Following the Green Bay Packers’ historic collapse to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is making a notable change.
McCarthy will no longer be in charge of play-calling, leaving Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements to take over play-calling duties.
McCarthy was heavily criticised for his play-calling in the Packers’ 28-22 overtime loss to the Seahawks. Green Bay blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, but it was some conservative play-calling earlier in the game that put McCarthy in the spotlight.
On two-straight first quarter drives he decided to kick field goals from the Seattle one-yard line on 4th down. In the second quarter he kicked a field goal on 4th and one from the 22-yard line.
If just one of those drives turns into a touchdown instead, the Packers would have been in a much better position to win.
There were other smaller miscommunications during the game, as Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. Packers receivers reportedly didn’t know Richard Sherman had an injured elbow, and Packers tight end Brandon Bostick fumbled the Seahawks’ on-side kick, clearly not ready to handle the play.
Silverstein also notes that several of the NFL’s top head coaches don’t call plays for their team — Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, and John Harbaugh, just to name a few. McCarthy giving up play-calling may let him focus on the finer details of the game, rather than devoting time in between downs to choose a play.
Green Bay led the NFL in scoring last season, giving Clements a pretty easy job to take over.
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