Tuesday, January 17, 2006

And then defensive coordinator Jim Bates was shown the door. The defense was inconsistant under Bates, but it seems unlikely that the Packers will find a more qualified defensive coordinator to replace him. But with the worst offensive coordinator in the NFL as the Packers new head coach, it is likely that less qualified is what GM Ted Thompson wants as he wrecks the team. I would suggest hiring Emmitt Thomas as the old-is-new-again defensive coordinator. The Packers fired Thomas after the 1999 season, just like Mike McCarthy, and he spent the 2004-05 seasons working in Atlanta, just like new offensive coordinator/former Packers tight ends coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

Jagodzinski already realizes that his number 1 priority is fixing the running game. Jeff Fedotin wrote "To bolster a Packers running game that ranked 30th in the league in 2005, Jagodzinski will implement much of the Broncos' and Falcons' zone blocking scheme. In that system offensive linemen block the first person who enters their zone rather than a specific man. The scheme does not feature a multitude of different plays but relies on athletic players who can execute double team blocks." It was a concern that Jagodzinski might implement the style of blocking used in Atlanta and Denver because the Packers personnel doesn't seem to fit with that style. LT Chad Clifton, RG William Whitticker and RT Mark Tauscher are all bigger than typical Denver/Atlanta offensive lineman. Do the Packers scrap the entire offensive line and start over?

Next season the offense will feature an entirely new blocking system, a first-year starting quarterback, and a number of receivers (WR Javon Walker, WR Terrence Murphy, and TE Bubba Franks) all trying to work themselves back into playing shape after missing almost the entire 2005 season. This could be one of the great train wrecks in football next season. I'm assuming QB Brett Favre retires. Favre can still play and his 2005 wasn't as bad as it seemed, but why would he come back to this mess?

Instead of fixing what was broken in 2005, the Packers appear committed to rebuilding the entire team with coaches who have no record of past success. And they haven't even started with the defense yet.

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