Considering his body of work and how the Green Bay Packers finished last season, it seems silly in retrospect that Mike McCarthy, after a 4-5 start last year, had to state that he's a "highly successful coach." Only three other head coaches have guided their teams to eight straight postseasons, but where does McCarthy rank as far as the league's best? Our NFC North reporters weigh in.
Jeff Dickerson, Chicago Bears reporter: Top five. We can argue about the order after Bill Belichick, but McCarthy is in the team photo with Pete Carroll, Andy Reid and Mike Tomlin. McCarthy has a .651 winning percentage in the regular season. He has guided the Packers to eight consecutive playoff appearances, four NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl title. That's amazing. The only reason McCarthy is sometimes overlooked is because of Belichick. But McCarthy is incredible. I will say that Green Bay needs to win another championship with Aaron Rodgers -- he's too historically good to have only one ring -- so McCarthy still has some unfinished business in regard to his legacy. But he's one of the very best in the business -- and has been for a long time.
Ben Goessling, Minnesota Vikings reporter: The gripes with McCarthy -- about his stubborn playcalling and his clock management -- are familiar, and some of them are fair. But a guy who has made the playoffs each of the past eight seasons has to be on a very short list among the NFL's best. Yes, he benefits from having Rodgers, and he has coached only a handful of games in Green Bay that weren't started by a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback. But as close as the Packers appeared to be to falling over a ledge last season, McCarthy deserves a good portion of the credit for making sure it didn't happen. His postseason record is troubling, to be sure, but he has a Super Bowl title, three other trips to NFC title games and six division titles in 11 seasons. That puts him in the top five in the league, in my opinion.
Michael Rothstein, Detroit Lions reporter: He's actually pretty underrated. Sure, he has the benefit of a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Rodgers and a plethora of other talented players, including Jordy Nelson and Clay Matthews, but his team has never finished worse than second in the NFC North. He has had an under-.500 record only once in his head-coaching career (2008). He has taken the Packers to the playoffs the past eight seasons, and the only other current coach in the NFL who can say that is Belichick.