I forget if I’ve written about it here to any length, but two of my top signs you have a bad head coach are 1. Lots of penalties. 2. Bad special teams play. Â It seems with coaches who are destined to be good coordinators, they can’t handle the extra detail involved in fixing those issues. Â So they try to make up for it in other areas and publicly pretend it isn’t that big of an issue.
For the last three years as the Packers have been at or near the top of the league in penalties and special teams ranking, McCarthy has said things like “we’ve got to shore that up” week after week, while the problem doesn’t change. Â It would be very convenient to blame those mistakes on youth (as the Packers have also had one of the youngest teams in the league over that stretch), but last night you wouldn’t dare make that case.
For example, the end of the third quarter when Green Bay was pinned at their own 1 yard line, long-time right tackle Mark Tauscher flinched on consecutive plays, killing any chance of momentum and getting the fans into a bigger frenzy. Â After Rodgers forgot to look at the play clock, the Packers were forced to punt. Â In an astonishingly bad judgement call, special teams coach Shawn Slocum said “let’s punt it to Hester” (who was waiting at mid-field). Â One Devin Hester punt return for a touchdown later, the Packers were cooked.
The mistakes continued to pile up as James Jones caught a pass down the sideline for what should’ve been a huge first down late in the fourth. Â Instead of getting out of bounds or simply going to the ground quickly to conserve time, he tried to fight through two linebackers and lost the ball.
When the Packers were trying to stop the Bears from making a game-winning drive, the defensive penalties started mounting. Â The team was probably tired and frustrated at this point, but they really showed their true character by being over aggressive and killing any hope of stopping the Bears with sloppy play.
Just like every year under Mike McCarthy, this team is going to underachieve. Â We may make the playoffs, we may even win a playoff game, but as long as the same problems that have plagued McCarthy his entire head coaching career are still there, he will defeat us.