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Contract extension assures Mike McCarthy's place in Packers history

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mike McCarthy is uncomfortable talking about his place in Green Bay Packers history.

That was evident just a few minutes into his regularly scheduled news conference on Monday, less than an hour after the team announced he had signed a multiyear extension to continue as Packers head coach.

"Can we talk about the Bears now?" McCarthy said, referring to the Packers' opponent Sunday night at Lambeau Field, after several questions about his contract.

But Monday was all about the 14th head coach in franchise history, and rightfully so. With his new deal, believed to run through 2018, McCarthy will become the second-longest-tenured head coach in team history. He's in his ninth season, and only Curly Lambeau coached the Packers longer.

McCarthy will almost certainly never catch Lambeau in wins (212) or longevity (29 seasons), but everyone else in the team's history will be looking up at McCarthy.

He needs just five victories to match Vince Lombardi's career win total. The way things are going, he should reach that this season. He has already coached more seasons (eight), won more games (93) and won as many Super Bowls (one) as Mike Holmgren.

And he's surely going to make more money than any of them. His last contract paid him around $5 million per season.

"I think you win 100 games in this league as a head coach, it's definitely a milestone," he said.

And that's about the only bouquet he threw himself.

"I'm not going to compare myself to Coach Lombardi," McCarthy said. "Let's be real here. I understand my place, my opportunity, and I'm very thankful for the people that came before me: Coach Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Mike Holmgren, [longtime general manager] Ron Wolf. They made this place, the foundation of the building.

"So, [general manager] Ted Thompson, [president and CEO] Mark Murphy and my responsibility and Aaron Rodgers and the players' responsibility [is] to make sure we leave it better than when we arrived. That's the way I've always viewed it."

How much longer will McCarthy coach? Only three coaches -- New England's Bill Belichick (who was hired in 2000), Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis (2003) and the New York Giants' Tom Coughlin (2004) -- have been with their current teams longer than McCarthy has at the helm in Green Bay.

McCarthy will turn 51 next Monday, and his family keeps him young. He and his wife, Jessica, have five children. In the offseason, he said he considered that the halfway point of his head-coaching career.

"I’m a young guy," McCarthy said Monday with a smile. "Shoot, I'm not thinking about the end, that's for sure. This is a great place. I'm very blessed, very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach here. This is something that the organization wanted. I was thrilled about the opportunity to continue, so all I'm really thinking about is moving forward."