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Pro Football Weekly GM Hub Arkush answers subscribers Bears/NFL questions in every newsletter:
Hi hub, what’s your thoughts on the Mike McCarthy firing? I am a lifelong Bears fan but always had respect for McCarthy as a head coach and play caller and don’t think he deserves the negative beat down from packer fans...what is your view on the situation? Submitted by @wildcats19721
There are two active coaches, Bill Belichick and Andy Reid, with more playoff wins. Only Belichick, John Harbaugh and Pete Carroll have better playoff winning percentages, and only Belichick and Tomlin have better career records than McCarthy’s 125-77-2 (.618).
He is one of the best coaches of his generation, and to suggest anything else is foolish. Packers fans need to remember, McCarthy created Aaron Rodgers, not vice versa, and that Rodgers has apparently spent the recent past stabbing him in the back seems pretty unfortunate.
It also has to be noted that few coaches have won so much with as little talent as McCarthy has. I’m not saying the Packers haven’t had great players — obviously they have — but they haven’t had as many as a lot of the teams they’ve beaten regularly. Rodgers is often credited with making all the players around him better, but wouldn’t that credit have to start with the head coach first?
That said, it was the legendary Al Davis who first said no head coach should stay in one place more than 10 years, and after 13 in Green Bay it’s time for a fresh start for both of them.
It sounds like McCarthy wasn’t being heard in the locker room quite as well as he used to be, and it felt like McCarthy was more focused on surviving than winning the last year or two as he went through a series of changes on his coaching staff.
That we now know Rodgers has been chopping him off at the knees in the huddle, the situation appears to have been unworkable.
He will have several NFL teams to choose from over the next 14 months — depending on when and where he wants to work next.
Packers fans should either say thank you or nothing at all, and they better pray they get another coach as good in their lifetimes because there literally are less than 20 in the history of the NFL with 10 or more years as a head coach with records better than or as good as McCarthy’s with the Packers.
If you doubt me, look it up! It’s in the record books.
I understand the move, but I can’t understand how any real Packers fan can be happy about it.
In your opinion, why did the Bears abandon the run in the second half vs the Giants? How much more do we need to see of Mizzell? Submitted by T. Maples
I don’t want to cop out on you, but I don’t really have an opinion on why the Bears quit running in the second half at New York, because it made no sense and there is no good football reason to support an opinion.
Listen, more than the fact that I like Matt Nagy, because I really do, I think he’s a really good football coach. He has said consistently it’ll take at least a couple years to get his system in, and obviously I just don’t get it all yet. But I know you have to be able to run the football to win playoff games and championships in the NFL, and I’m near positive Nagy knows it too.
For whatever reason, and I’m choosing for now to believe there is a reason, Nagy is choosing not to run the football right now. I also believe based on the offense he ran in Kansas City that he knows how valuable Jordan Howard is to him, even if he’s not using him enough right now.
But I have to stop there before I get too close to sounding like a conspiracy theorist. Nagy certainly didn’t stop running because he wanted to lose to the Giants.
There are two possibilities: One is that he has a firm plan and an unshakable confidence in his system and how to install it, and he believes he has to take care of the passing game and his quarterback before he worries about the run. Or he is a radical revolutionist that believes he can win in the NFL strictly by passing because his passing game is so much more clever than anyone else’s.
I believe it is the former. If it’s the latter, he may bring some excitement to town and be competitive for a while, but he will fail to win big and could be the next Lovie Smith.
The good news, I guess, is that gives him not only a very high ceiling but a very high floor — which is a good thing, just not everything you hope for.
And we have already seen too much of Taquan Mizzell. He’s a nice kid who has shown nothing with a huge opportunity in Bourbonnais, preseason games and now even real ones. Every carry he takes away from Howard or Cohen is a mistake.
What are your thoughts about the bears picking up Kareem hunt?? I think he’d be a great acquisition to the bears! Submitted by Jim Lampe
I’ve been seeing so many people wanting to claim Hunt. Please tell them why the Bears don’t need him. I don’t even want him at Soldier Field if he bought a ticket to the Stones. Submitted by J. Neely
You know, Jim, and I expect you absolutely do know, these are the kind of questions I have to be very careful with because there’s an excellent chance you’re just trolling me and hoping I’ll say something that can be construed to cause a lot of aggravation. Or even if that’s not your intent, I can still end up in the same place anyway if I’m not careful.
So what the hell, I’ll just tell you the truth. I think the Bears picking up Hunt would be one of the most asinine things the organization could possibly do right now.
First of all, Hunt should absolutely get a second chance if he first does all the work he has to do to fix himself — what kind of a sick coward goes around shoving and kicking 19-year old girls? — and to contribute to others who’ve been victims of his kind of abuse. If and when he’s paid for his behavior and made contributions to society aimed at lessening the dangers of his kind of abuse going forward, then — and only then — could the Bears even consider a move to sign him. And it’s unlikely Hunt can come close to that in less than a year, and maybe two.
Then, if you’re still interested — and I hope for Bears fans they still won’t be searching for a running back — you can talk about whether or not Hunt is good enough, you almost have to stay special enough to make it worth putting up with all the crap you will get for as long as he is on the team.
Some can and will argue that’s not fair to Hunt, and to them I would say nothing could be more fair. He’s the criminal right now, not the victim.
If and when he arrives at that point of rehabilitation we talked about warranting a second chance, I leave it to somebody smarter than me to decide, because if it were me, he’d wait an awful long time for a reprieve.
I can’t think of anything more cowardly than a young man who physically assaults women.
I think it would be an absolutely horrible idea for the Bears to even think about Hunt right now.
I'm seeing a lot of talk about the Bears in the playoffs. Does it look like 9 wins gets them in for sure? Other than the 49ers, the rest of their games are pretty tough. Submitted by Tyler Renkes
Tyler, some seasons 11 wins doesn’t get you in. The last time the Bears won 10 games – 2012 under Lovie Smith – they failed to make the playoffs and Lovie got fired. There are still 10 teams in the NFC that can win 9 games, and only six will make the playoffs. A realistic goal for the Bears is 11, and they need to win at least 10— 2-2 the rest of the way — to be comfortable. If the Seahawks beat the Vikings this weekend, then 10 wins would guarantee the Bears the NFC North title, and I really don’t see them losing to San Francisco or Green Bay.
My best guess right now is the Bears win three of their last four, win the NFC North at 11-5 and are the No. 3 seed in the NFC behind the Rams and Saints.