That was the case in the NFC championship game against Atlanta last season.
That was the case Sunday, when the Packers took a secondary that had three undrafted cornerbacks into a gotta-have-it game. Cam Newton responded with four TD passes. Nobody should be surprised. If the Packers keep Capers, then it’s fair to demand a top-10 defense. Otherwise, that’s just bad judgment by McCarthy.
It happened Jan. 15, 2015, when the Packers blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead in a 28-22 loss to Seattle in the NFC championship game. Green Bay was good enough to win the Super Bowl that year despite Rodgers’ leg injury. They haven’t been good enough since. Rodgers’ legendary Hail Mary throws weren’t enough in 2015, and running the table wasn’t enough last year.
Does that mean McCarthy goes, too?
Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning won Super Bowls with different coaches, but all of those quarterbacks were set up for success by their surroundings. Montana went from Bill Walsh to George Seifert; Aikman from Jimmy Johnson to Barry Switzer; Roethlisberger from Bill Cowher to Mike Tomlin; Manning from Tony Dungy to Gary Kubiak. Even Favre played under four different head coaches in Green Bay.
The Lakers closed ranks around Walton, refusing to dignify the comments with an official response but making clear to the media that Walton’s position is secure. (As it should be.) Lonzo said the right things in his media availability, disagreeing with his father about Walton’s hold over the locker room. And an unexpected defender came to Walton’s side, as well.
Rick Carlisle, who leads the coaches’ association, ripped ESPN for publishing LaVar’s quotes. Carlisle said that as an NBA partner, ESPN eroded the trust between coaches and the media company by letting a blowhard loudmouth critique a coach in the way Ball did. (Because Carlisle is speaking from his perch with the coaches’ association and not as the Mavericks head coach, we’ll ignore the odd relationship Dallas has with ESPN reporters for a moment.)
Carlisle is not wrong that Ball is a blowhard loudmouth. And he’s not wrong that the best solution is for everyone to ignore him. But so long as he is one of the most interesting figures in the sport — and he is, like him or not — no one in the media is ignoring him.