The Packers are struggling, and head coach Mike McCarthy has predictably come under fire as a result. But Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that McCarthy is not likely to lose his job, and while there has been significant conversation about McCarthy’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers, La Canfora writes that the two men share a great deal of mutual respect and that Rodgers would not support a coaching change.
That does not mean, however, that the Packers will not shake things up elsewhere. Given the overall decline in talent on the roster, GM Ted Thompson is not immune to review, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers could also be coaching for his job over the second half of the season. Some team officials also believe that the offense has become stagnant and that the offensive coaching staff could use an overhaul. Further complicating the issue is that director of football operations Eliot Wolf, long considered to be the heir apparent to Thompson, could pursue outside options this offseason, as he remains one of the more sought-after young executives in the game and he may want to capitalize on that status in case the Packers should start to fade.
Now for some more notes from the league’s north divisions:
- The Lions‘ running game could get a boost down the stretch, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Per Rapoport, Ameer Abdullah, who is currently on IR with a foot injury, will meet with Dr. Robert Anderson on Tuesday to see if he can begin practicing. There is a realistic chance that Abdullah could be active in three weeks.
- The Lions are no lock to win the NFC North, but they are certainly looking like the favorites at this point in the season. However, if Detroit collapses and fails to win its first division title in 23 years, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press does not believe head coach Jim Caldwell would keep his job.
- Although much has been made of the turmoil in the Browns‘ front office, cornerback Joe Haden does not believe those negative vibes have trickled down to the players themselves. Per Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network (Twitter links), Haden said that although he has been in locker rooms where the players have quit, the Browns’ current roster remains engaged. Haden believes head coach Hue Jackson is a big reason for that, as the players believe in him. Haden also says the team is generally too young to have developed the cynicism that a more veteran group might harbor.
- Yesterday, we took a dive into the latest notes on the AFC North.