Skip to main content

Mike McCarthy: “Jump balls are for basketball”

David Kenyon

The NFL has steadily become a pass-heavy league, and one of the biggest adjustments is a greater usage of 50-50 passes on the goal line. However, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy isn’t a fan of that method.

According to Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, McCarthy suggests leaving the jump balls to the players on the hardwood.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is undoubtedly the best gunslinger in the league, but he typically relies on route concepts to create separation. Considering Green Bay employs elite receivers in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as well as a young star in Davante Adams, the 50-50 pass is rarely seen.

Instead, Rodgers’ most dangerous goal-line pass is a back-shoulder bullet. Sports Science even featured Rodgers’ prowess on the throw it calls “virtually indefensible.”

Rodgers certainly utilizes a fade route—particularly when targeting Nelson in the end zone—on occasion, but that pass is directed to a spot where the only two options are a touchdown or an incompletion.

McCarthy’s comment offers yet another reason why Rodgers has only tossed three interceptions inside the 10-yard line during his seven seasons as a starter.

Green Bay opens the 2015 campaign against the rival Chicago Bears on Sep. 13 at 1 p.m. ET.