Skip to main content

5 things to know about Mike McCarthy

Throughout the Browns' search for a new head coach, will break down the candidates as they go through the interview process with the team. It starts today with a look at Mike McCarthy, the former longtime coach of the Green Bay Packers.

1. When it comes to experience and accomplishments, McCarthy has what a lot of current coaches are striving to achieve. He was the Packers head coach for 13 seasons, won 135 games, made nine trips to the postseason, won the division six times and, most importantly, coached the Packers to a Super Bowl XLV victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. His 125 regular season victories rank 30th in league history and his .618 win percentage is 29th among coaches who have won at least 30 games. If McCarthy becomes a head coach in 2020, he'll be, at worst, fifth among active coaches for most career wins.

2. McCarthy was dismissed as head coach of the Packers shortly after the team's 12th game of the 2018 season. Green Bay was 4-7-1 at the time and on the way to missing the playoffs for the second straight year. McCarthy was linked by media to a handful of job openings for the 2019 season but ultimately decided to sit out the season. "Family excited about dad at home for 2019," McCarthy told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. "That's all that matters as we both know." In a recent profile, McCarthy went in-depth about his 2019, detailing how he and former coaches Jim Haslett, Frank Cignetti Jr. and Scott McCurley spent months together preparing as if they were "the 33rd staff" in the NFL. That entailed plenty of film analysis, study of league trends and much, much more. "To do it right and to be in position to win it every year, that's what I'm looking for," McCarthy told "So that's the opportunity, that's who I want to be paired with. And I'm not trying to just go win one, I'm trying to win them all. And I've always taken that approach."

3. McCarthy was the offensive play-caller in Green Bay for the majority of his tenure with the team. He ceded those responsibilities leading up to the 2015 season but ultimately took them back late in the year because the Packers' offensive numbers had plummeted. "I did it for all the right reasons," McCarthy told USA Today. "That's responsibility and leadership is what that was. It wasn't popular. It's something that you didn't want to do. But I had to do what I thought was best for the football team. That's what I think about at night. That's what I think about when I get up in the morning. That's my every-day, all-day professional thought." The Packers ranked in the top five in scoring offense six times during McCarthy's tenure, including two first-place finishes (2011 and 2014).

4. McCarthy has been calling plays in the NFL since 2000, when he landed his first coordinator gig with the New Orleans Saints. His best year there was 2002, when the Saints -- led by Aaron Brooks, Joe Horn and Deuce McCalister -- ranked third in the NFL with 27 points per game. The Saints also won the NFC South in McCarthy's first season. He was the coordinator for Haslett, who was fired in 2004. McCarthy went to San Francisco and filled the same position in 2005 under Mike Nolan. McCarthy had a connection to Green Bay, which hired him in early January 2006, because he was Favre's quarterbacks coach in 1999. McCarthy got his big NFL break in 1993, when Marty Schottenheimer plucked him away from the University of Pittsburgh to be an offensive quality control coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.

5. An profile of McCarthy leading up to Super Bowl XLV cites the two biggest influences on McCarthy as he grew up in Pittsburgh to be his father, Joe, and legendary Steelers head coach Chuck Noll. Joe was a firefighter, police officer and bar owner who helped provide in any way for the family that grew up in the city's Greenfield neighborhood. From a football standpoint, McCarthy idolized Noll, who won 209 games and four Super Bowls during a tenure with the Steelers that stretched from 1969-1991. "What I always remember about Coach Noll is that he was never the one doing the commercials," McCarthy told ESPN. "He wasn't in the limelight. He was clearly about winning championships. I think I have a very similar personality. In today's NFL, a lot more media and more attention are given to everything, but I'd rather stick to the coaching aspect."