Mike McCarthy surprised assistants aren't in demand


When a team has sustained success, other NFL franchises want to know why and how. Happens every year. With each coaching change -- and there were six -- owners and general managers often try to pick the pockets of the league's most successful teams by hiring away their assistants.

It's happened with multiple teams interviewing Seahawks coordinators Dan Quinn and Darrell Bevell. It's happened with more teams speaking with Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Every team playing Sunday has an assistant with an interview request for a head-coaching job.

Except one.

"I don't understand why our guys are not part of this process," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told me during the bye week before preparation began for Sunday's showdown with the Cowboys with a chance to advance to the NFC title game.

Once again, the Packers received no interview requests for offensive coordinator Tom Clements, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, or assistant head coach and linebackers coach Winston Moss.

It's always this way. Green Bay's assistants are never "hot" names, despite their continued success with homegrown players.

I wondered why. So did McCarthy, who simply wants his assistants to have the opportunity for advancement.

"I'm just stating the obvious," McCarthy said. "We're a very successful football program and you're going into your ninth year and you look around -- it's just really about opportunities. We have a lot of very good coaches here. We have a draft-and-develop program, we take a high majority of our players from college, they're coached. We've been very successful here. Opportunities come from that. It just surprises me there haven't been more opportunities for our coaching staff for head coaching positions."

Since McCarthy took over in Green Bay, his Packers have won a Super Bowl, earned eight or more wins in all but one season, and made the playoffs seven times. Most of those season included Clements, Capers and Moss.

Each of the assistants, according to McCarthy, can command a room and lead. Clements has earned praise for his work with Aaron Rodgers, and McCarthy notes, "He's been with Aaron since Day 1. Look at our offense, we're a pretty offense." Capers has remade the defense this year, and has plenty of head coaching experience. And Moss, though far more under-the-radar, has a key role for the Packers.

Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten said "Winston does all the discipline." Added McCarthy, "He has a great rapport with the players. That's his strongest attribute, his ability to communicate."

Yet no one wants to talk to them. Perhaps they aren't exciting, and maybe none would win an introductory press conference. Neither, by the way, did McCarthy, and that's worked out OK. The coach doesn't fault the process. He said the league does a good job of getting assistants ready and in the spotlight.

It just hasn't helped his guys. At least, not yet.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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