GREEN BAY, Wis. – Sometimes there are moments of introspection from Mike McCarthy.
This was one of them:
"I feel like I can improve," the Green Bay Packers coach said. "And I think when you stop feeling that way, then I think you're lying to yourself."
No, those words didn't come from McCarthy over the weekend, when multiple NFL sources confirmed that he has been pondering a major shakeup of the duties on his coaching staff that includes handing off the play-calling duties to one of his assistants.
He spoke them last July, on the eve of training camp, as he discussed his radical new practice schedule that would go on to be a big success with the players and probably played a role in the reduction of injuries during the 2014 season.
But they could have been applicable to what McCarthy is considering now.
The 51-year-old is one of the NFL's winningest coaches because he's not afraid of change. Among active coaches, McCarthy's winning percentage (.656) is second only to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick (.729) among those with more than three years with their current teams.
Sure, McCarthy's play calling can be questioned at times, but name a coach that is immune to that criticism. And maybe McCarthy should have dumped special-teams coordinator Shawn Slocum last offseason, but he didn't compound the mistake by keeping him around for next year.
McCarthy's offensive intellect was evident from the start. In his first season as the Packers head coach, he reduced Brett Favre's interception total from 29 to 18. A year later, he had the Packers back in the NFC Championship Game.
With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, McCarthy's offense has led the NFL in points two of the last four years. McCarthy has continually found ways to challenge Rodgers, who has won two MVPs with McCarthy as coach. Four years ago, the Packers barely ran the no-huddle offense. Now it's their primary concept.
If McCarthy believes it's time to give up the play-calling duties, then surely he has good reason.
As one source said on Sunday, McCarthy "has mentioned how hard it is to be involved with everything." Maybe the Packers would have been ready for the Seattle Seahawks' fake field goal in the third quarter of the NFC Championship Game if McCarthy's mind weren't on his play-calling sheet, preparing for the next offensive series.
Or perhaps he would have had something for defensive coordinator Dom Capers when his unit was allowing touchdowns on the Seahawks' last two possessions of regulation and on the only drive of overtime.
Perhaps the collapse against the Seahawks told McCarthy that the time is right to transition into the role of overseer.
McCarthy has already shown he's willing to step in and help the defense. He didn't get enough recognition for the bold move he made at the bye week last season, when he decided Capers should use outside linebacker Clay Matthews more on the inside to fix the run defense that at the time was ranked last in the NFL.
Armed with a contract extension through 2018, McCarthy is as secure as he's ever been in his position. But he's not so self-assured that he's blind to what's best for his team.