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16-second delay: Mike McCarthy trades elevator for face time

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It was during last season when Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy noticed he was spending less and less time on the ground floor at Lambeau Field, where the football facilities are located.

At first, he couldn't figure out why.

Then he realized something.

The elevator ride from his third-floor office to the locker room and meeting rooms was taking longer. It was a trip he made at least five times a day.

"I couldn't figure it out last year," McCarthy said during a lengthy interview on Wednesday. "It didn't flow; things were taking longer. Well, the [new] elevators were 16 seconds slower than the old ones."

He started to do the math.

"You do that twice, up and down, five times a day," McCarthy said. "That's 10 [multiplied by] 16 seconds. You do it over the course of the year -- I've done the math -- and conservatively, I'm spending an extra eight to 10 hours of movement [around the building], which some people would say, 'That's good; he should be walking more.' But it's really on an elevator."

So McCarthy approached general manager Ted Thompson about moving his office, or at least creating a second office.

Now, McCarthy has a desk in his locker room, which is adjacent to the team meeting rooms and across the hall from the locker room. He still has an office on the third floor, but he doesn’t have to spend as much time there.

"Ted laughed about it but said, 'We'll put a desk down there,'" McCarthy said chuckling. "It's worked out good. Maybe next year we'll put video down there, too. It's just trying to be efficient."

It's all part of McCarthy's desire to spend more time around the team, which factored into his decision to give up offensive play-calling duties this offseason -- a move McCarthy said has made him a better coach already.

"We've always spent a lot of time on self-evaluation," McCarthy said. "But to go back and even question the things you're doing really well, too, so job descriptions have been re-written, job responsibilities have obviously changed.

"I really feel like we're doing what we do every year. We try to be creative. We try not to waste time and energy on things that will not help us on the playing field."

And that includes elevator rides.