserved and sending him off with some final words."

Now, we wait to see what comes next for McCarthy, a coach with both an impressive resume in terms of wins and losses, playoff appearances and Super Bowls, and a disappointing track record of conservatism and staleness in an era of innovative offensive football. According to Demovsky, a source told ESPN that McCarthy could take a year off from coaching entirely

If McCarthy doesn't take a season off, he could be in the running for any of the jobs that are expected to open up this offseason. As it stands, the Browns are the only other team that is guaranteed to be looking for a new coach after firing Hue Jackson over a month ago. But there are plenty of coaches on the hot seat as we enter the final month of the season, from Dirk Koetter in Tampa Bay to Todd Bowles in New York to Ron Rivera in Carolina to John Harbaugh in Baltimore.

While there's plenty of reasons to criticize McCarthy's coaching style (particularly, his bland and outdated offense), NFL teams certainly love hiring retreads, and they could be sold on his resume, which includes a career .618 wining percentage, nine playoff appearances in 13 seasons, and one Super Bowl. They could be convinced by the way he developed Aaron Rodgers into the quarterback he is today and ask him to mold their own young quarterback.

For now, we wait. But we should expect to hear McCarthy's name mentioned as a coaching candidate in the months to come.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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