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Packers, Murphy launch search for McCarthy replacement

Field Level Media

Team president Mark Murphy met with players with the Green Bay Packers on Monday to encourage them to make the most of what's left of a lost season.

"I think everybody associated with the organization is disappointed," Murphy said. "Knowing we were going to make the change, it was better to do it know rather than make it in the offseason."

The Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday after a disheartening loss to the Arizona Cardinals that Murphy said was the straw that broke the camel's back when it came to McCarthy's fate as head coach.

"To come out at home, in this particular situation, against a team we felt we should beat, it wasn't up to our standard. It wasn't acceptable," general manager Brian Gutekunst said Monday afternoon. "Yesterday was just one of those moments where we said, 'We're looking forward to where we're going.'"

McCarthy was 125-77-2 in 13 seasons with the Packers, including 11-16-1 the past two seasons. Gutekunst is in his first season as general manager. He replaced Ted Thompson at the end of the 2017 regular season.

While Murphy will run the coaching search, he said Gutekunst will be "actively involved" and he will not hire "a coach Brian's not comfortable with."

Reports on the severe and growing divide between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and McCarthy percolated in the offseason and appeared with greater frequency in the past two weeks. Murphy said Rodgers will be "free to add input," but Murphy and Gutekunst both emphasized the quarterback will not be involved in the process of hiring the next head coach.

"They had a great run together, won an awful lot of games together, including the Super Bowl," Murphy said. "This is not about one player. This is about what's best for this organization."

Gutekunst said the Rodgers-McCarthy relationship and the factor in played in the decision to fire McCarthy was "overblown."

Murphy said there were many advantages to making a coaching change in December, including a trial run with interim head coach Joe Philbin.

"It gives us the opportunity to see Joe as a head coach for four games, see how he performs for four games and see how coaches and others respond," Murphy said.

Murphy said one side benefit to making the first in-season coaching change in franchise history was to give McCarthy a head start on his own future.

"He's going to be a strong candidate," Murphy said of other teams considering McCarthy. "This allows him to focus on the next opportunity for him."

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