The Green Bay Packers are 0-6 on the road in 2018. The team has been outscored 173 to 125 in those six games, and despite some close contests and near-comebacks, they have made crucial mistakes late in games to throw away their chances of remaining in the NFC playoff hunt.
As rumors about Mike McCarthy’s job status continue to swirl, a few of his former players took to Twitter to reminisce about how he handled a similarly disappointing season a decade ago. The 2008 Packers finished their season 6-10, thanks in large part to a defense that frequently gave up leads late in games. That team actually outscored its opponents by 2.4 points per game, but could not close out games when they had late leads, eventually leading to the firing of defensive coordinator Bob Sanders, who was replaced by Dom Capers.
That year, the Packers lost each of their final five road games, finishing 1-7 away from Lambeau Field. Defensive back and return man Will Blackmon got the conversation started during Sunday night’s 24-17 victory by the Minnesota Vikings, thinking back to when McCarthy apparently refused to allow his team to have good accommodations when they traveled.
When I was on the packers in 2008 We lost 4 straight road games. Every time we lost Coach McCarthy made sure each hotel got worse.— Will Blackmon (@WillBlackmon) November 26, 2018
He said “If you want to stay in a nice hotel, WIN A DAMN GAME”
One hotel in Jax I swear was on First 48.
cc: @89JonesNTAF @CharlesWoodson
For those unfamiliar, The First 48 is a true crime television show on A&E that focuses on homicide investigations.
Blackmon specifically mentioned former Packers teammates James Jones and Charles Woodson above, and the two piped up to concur with his sentiments a little later:
@WillBlackmon that’s the Got damn truth. I think my room was outside on the roof— Charles Woodson (@CharlesWoodson) November 26, 2018
Johnny Jolly’s room was still waiting on forensics to arrive.— Will Blackmon (@WillBlackmon) November 26, 2018
Ryan Grant, who rushed for over 1,200 yards that season, also got in on the fun:
Yooooooo this is so true lol . Some of the rooms looked like they had bullet holes Hahha . I forgot about this lol https://t.co/7FQmITl4oX— Ryan Grant (@RyanGrant25) November 26, 2018
The Packers apparently did get to stay in a nicer place before their fifth and final consecutive road loss, however:
Mike let us stay in a fancy hotel in Chicago because it was close to Christmas . Lol— Will Blackmon (@WillBlackmon) November 26, 2018
And then there’s linebacker Brady Poppinga, who had a very different take on the hotel situation during that season:
I had no idea until now that he did that to us. I remember my room in Jacksonville smelt like full-blown mold. I assumed it was the nicest hotel Jacksonville had to offer. I didn't realize McCarthy was trying to penalize us.— Brady poppinga (@BradyPoppinga) November 26, 2018
Still, Blackmon has a sense of humor about the whole situation. He correctly noted after the discussion that the Packers went out and won Super Bowl XLV two seasons later — and said that the players actually got a kick out of that policy at the time. He also said that he “loved” McCarthy, so clearly he does not hold any ill will towards his former head coach.
Regardless, it’s interesting to see former Packers discussing McCarthy when he is clearly fighting for his job.