5 potential replacements for Mike McCarthy as Packers head coach

Green Bay Packers

Mike McCarthy has already been fired, and here are five candidates to be the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

At 4-6-1 going into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Green Bay Packers were already not realistically going to the playoffs. Head coach Mike McCarthy was firmly on the hot seat, and a sure casualty of “Black Monday” once the regular season was over.

But a listless, surprising 20-17 loss to the now 3-9 Cardinals, sealed by a missed field from Mason Crosby that would have forced overtime, was the last straw. Before the second set of Sunday afternoon games was done, McCarthy was fired by the Packers.

McCarthy had a 125-77-2 record over almost 13 seasons as the Packers’ head coach, with a Super Bowl win after the 2010 season. But a deteriorating relationship with Aaron Rodgers, questionable in-game strategy, iffy timeout usage and an offense that never really changed over the years sealed his inevitable fate. The surprise was in the timing, and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will be interim head coach for the final four games.

McCarthy won’t be unemployed long if he wants to work next season, with the Cleveland Browns as a popular, if not most likely, landing spot. But the Packers needed a fresh voice, and there will be plenty of coaches who want to work with Rodgers even if he can be difficult.

Here are five candidates to become the next Packers head coach.

5. John Harbaugh

Along the same line as McCarthy, if Harbaugh is let go by the Baltimore Ravens he’ll have a new job pretty much the next day. The Ravens have won three games in a row to salvage some playoff life at 7-5, so some of the hot seat talk has cooled. But a previously reported “mutual parting of ways” after the season seems to be coming, as the franchise transitions to a new general manager and quarterback while Harbaugh enters the final year of his contract in 2019.

Harbaugh will be a potential candidate for the Browns’ job, just like McCarthy. But any other team with an opening may have Harbaugh higher than McCarthy on their list, and Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst or CEO Mark Murphy should be already be making just such a list of candidates.

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