JC Tretter says Mike McCarthy would be good fit for Browns

McCarthy led Packers to 9 playoff, 4 conference title game appearances and Super Bowl win

Daryl Ruiter
December 03, 2018 - 3:50 pm

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The moment Mike McCarthy was fired Sunday by the Green Bay Packers, speculation of him becoming a candidate to take over in Cleveland began almost immediately.

Considering the top three in the Browns personnel department spent significant time with the Packers – general manager John Dorsey, assistant GM Eliot Wolf and vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith – it’s easy to draw the connection.

Browns center JC Tretter, who was drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, praised McCarthy when asked about him on Monday.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Mike McCarthy,” Tretter said. “I think what he has done in his career in Green Bay has been extraordinary. I think there’s not many franchises that would trade what he has done or pass that up. I think he’s a great man, too. I really enjoyed working with him. I don’t have a bad thing to say about Mike McCarthy.

“He was really an awesome leader and an awesome coach, coming in as a rookie into that program and be coached by him was really awesome for my career to set me up on how this business works and how the game of football is played.”

Tretter played for McCarthy, who led the Packers to nine playoff appearances, four conference championship appearances and a win over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, for four years in Green Bay before signing with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2017.

He believes McCarthy would be a good fit in Cleveland.  

“I think so,” Tretter said. “I think the guys upstairs, though, they’re going to do what’s best for this team and that’s been proven since they got here. They’ve made all the right decisions on how to lead this team and move this team forward, so whoever they pick I have all the faith in the world in.”

While Tretter would welcome the hire of McCarthy, he doesn’t anticipate his opinion on the situation will be solicited by anyone – other than reporters.

“I think they know enough upstairs,” Tretter said. “They got Elliott and Alonzo and they’ve got other guys from the Green Bay organization. I don’t think I can bring anything more to the table than they already know. They were with him longer than I was, and they were upstairs with him more than I was downstairs with him, so I think they know everything they need to know and I’m just looking forward to seeing the direction we go with this team.”

One of the prevailing narratives out of Green Bay concerning McCarthy’s dismissal was his relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and it souring in recent years. It is a story that Tretter believes has been blown out of proportion.

“I think that whole story line gets a little overblown,” Tretter said. “I think they are just two competitive people in Aaron and Mike and I think they are both competitive in the same direction in that they both want the team to win. I never see it as like a competing competitiveness in a bad way, they just are very confident in what they think is best for the team to win, so I never really interpreted it as a bad thing.

“They always worked well together and I felt like combining their ideas and again, things just get, you eventually that’s the business we’re in, things eventually move on.”

McCarthy was fired following a 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that dropped the Packers to 4-7-1 on the season.

I think winning cures everything. I think if all of a sudden some breaks go their way this year, and they’re deep in the playoff hunt, I don’t think that’s a story line. And that’s just kind of how this business works. When the winning comes, everything’s great and when the winning gets scarce, all of a sudden there’s all of these little things that boil up to the surface and all of these little cliches that get thrown out there. But again, I think winning cures all and if the winning kept coming, I don’t think any of this would really be a big issue.

Tretter also doesn’t believe that the game has passed McCarthy by either.

“No, I think eventually just that’s the business. You can’t be there forever,” Tretter said. “You can look at the anomalies and that’s the Bill Belichicks and the ones that have lasted for even longer than he has, but eventually teams move on and people move on but I don’t think the game’s passed Mike by.

“I think he’s still a great offensive mind and I haven’t been there for two years now but from when I was with him, it was awesome to work with him.”

McCarthy's resume is hard to argue but for the first time in nearly 15 years, the Browns will look to hire a coach already with a quarterback to build around in the fold: Baker Mayfield.

How a coach fits with Mayfield will be just one of a long list of criteria the Browns will look to meet before selecting the ninth full-time head coach – and fourth under the Haslam’s ownership – for the franchise.

“I think they would do great,” Tretter said. “Again, he started working with Aaron when Aaron was a rookie too and Aaron’s developed into a hell of a player so I think that relationship would be fine. He’s worked with…I see a lot of similarities between Aaron and Baker personality-wise, competitiveness, and that’s all the things that Aaron came in with too when he was a young player, so I think they’d work well together.”