GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -Packers coach Mike McCarthy is closing in on a contract extension as his team prepares to host the New York Giants in the NFC championship next weekend.
``It's a work in progress,'' McCarthy said Sunday night. ``I feel very good about the progress that we've made. I'm just excited about being a part of the near future of this great organization. We're moving forward.''
McCarthy has a year left on the original three-year deal he signed in January 2006, but NFL teams often try to lock up valued coaches before the final season of their contract - especially when they lead the league's youngest team to a 13-3 regular-season record and a playoff victory, as McCarthy has done this season.
Packers officials have said publicly that they hope to have a new deal with McCarthy in place before the Super Bowl - a move that would provide long-term stability at three of the team's most important management positions.
Last week, the Packers gave a five-year contract extension to general manager Ted Thompson. And last month, former Northwestern athletic director Mark Murphy was chosen to become the successor to longtime Packers top executive Bob Harlan.
McCarthy was hired as the 14th head coach in Packers' history on Jan. 12, 2006.
After getting off to a 4-8 start in his first season as a head coach, the 44-year-old McCarthy has won 18 of his last 21 games.
Green Bay, which beat Seattle 42-20 in the playoffs on Saturday, is in the NFC championship game for the first time since the 1997 season and hosting an NFC championship game at Lambeau Field for the first time since the 1996 season.
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