Mike McCarthy was shocked when he was fired by the Green Bay Packers with four games remaining in the season.
"Frankly, no I did not," McCarthy said. "As a head coach, I've always tried to stay immune to and stand in front of all the outside noise. That was always my focus with my players. It was always to protect them as much as possible from the drama. I think that's important. And I stayed true to that to the last day. If we missed the playoffs, I expected change might happen. But the timing surprised me. Actually it stunned me. But time provides the opportunity for reflection and clarity, and that's where I'm at now. And it's clear to me now that both sides needed a change."
The Packers hadn't made an in-season coaching change for more than 60 years.
"It couldn't have been handled any worse. Anytime you lose a close game, it's a difficult time emotionally afterward, but when you lose a home game at Lambeau Field in December, it's really hard. And that hasn't happened very often. I walked out of my press conference, and I'm thinking about the game, thinking about how our playoff shot was now minimal. That's where my head was at. And when I was told Mark Murphy wanted to see me -- and the messenger was cold and the energy was bad. Mark said it was an ugly loss, and it was time to make change. He said something about the offense and the special teams, and he didn't think it was going to get any better. There was no emotion to it. That was hard," he said.