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Mike McCarthy wants to get back to basics on offense

Mike McCarthy


As the 2015 Packers season played out, head coach Mike McCarthy opted to resume control of play calling on offense after ceding the responsibilities to assistant head coach Tom Clements in order to spend more time on all facets of the game.

The reason for the move was an offense that was performing below the standard set in previous seasons, which didn’t keep them from making it to the playoffs but did cause frustrations for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and others as the year unfolded. McCarthy is keeping his hands on the wheel offensively this year, but that won’t mean a year filled with new play designs in hopes of improving on last year.

If anything, the opposite will be true. In an interview with Jeffri Chadiha of NFL Media, McCarthy said the plan this season will be to keep things basic and rely on players making plays to put points on the board.

“The best plays are still the basic plays. It’s not the design of the play. It’s what everybody can do with that design,” McCarthy said. “That’s what we have to get back to -- winning with the fundamentals, with players and not plays. When you get in tough times, offensively, we may have leaned a little more towards plays instead of focusing on developing players. That’s a big part of my getting back in there full-time [calling plays]. That’s how I built this thing, and that’s how it should be ran. We got away from that a little bit.”

Winning with players and not plays is easier when you have a full arsenal at your disposal, something that wasn’t the case for Green Bay last year after wide receiver Jordy Nelson tore his ACL. Nelson’s on track for a return and McCarthy hopes that keeping things simple brings a return for the rest of the Packers as well.