Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy answers a question after an
NFL football NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-22 to
advance to Super Bowl XLIX.
GREEN BAY — Mike
McCarthy promised Wednesday to evaluate, make changes and learn from
his team's gut-wrenching NFC Championship game loss to the Seattle
The Green Bay Packers
coach also delivered another promise.
"Every game you
compete in is a unique experience, and the only way you benefit from
that experience is you have to be able to learn from the victories and
defeats. That's the mindset of a champion," McCarthy said during
his season wrap-up news conference, which was delayed a week after the
death of his younger brother, Joe. "That will never change. (But)
the 2015 football team will not bear the burden of what happened in
2014 or before that. That's not the way we operate."
session was light on specifics and devoid of any major announcements
or staff shakeups. Assistant coaches are off this week, and if
McCarthy does plan on making changes - after two major special-teams
gaffes contributed significantly to the season-ending loss, special
teams coordinator Shawn Slocum's job security could be tenuous - he
will do so after meeting with coaches starting next week.
exit interviews with players on Jan. 19-20 and was set to begin his
meetings with coaches on Jan. 21 when he learned of his brother's
death. McCarthy returned from Pennsylvania on Tuesday after his
brother was laid to rest Monday.
to evaluate. I obviously haven't had that opportunity," McCarthy
replied when asked about Slocum's job status. "We'll look at
everything. We'll look at every job description, every job
responsibility, performance - mine included - and we'll look to make
Among the mistakes
the Packers made while squandering a 16-0 halftime lead: A 19-yard
third-quarter touchdown pass by Seahawks holder Jon Ryan to tackle
Garry Gilliam on a fake field goal for Seattle's first points of the
game, and tight end Brandon Bostick ignoring his assignment to block
on a Seattle onside kick with just over 2 minutes left in regulation.
Bostick mishandled the ball and Seattle recovered, setting up a
definitely a tough performance for us," McCarthy said.
"Anytime you give up seven points and have a turnover, it's very
difficult to overcome that, especially when it occurs in the second
half like it did."
about the fake field goal, and whether Slocum and the coaches should
have been more ready for a fake in that situation, McCarthy hinted
that a "safe" call rather than an all-out "block"
call was in order.
"Your call in
that situation is what Seattle benefited from," said McCarthy,
whose team also allowed the Seahawks to overcome a second-and-30 and
third-and-19 to keep that drive alive. "After that particular
series, the third-down conversion they had, the second down and third
down conversion they had, walking out of there with a field goal, 16-3
is fine. Creating the opportunity for them to make a big play is where
Errors came on more
than just special teams, however. From an offense that had two
three-and-out possessions in the fourth quarter while trying to
protect a lead, to safety Morgan Burnett heeding outside linebacker
Julius Peppers' advice to lie down after an interception with just
over 5 minutes left in regulation, to a defense that collapsed after
dominating most of the game, there was plenty of blame to go around.
Now, McCarthy's focus
is on taking those mistakes and making sure they lead to growth.
"Our fans, I
understand your disappointment. We're right there with you,"
McCarthy said. Later, he added, "We're going to create another
opportunity to build the best football team that we can in 2015, and
we're going to go for it."