Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mike McCarthy Announces New Coaches, Tom Clements Will Do Play Calling

I don't think this is a very big deal for the Green Bay Packers. Mike McCarthy, Tom Clements, and Aaron Rodgers have all been working together since 2006, and Rodgers calls many of the plays on the field. It looks like McCarthy is acknowledging that his future is secure in Green Bay, he was recently extended through 2018, and he's comfortable being a back seat driver on offense. As head coach, he still has plenty of responsibilities anyway. Here are the complete list of the coaching changes.
I thought the Packers might hire a new wide receiver coach (after Edgar Bennett was promoted to offensive coordinator) but instead Alex Van Pelt will coach quarterbacks and receivers. I guess if the Packers re-sign both Randall Cobb and Matt Flynn, Van Pelt will have a lot of experience on the roster and should be fine as the position coach for both positions.

The special teams unit was awful last season so promoting Ron Zook from within to special teams coordinator (though he's still somewhat underemployed as a former college head coach) doesn't seem like the best idea. Though the leaders in special teams snaps in 2014 might all be gone next season. The top five special teams leaders by snap count were Sean Richardson (free agent), Jarrett Bush (free agent), Brad Jones (should be released after a terrible 2014 season and after being exposed on the fake field goal during the NFC championship game), Brandon Bostick (should be released; same reasons as Jones except blown onside kick), and Jayrone Elliott (undrafted rookies often struggle to make the team next year). Zook might get a blank slate to work with in 2015 and prove himself.

There were also a couple of assistant position coaches hired/promoted (Jason Simmons, Mike Solari, Jerry Montgomery) to round out the staff.

I don't know where the Packers rank in coaching consistency but as I watch the annual NFL coaching carousel go round-and-round, they've got to be one of the most consistent. The firing of special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum counts as the biggest shake up since 2009 (the firing of DC Bob Sanders) but still it's nothing compared to the turnover some teams see on an annual basis. It's big news for the Packers but a small change in context.

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