Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Packers in no rush to hire new coach

Published:Wednesday | December 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM
In this Aug. 4, 2018, file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shakes hands with new offensive coordinator Joe Philbin (second right) during the NFL football team's Family Night practice in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers fired coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday and made offensive coordinator Joe Philbin the interim head coach.

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (AP):

The Green Bay Packers' head-coaching vacancy should be appealing for one big reason.

He plays quarterback and signed a four-year, $134 million contract extension this year.

Two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, though, will not be involved in the process of selecting Mike McCarthy's successor, but is free to provide input, team president Mark Murphy said.

And that seems fine with Rodgers, who said he was focused on the Packers' final four games under interim coach Joe Philbin.

"I think there's an interest in who the next guy will be, but (Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst) and I have always had good lines of communication, their offices, like they say, are always open," Rodgers said. "I'm not needing to be involved in that process."

Murphy said Rodgers was also not part of the decision to fire McCarthy following the stunning 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday that dropped Green Bay to 4-7-1. Chances of making the play-offs are slim.

It appeared that most players had already left Lambeau Field by that point, with many Packers saying they had learned of the firing on social media or through text messages.

"Found out probably the same way you did at the same time you did," receiver Davante Adams said on Monday. "I was definitely surprised. But, it's a business and business is business, and that's what it is."

Rodgers was already home to celebrate his 35th birthday when he found out.

"I'm sure I found out the same way that most of you found out," Rodgers said, "and was just as shocked as many of you were."

"I think him and I, like any relationship, we have our amazing times, we have our times where we butt heads," Rodgers said.

"But the basis, like I said, was built on mutual respect and communication. ... We spent time together and growing our friendship and we accomplished a lot together."

From Adams to Rodgers, nearly every player in the locker room spoke highly of McCarthy, who overall had a successful tenure of 12-plus seasons highlighted by a Super Bowl win in the 2010 season. The 55-year-old McCarthy led the Packers to nine play-off appearances and four trips to the NFC title game overall.

But offensive struggles this year followed a 2017 season in which Rodgers broke his right collarbone and the team missed the postseason. In 2016, the Packers started 4-6 before winning eight straight to get to the conference championship game.

Murphy said it was time to make a change after the embarrassing loss to Arizona.