Green Bay hires McCarthy as coach


Published: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
The Green Bay Packers are coming off their worst season in 15 years. They don't know if their franchise quarterback is returning. Now they've hired the youngest head coach in the league.
Rebuilding year, anyone? New coach Mike McCarthy says no. McCarthy compared his previous jobs, as an offensive coordinator in San Francisco and New Orleans, to building a house from the ground up.
This, he says, is like walking into his dream house.
"Now, we may knock down a few walls and give all the rooms a fresh coat of paint," McCarthy said. "But this definitely is not a rebuilding process."
Packers general manager Ted Thompson gave McCarthy a three-year deal to replace Mike Sherman, who was fired Jan. 2 after a 4-12 season.
Thompson touted the 42-year-old McCarthy as someone who could return the franchise to a championship level.
"What stood out to me in the interview process was Mike's leadership ability and the comfort level that he and I had on a personal level," Thompson said. "Mike is someone who is a tough, no-nonsense person. That appealed to me very much. And he is all about football."
McCarthy, who is three months younger than Jon Gruden, expects to win a championship.
"There will be an unconditional commitment from Ted and myself to bring a World Championship back to Green Bay," McCarthy said. "I think that's very important to state that right up front."
Mwanwhile, a Phoenix man was arrested after allegedly using a credit card account belonging to quarterback Brett Favre more than 40 times, authorities said.
BILLS: Mike Mularkey, a former Gator, submitted his resignation, a person familiar with discussions between the coach and the team told The Associated Press.
The Bills will formally announce the coach's resignation during a press conference scheduled for today. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement had not been made.
ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, first reported that Mularkey had reached a settlement with the team to cover the final three years of his contract. ESPN.com also reported that Mularkey's decision to leave the team was because of undisclosed family reasons.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, who completed his second season with Buffalo, is married and has two boys.
Reached by The Associated Press, Mularkey declined to comment on the report, except to say: "Right now is not the best time to talk."
BROWNS: Quarterback Trent Dilfer testified that a man insulted him in front of fans in a bar last June and then punched him.
"It was a good shot," said Dilfer, who is 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds. "It knocked me back to a certain degree and stung me pretty good."
Dilfer testified Wednesday in Joshua Pfeil's misdemeanor assault trial in suburban Cleveland. After Pfeil's insult, Dilfer said he turned toward the 23-year-old man, warned him to stop and tried to distance himself from him. But Pfeil, 6-foot and 150 pounds, caught the player with a punch to the left side of his face, Dilfer said.
PANTHERS: Leading tackler Will Witherspoon said he isn't discouraged he hasn't yet signed a long-term contract extension and still hopes to play for the Panthers next season.
Witherspoon, who led the team with 109 tackles, becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Talks on a new deal have been slow, while best friend and fellow linebacker Dan Morgan signed a five-year, $28 million extension during training camp.
But Witherspoon said he never felt pressed to get a deal done during the season and still expects to agree to something.
"You've got to have faith in it," he said. "Worst-case scenario if it doesn't, so be it. Hopefully that's not the case."
VIKINGS: The team hired Green Bay quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell as its offensive coordinator.
Minnesota also hired Darrell Wyatt to coach the receivers, the same position he has held since 2002 at Oklahoma. Wyatt has coached in the college ranks since 1989.
RAVENS: The team hired former Pro Bowl defensive back Mark Carrier as its secondary coach.
Carrier, a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1990, was an assistant coach at Arizona State the last two years. He was NFL's 1990 rookie of year and a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

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