McCarthy Filled with ‘Great Memories’ of Green Bay

Bill Huber

INDIANAPOLIS – With a big, familiar smile but a different sweatshirt and logo, Mike McCarthy proclaimed, “It’s great to be back.”

McCarthy, who coached the Green Bay Packers for most of 13 seasons before his firing late in the 2018 season, is the new coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Asked if he was “rejuvenated” by a year out of the league, McCarthy said: “I’m excited about the opportunity with the Cowboys. I’m trying to say that as I’m rejuvenated. Give you some energy. That’s what my media coaches told me; no, I don’t have one. I’ve had a year off. I think like anything in life, if you have a chance to step back, reflect and really take the time to be honest, be transparent about the things that you can improve on, that’s all been part of the process that I went through leading up to getting the job in Dallas. Frankly, I haven’t reflected one minute since I arrived in Dallas because, like everybody on the coaching staff, we’ve had our head down and are grinding away. It’s a great opportunity.”

During about 13 months out of the league, McCarthy continued to live with his family in Green Bay. That meant going to high school sporting events and rehabbing from knee surgery across the street from Lambeau Field at the Bellin Sports Medicine and Orthopedics located in Titletown.

It’s hard to escape the Packers because of their deep association with the Green Bay area. Nonetheless, McCarthy scoffed at the notion it was a difficult year.

“I have great memories and positive thoughts about my time there,” he said as part of the associated video. “I’m thankful for not only the opportunity to coach there but the relationships that I will always have. I have a lot of close friends that still work for the Packers. And the community that we live in there, that’ll always be part of our family.”

A few more Packers-related comments from McCarthy:

On why he believes Dak Prescott is the right quarterback: “No. 1, you just look at what he’s done in his time in the league. He’s been impressive. I’ve been impressed with him since the first time I saw him play live up in Green Bay when they came to Lambeau. First impressions are very important when you see quarterbacks on the field because in-person evaluations, particularly at that position, have always carried more weight.”

On letting offensive coordinator Kellen Moore call plays, a duty McCarthy vowed he would never give up after a failed experiment with then-offensive coordinator Tom Clements in 2015: “I have a new job. I get to start over and take all those ‘never again’ statements back. I think when you look at the big picture, these decisions that I’m making, particularly early in my tenure, I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. I had a chance to study the opportunities that were in front of me for quite some time and Dallas was the one opportunity that was something I felt was important to keep the current offense in place because of the success that they’ve had in the past.”

On the roster: “You want to have as many veterans as you possibly can. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to coach a more experienced football team.”

On free-agent receiver Randall Cobb: “I was very impressed with Randall last year. He was banged up a couple years prior to that but I thought he had a heck of a season in Dallas last year. I was very impressed with his video.”