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Mike McCarthy criticizes Packers for handling of his firing

The Packers fired Mike McCarthy in early December. | AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

The Packers have moved on from Mike McCarthy, but it’s apparent the former head coach remains unhappy with how he was let go after 13 seasons. In his first public interview since being fired by Green Bay in December, McCarthy said the situation “couldn’t have been handled any worse” and he felt blindsided by the decision.

“Frankly, no I did not,” McCarthy told ESPN of whether he expected to be fired. “As a head coach, I’ve always tried to stay immune to and stand in front of all the outside noise. … If we missed the playoffs, I expected change might happen. But the timing surprised me. Actually it stunned me.”

The Packers fired McCarthy, who led the team to six division titles and a Super Bowl victory during his tenure, on Dec. 2 following a Week 13 loss to the Cardinals.

He said it was particularly difficult to be fired after an emotional defeat at Lambeau Field. He also noted the contrast between the tact he tried to take when informing players had been released and how the Packers communicated his dismissal.

“Every time I released an individual, you get your words right. There’s a personal component to it,” McCarthy said. “You know he has a family. He’s family. There wasn’t any of that. So that was off. The way people leave that building was very important to me. That’s a part of the business.”

McCarthy hasn’t found another coaching job since his departure from Green Bay. The Packers, meanwhile, hired former Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur to be their new head coach.