The players’ lockers at 1265 Lombardi Avenue have been cleaned out and the players have gone home but there remains important business to be conducted. Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson now have difficult decisions to make about how to right the ship for next year.
They have decided to scrap the entire defensive coaching staff with the exception of Winston Moss (linebackers and assistant head coach). Gone are the Special Teams Coordinator, the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, the Defensive Coordinator as well as four others to complete the coup. Nobody likes to fire people that they hired because it acknowledges they didn’t make the right decision in the first place. But tough decisions needed to be made after the Packers played as poorly as they did last season.
In closely watching a couple good teams with really stout defenses like the Tennessee Titans or the Baltimore Ravens this season, it is obviously apparent that the 2008 Packer defense was not even in the same ballpark. The attacking style and well-coordinated schemes just weren’t there. It is time to start fresh and bring in a new coaching staff with a different philosophy and energy to get the Pack’s defense back to where they need to be.
Thompson and McCarthy have some pretty good choices from which to recruit their new Defensive Coordinator. Jim Haslett, Mike Nolan, Romeo Crennel and Dave McGinnis are possibilities. All four have head coach experience in the NFL that didn’t work out for whatever reasons, but they also have defensive backgrounds that might fit into the Packers’ plans. McGinnis is a particularly interesting and impressive guy.
On another front, the first round of the play-offs was completed this past weekend. The Minnesota Vikings never fail to entertain Cheeseheads when they get into the play-offs and this year was no exception. Viking Coach Brad Childress probably won just a sufficient number of games to retain his job, but it was woefully obvious that he has hitched his coaching career to a quarterback who isn’t going to take the Vikings very far. Tarvaris Jackson was unable to generate any kind of offense in the 2nd half of their contest with the visiting Philadelphia Eagles and the Eagles won handily 26 – 14.
Childress fails to impress me with his lack of imaginative play calling and the affection for Jackson. Cheeseheads should delight in the fact that he will return to run the Vikings again next year. Also laughable was the fact that the Vikings had big problems trying to sell enough play-off tickets to avoid a television blackout. They actually resorted to having players beg in the media for fans to buy tickets…. an unthinkable scenario over in Titletown.
The next week or two will be very interesting as the new coaching selections are made. McCarthy and Thompson no doubt realize that their decisions will likely determine their own fate as a repeat of the disaster of 2008 will mean their demise as well.
Talk back! Tell us what you think of this year’s teams. What would you do if you were in charge?
Go to winonapost.com, click on Football Forum to discuss this year’s season.