Packers' McCarthy Proving His Worth

Mike McCarthy still relishes the inspiring phone call he received from the Cincinnati Bengals' Marvin Lewis after his first win as head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

He says Lewis told him he was doing things the right way in developing the team, and he'd appreciate it later.

The call came just in time during a trying first season for McCarthy. His first Packers team slipped to a 4-8 record before winning the final four.

Now the Packers are 8-1 in his second season, giving him the best start to a career among active coaches, tying Washington's Joe Gibbs at 16-9 after 25 games.

It's also the best coaching start in Packers' history.

McCarthy says he never questioned the plan to get the Packers on track. He says it's been a process of stacking successes, building on each success.

General manager Ted Thompson set the plan in place by building through the draft instead of trying to bringing in big ticket free agents.

With quarterback Brett Favre having one of his best seasons ever, the young Packers now appear ready to challenge for home-field advantage in the postseason.