Category Archives: Offensive Coaches



Cory’s Corner: Assistant coaches don’t excite me

Ron Zook was the head coach at Florida at Illinois. And is now the Packers assistant special teams coach. How did that happen?

Ron Zook was the head coach at Florida at Illinois. And is now the Packers assistant special teams coach. How did that happen?

It’s usually pretty hard to get excited about assistant coaches.

But now the Packers have the highest number of middle management in the NFC North.

And I’m still not excited.

Granted, Mike McCarthy knows that changes need to be made, but I don’t think having 21 assistants is going to be the difference. Does Ron Zook really get anyone excited? And what exactly does an assistant special teams coach do?

That’s quite a fall from grace for a two-time major college football head coach.

But new assistants are just window dressing. This team needs personnel. It needs players that don’t give a half-hearted effort like B.J. Raji and then turn down $8 million from the Packers.

It needs Tramon Williams to play like it’s 2010 and Derek Sherrod to start his first NFL game in his fourth season.

This team needs Clay Matthews to start 16 games for the first time in his career. It needs a tight end to fill Jermichael Finley’s shoes but do it without chirping.

I think we all saw how important a mean streak is. The Seahawks and 49ers approach the game like the movie, “Slapshot.” Both teams try to blow you up on every single play and it’s about time the Packers thought the same way.

Green Bay doesn’t have that on-field sergeant that will not only impose its will but make the opposition think twice about something just because of the physical ramifications.

By the end of the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos wide receivers knew they were beaten. They knew they weren’t going to outmuscle, out tough and outwork the best secondary in football.

I need to see more out of guys like Nick Perry and Andy Mulumba to get an accurate gauge. But adding a dynamic linebacker for the 3-4 defense wouldn’t be a bad thing.

This team needs more creativity from the offensive play calling. Just because it’s first down, it doesn’t automatically mean you have to run the football. This team needs more quarterback pressure out of the front seven to ease the burden on the secondary.



Packers Add Two New Coaches to Staff, Re-Assign Others

Packers special teams coach Ron Zook

The Packers will announce the hiring of Zook to coach special teams

The Green Bay Packers reportedly have added two new coaches to head coach Mike McCarthy’s staff.  As reported by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ron Zook comes on as assistant special teams coach.  Zook replaces Chad Morton, who had been on McCarthy’s staff in that capacity since 2010.

Zook has been out of football for the past few years but most recently was head coach at the University of Illinois from 2005 – 2011.  Prior to that, Zook was head coach at the University of Florida.

Zook’s most recent NFL experience came as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints in 2000 – 2001, where McCarthy was the offensive coordinator.

When this news broke earlier today, it was speculated that Zook would be taking the outside linebackers coaching spot, replacing Kevin Greene.  Silverstein’s report confirmed, however, that Zook will coach under Shawn Slocum, current special teams coordinator.

The Packers will also add Sam Gash as running backs coach.  Gash replaces Alex Van Pelt, who was promoted to quarterbacks coach upon the departure of Ben McAdoo last month.  Gash was the Detroit Lions’ running backs coach from 2008-12.

Gash played 12 years in the NFL with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens.  He appeared in two Pro Bowls and was the first back selected to a Pro Bowl despite not having carried the ball that season.

UPDATE:  Here are all the coaching changes announced today: The Packers have named Winston Moss assistant head coach/linebackers, Alex Van Pelt quarterbacks coach, Scott McCurley assistant linebackers coach, Jason Simmons defensive/special teams assistant, John Rushing defensive quality control coach, Sam Gash running backs coach, Ron Zook assistant special teams coach, Luke Getsy offensive quality control coach and Chris Gizzi strength and conditioning assistant.

The Packers still have an apparent vacancy at the outside linebackers coaching spot.  The team may hire someone to fill Greene’s old position, promote from within or ask current inside linebackers and assistant head coach Winston Moss to absorb the role.



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Packers In Need of Quarterbacks Coach

Ben McAdoo

The New York Giants have tabbed McAdoo as their offensive coordinator

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last night that Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo has been hired by the New York Giants to be their offensive coordinator.

McAdoo will replace the departed Kevin Gilbride, who had served in that role since 2007.  Gilbride was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams as a member of Giants head coach Tom Coughlin’s staff.

Prior to accepting the job with the Giants, McAdoo had also interviewed with the Cleveland Browns for their head coaching vacancy and also for the offensive coordinator position with the Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was offensive coordinator in Green Bay when McAdoo was tight ends coach.

The Baltimore Ravens had also reportedly asked the Packers for permission to interview McAdoo, but he had accepted the job with the Giants before he could meet with the Ravens.

The Packers now need to fill this important role and the popular choice among discussion circles is their current running backs coach Alex Van Pelt.  Van Pelt served as quarterbacks coach with the Buffalo Bills in 2008 and was in a dual role as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator with them in 2009.

Van Pelt joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their quarterbacks coach in 2010 and 2011 before coming to the Packers in 2012 in his current role.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers expressed much admiration and respect for McAdoo on his weekly ESPN Milwaukee radio show last week and also had high praise for current offensive coordinator and former quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.  Rodgers liked the fact that Clements had been a quarterback before and hopes the Packers can bring someone in to help him maintain the high level of play that he has exhibited over the past few seasons.

Van Pelt was on the Bills’ roster as a quarterback from 1995 – 2003, mostly as a backup.






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Which Packers Assistant is the next to Become a Head Coach?

Could Tom Clements be the next Packers assistant to become a head coach?

Could Tom Clements be the next Packers assistant to become a head coach?

John Schneider to Seattle. Reggie McKenzie to Oakland. John Dorsey to Kansas City.

A lot of talented executives have left the Packers front office for general manager jobs with other teams over the last three years.

Joe Philbin has been the only Packers assistant coach to land a head coaching gig in that time period. Philbin departed as offensive coordinator and took over as Miami’s head coach after the 2012 season.

There’s plenty of talent on the Packers coaching roster. Linebackers coach Winston Moss and safeties coach Darren Perry have been loosely linked to head coach openings in the past. Current offensive coordinator Tom Clements is also highly regarded for his role in the Packers’ offense and the development of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Edgar Bennett has received some publicity lately as a firey up-and-comer. Kevin Greene is also an intense guy that could catch the eye of a general manager who wants a motivator as a head coach.

It’s impossible to predict which way the wind will blow on the assistant coach open market. One season an assistant might be the next big thing and a cinch to become a head coach. Then his team falters, he doesn’t get offered a head coaching job, and we never hear from him again.

Even Dom Capers was whispered to be on some team’s head coach lists after the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Can you imagine anyone offering Capers a head coaching job now? Doubtful, but if the Packers make a drastic turnaround on defense, you never know.

I consider myself an obsessive NFL fan — not just a Packers fan — and even I never heard of Mike McCarthy when the Packers hired him. Now, he’s one of the most successful head coaches in franchise history.

If I had to guess, I’d guess that Tom Clements gets a shot at being a head coach before any other assistant. Guys that understand offense and the quarterback position will always have an advantage in today’s NFL. Based on what little I know about Clements, he also seems to have the demeanor to be a strategic and level-headed coach.



NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jordan Rodgers, QB Vanderbilt

Jordan and Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: QB Jordan Rodgers

Player Information:

Jordan Rodgers, QB Vanderbilt
6-1, 212 pounds
Hometown: Chico, CA


NFL Combine:

Not invited

News and Notes:

Based on the comments from my previous draft posts, I’d like to point out that this is a prospect profile, not a draft prediction.  I haven’t analyzed a player who I think the Packers will take at 26 and that trend is going to continue; in fact I’m not advocating one way or the other that the Packers should draft/sign Jordan Rodgers at all. With that being said, Jordan Rodgers is an interesting prospect because he’s almost a reflection of what Aaron Rodgers’ story might have been had it not gone as well; Jordan also started at Butte Community College, where he lead the team to it’s first undefeated season in his second year.  He then transfered to a big name football program (Vanderbilt) but ended up redshirting his freshmen year with a shoulder injury.  From there he rode the bench until injuries struck and ended up as the starter, again much like his brother.  However, it took Jordan two years to transfer out of JUCO, then lost a year after getting a medical redshirt and only ended up as the legitimate starter in his senior year.  All in all, Jordan Rodgers will begin his NFL career at 25 while his older brother was only 21, which makes Aaron’s story all that more incredible.  It’s hard to imagine how different Aaron Rodger’s story would be if Jeff Tedford hadn’t come up to Chico to scout a tight end or if Rodgers hadn’t had the chance to start as a junior, but in fact that story might be Jordan Rodgers.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • “Short, but otherwise possesses a reasonably stout and athletic build for the quarterback position. Boasts the same quick-strike release that has helped his brother compensate for his lack of elite size (6020, 223 at 2007 Combine). Appears to have just average arm strength, overall, but possesses impressive velocity on short and intermediate throws, as the ball zips out of his hand.”


Video Analysis:

  • Good ball carriage, looks to have copied Aaron’s NFL carriage (luckily not his college carriage, which was criticized coming into the NFL).


Packers News: Jeff Saturday will retire


Former Packers C Jeff Saturday will retire

Former Packers C Jeff Saturday will retire

ProFootballTalk is reporting that Jeff Saturday, a 14-year veteran, will reportedly retire after the Pro Bowl.

“We’ll finish it with sunsets in Hawaii and call it a much better career than I would have anticipated,” Saturday said on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis.

Prior to coming to Green Bay in 2012, Saturday spent the previous 13 seasons in Indianapolis. Saturday was selected to this year’s Pro Bowl, which marks the sixth time in his career that he’s held that honor.

Before the Packers’ week 16 game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday was benched in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith. Saturday handled the move like a true professional, calling his benching a “passing of the torch.”

Saturday was signed to replace Scott Wells as the team’s starting center before the season.Wells signed with the St. Louis Rams as an unrestricted free agent.

Saturday started the first 14 games before being benched. He’s one of two Packers that will play in this Sunday’s Pro Bowl–guard Josh Sitton being the other. The Green Bay Packers coaching staff will coach the NFC in Sunday’s game.

This announcement is hardly a surprise. The 37-year-old Saturday wasn’t playing at a high level in 2012, and the Packers appear ready to roll with Dietrich-Smith at center.

It was a great career for an undrafted rookie out of North Carolina. Enjoy retirement, Mr. Saturday.


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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.




Packers Playbook (aka Hobbjective Analysis): Week 16 vs. Tennessee Titans

My, where should we go for Hobbjective analysis this week?  I mean the entire game was essentially a highlight reel for the Packers, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how accurate much of the second half is in terms of execution because it’s pretty obvious that the Titans have stopped trying at some point and just want to go home.

One play that I think hasn’t gotten as much attention as perhaps is warranted is Ryan Grant’s first TD in the 4th quarter.  The reason why I say this is because it’s one occasion where the Titans should be 90% sure that it’s going to be a run but they still manage to get blocked out of the play.

The Situation: The blowout is almost over at 41 to 0 and the Packers just need to burn 12 minutes as the Titans stopped trying back in the 2nd quarter.  To make matters worse, WR Jeremy Ross (he of the “punt, pass and puke” play from last week) rips off a 58 yard return subbing in for an injured Randall Cobb.  The Packers start the play off at the 7 yard line.

The Formation: The Packers are in a “jumbo” 1-2-2 formation (1WR-2TE-2RB) where OG Greg Van Roten (64) is eligible and has lined up as a tight end inline with the right tackle.  Offset to the right of OB Van Roten is TE DJ Williams (84), one of their better run blocking tight ends.  RB Ryan Grant (25) is lined up 7 yards behind QB Graham Harrell (6) with FB John Kuhn (30) lined up directly behind the right tackle.  WR James Jones (89) is the lone receiver split out wide left and isn’t in the screen cap, and for all intents and purposes for this play is irrelevant.  On the offensive line, a further permutation has emerged with LT Marshall Newhouse (74), LG TJ Lang (70), Evan Dietrich-Smith (62), RG Josh Sitton (71) and RT Don Barclay (67) going from left to right.