Mike McCarthy weighs in on being first-year coach amid pandemic restrictions
There’s obviously no way Mike McCarthy could have envisioned beginning his tenure as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys amid the unprecedented set of circumstances spawned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, McCarthy believes the Cowboys will be able to weather such a strange offseason thanks to the roster’s strong veteran leadership.
Jerry Jones ultimately selected McCarthy as Jason Garrett’s replacement, hiring the longtime Green Bay Packers coach on Jan. 7. A short few months later, McCarthy’s best-laid plans on how he would conduct his debut offseason with the Cowboys were upended when the NFL shut down team facilities due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Suffice to say, McCarthy has been flying blind ever since while attempting to establish some semblance of normalcy despite not yet holding his first in-person team meeting.
“You really don’t have a true comparable, but I think it’s obvious to think if we started April 6, like we normally would as a first-year program, we would be in a different spot than we are here today,” McCarthy said on a conference call Wednesday, per Todd Archer of ESPN. “I am pleased with the amount of work that we have been able to accomplish. I think our coaches have been very creative. I think the communication and correspondence with players have been excellent. The questions have been intuitive. I think it leans toward the veteran experience of our football team that we’re able to get this much work done.”
The NFL has made it clear it has every intention of holding the 2020 season as planned and on schedule, although the logistics involved in accomplishing the league’s stated goal remain in flux and unresolved. Regardless of how things play out, McCarthy is unsurprisingly eager to get to work in a much more traditional manner.
“We’re just trying to be ready for when the NFL and those big decisions are made that we’re not running around trying to adhere to a different schedule,” McCarthy said. “So we’ve spent a ton of time in our preparation of getting ready for that moment when we do get to be with the players.”