GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Amid some fans calling for him to resume his team's offensive play-calling duties, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has no plans to take back the job from associate head coach/offense Tom Clements.
But he certainly could -- and as it turns out, he could take over for defensive coordinator Dom Capers and special teams coordinator Ron Zook, too.
McCarthy joked about not knowing what to do with his hands during the team's preseason opener -- his first game not calling his team's plays since 1999, when he was the Packers' quarterbacks coach -- because it was the first time he didn't have his patented giant play-sheet in his mitts.
Now, he's actually carrying more laminated paper around the Packers sideline than ever before.
"It’s four sheets, actually. ... Down from six, so it’s cut back," McCarthy said with a smile Wednesday, as his Packers prepped for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. "It’s the [offensive, defensive and special teams] game plans. It’s everything that we need.
"I could call all three phases now if I needed to."
McCarthy then paused, as if he could see the gears turning in reporters' heads.
"It’s not going to happen," he quickly added. "Cut that. It was a joke."
McCarthy, who was the offensive play-caller as an offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints (2000-2004) and San Francisco 49ers (2005) before doing the job for the past nine seasons as the Packers head coach, gave up the play-calling after last year's loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game because he wanted to be more involved in all phases of the team's operations instead of being so offense-centric. He experimented with different sideline notes throughout the preseason and early in the regular season.
"Preseason is different," McCarthy said. "I’m evaluating personnel as much as anything during the preseason. Substitutions, the communication network -- that’s [all] changed, so those are really the things I was focused on in the preseason."
McCarthy did make one adjustment to the play-calling process last week, moving quarterbacks/wide receivers coach Alex Van Pelt down from the coaches box to the sideline to lighten the burden on Clements.