WATCH: Packers' McCarthy confirms offensive staff changes, discusses changes already made

Wisconsin's Morning News

 

After the Green Bay Packers' unsuccessful 2017 campaign drew to a close, the Packers underwent three major sets of personnel changes within 24 hours of each other.

Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed a report that changes were coming on the offensive side of the football, with a not-completely-set situation involving offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett and the status of quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.

"Edgar's situation is still fluid. We're still in communication there. Alex Van Pelt was more a personal choice from a contractual standpoint. He desired to be a free agent after this season, so this is really a product of last year's negotiation. He wants to look at other opportunities," McCarthy told WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" Thursday with Jane Matenaer, Doug Russell and Mike Spaulding. (Watch below - his audio comes in after a short delay.)

Previous to this, the Packers fired Mike McCarthy's top assistant, defensive coordinator Dom Capers and two defensive assistants.

Additionally, they reassigned McCarthy's boss, general manager Ted Thompson, to a senior advisory role.

However, it was revealed that the Packers added another year to McCarthy's contract, making sure he's not going anywhere - despite the first losing season since 2008.

"The overall message to the team is that there is a standard here in Green Bay. We didn't meet it. It's a process you go through each and every year regardless of how you finish. We focus on change, adjust and emphasize," he said about his discussions with his players after the season ended.

Watch Coach McCarthy's live news conference at Lambeau Field below:

In a time of great change on 1265 Lombardi Avenue, McCarthy sees huge work ahead to revamp the team's coaching staff with impending changes to the structure of it.

"Being 'Captain Obvious' here, we have a lot going on," he said.

"Clearly, we've gone through a four-day process of more change than we've ever been part of here in 12 years, starting with Ted Thompson and the GM search."

That process has been, for sure, an emotional struggle for McCarthy, a man with deep feelings for the men he works with, a man known to shed genuine tears in powerful moments - but it's not stopping him from the job at hand.

"When you go through changes, there is a personal side to it. These are hard times we're working through right now. The focus is on improvement. These are decisions you just don't make in one day. I'd like to focus on all the positive things that have been accomplished over the tenure of these fine men."

McCarthy expressed his need to make sure that a true symbiotic relationship exists between himself and the eventual GM pick.

"The general manager/head coach responsibility is clearly a partnership. If it doesn't fit, it's not going to work...you're headed down the wrong path. Fit is obvious on a philosophical standpoint. It takes two to win a championship in the game of football."

During the news conference in Green Bay, he also made it clear he does not want both jobs, as coaching predecessor Mike Sherman had for a short time in the 2000's.

"I don't believe in total control. I believe the job is too much for one person," he explained, saying the fit is leading him to a role in the discernment of picking a new GM.

"I'm very comfortable, confident and appreciate of my position in the (GM hiring) process."

Meanwhile, McCarthy is in search of a new defensive coordinator, saying that the league's rules about when the Packers can talk to other team's coaches will affect the length of the process.

However, he explains that the structure of the defensive staff won't be the same as it was with Capers.

"Defensively, it will be a different structure. I just really focus on really focusing the job description and job responsibility and building from there," said McCarthy.

"The defense needs to be better than the offense. That has to happen," he added in the news conference.

Changes will come on offense as well - not just with personnel, but with how the team will run it.

"The job responsibility on the offense will be slightly different. This past season, we had a new addition with our structure with our perimeter and some of the new components that come off of that. We'll be adjusting some there."

In summation, McCarthy gave the overall, simplistic reason for these changes.

"It's important to set the course, set the vision to win...the world championship."

"(My job is to do) everything we can to win the championship. That's what this process is...you don't get to say 'but' if Aaron (Rodgers) is hurt."

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