PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – I like Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. After all, he’s one of us. You can hear it when the Greenfield native says “first dahn.” It is easily discernable he’s a Western Pa. guy when you hear McCarthy speak.
And, in at least one instance, by the way he has acted.
McCarthy carries with him one of Pittsburgh’s most endearing (yet sometimes wickedest) qualities — the guy is as stubborn and loyal as they come. He’s convinced he’s right all the time. He makes a decision and, you better believe it, there’s no telling him that he’s wrong.
Takes one to know one. I’m the exact same way. So, too, are many Pittsburghers.
Mike McCarthy — I know this — is a good man. That isn’t in question.
I also know that stubbornness probably has McCarthy in a position right now where there is little to no chance his team can beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night at Heinz Field.
You see, when Packers all-world quarterback Aaron Rodgers was delivered a demolishing blow in mid-October, McCarthy insisted that backup Brett Hundley was the man for the job.
Even after heavy questioning and eyerolling, he was all-in on Hundley. Even after it was evident from the get-go that Hundley was in over his head. Even after Hundley didn’t display any of the skills nearly good enough to keep the offense rolling or, at the very least, afloat.
And that’s why — with Hundley at quarterback — the Steelers will have little trouble with the Packers this week.
It really all comes back to McCarthy’s stubbornness and unwillingness to waver from Hundley, a guy who was never good enough from the jump.
McCarthy, undeniably, should have gone the route of a veteran like Brian Hoyer. Or, dare I say, they should have kicked the tires on Colin Kaepernick, a guy from the state of Wisconsin who doesn’t necessarily have to be the best quarterback on Earth, in this instance he just needs to be better than Hundley. And he is.
But as it is, McCarthy’s loyalty to his backup has yielded a 1-4 record and about 13.5 points per game with Hundley subbing in for the injured Rodgers. The Packers are currently 5-5 and coming off an embarrassing blowout against the Baltimore Ravens.
If McCarthy and the Packers continue to go with Hundley against the Steelers, Keith Butler’s defense will eat this poor soul alive; Hundley will be lucky to get out of Heinz Field in one piece.
Mike McCarthy is a wonderful man. But in this instance, his stubbornness got the best of him and, partly because of it, there’s just about no chance of a happy homecoming for him on Sunday.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.