McCarthy Calls Everyone a Class Act

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy touched a bit of a nerve on Packers Twitter when he called Adrian Peterson a “class act” in response to a question about the running back’s possible future in Green Bay.

Interacting with reporters at the NFC coaches breakfast during the NFL’s annual meeting, McCarthy was asked about the possibility of signing Peterson, who’s currently a free agent for the first time in his career. McCarthy said Peterson is interesting, but the team is keeping their options open:

“Just on and off the field, he’s a class act.”

After the untimely death of Joe Philbin’s son, McCarthy spoke glowingly about his friend and former coach:

“What Joe has gone through and what his family has gone through, obviously tough is not the proper word. A man of very high character. Joe is a class act. I think the world of Joe Philbin.”

When evaluating the trade that brought Ryan Grant to Green Bay, McCarthy put his stamp of approval on the trade:

"It was a great trade, especially at that time. You usually don’t hit those. Great kid, too. Class act. Smart. Tough."

And even when analytics director Mike Eayrs retired, McCarthy was there with his favorite descriptor:

“Mike Eayrs is a class act, very unique contributor to our football program,”

McCarthy is not an eager public speaker, and when he is required to talk, he often seems to try to fill the air with as many words as possible.

Calling someone “class act” is a classic example of a crutch phrase, a habit unconsciously used by people who really don’t want to speak in public. It almost always comes out near the end of long soliloquies, just before the point when McCarthy realizes he should stop talking.

The full quote on Peterson is telling. It’s the last thing McCarthy says in a long description of players. He may think that Peterson is a class act, but he may also just be rambling.

It wouldn’t be the first time.