Packers make curious hire in 49ers assistant

Friday, January 13, 2006

Green Bay made Mike McCarthy its new head coach.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers hired Mike McCarthy as their coach Thursday, giving the former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator a three-year deal.

"We feel very good about our future going forward," general manager Ted Thompson said at a news conference.

McCarthy was Green Bay's quarterbacks coach in 1999 -- a forgettable 8-8 season under Ray Rhodes.

The 42-year-old was the New Orleans Saints' offensive coordinator from 2000 to 2004 before going to San Francisco. The 49ers finished 4-12, ranking last in the league in yards per game (224.2) and 30th in scoring (14.9 points per game).

Brett Favre struggled in his only year with McCarthy, throwing 23 interceptions to 22 touchdowns. But Favre played much of the season with a sprained thumb on his throwing hand.

Favre has not committed to playing next season and has hinted that the team's offseason moves would play a role in his decision.

Thompson fired Mike Sherman Jan. 2 after the Packers' 4-12 season, the team's worst in 15 years.

Thompson also interviewed Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon, New York Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Sean Payton, San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and the Packers' current defensive coordinator, Jim Bates.

Thompson interviewed Bates on Monday. Bates said at the time that he came away feeling confident that he had a good shot at the job. It was not clear whether Bates will remain as the team's defensive coordinator under McCarthy.

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