15

January

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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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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4

September

Does Ben McAdoo deserve blame for Packers’ backup QB blunder?

Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was appointed to his role in 2012, despite having no prior experience at the position.

Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was appointed to his role in 2012, despite having no prior experience at the position.

When the Miami Dolphins hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their head coach in 2012, Tom Clements was promoted to offensive coordinator, leaving the team’s quarterbacks coach position vacant.

Ben McAdoo, who served under head coach Mike McCarthy in each of his previous two tenures with New Orleans and San Francisco, had experience coaching various offensive positions at the professional level. But prior to changing roles in 2012, McAdoo had no experience, at any level, working directly with the quarterback position.

Shortly after Philbin’s departure, Aaron Rodgers, who has given Clements a great deal of credit for his ascension to the NFL elite, was asked by Jason Wilde about how their relationship would change if Clements were, in fact, no longer his position coach.

“I don’t see our relationship changing a whole lot. I think if he were to get the coordinator job, he’d still want to spend some time with the quarterbacks,” Rodgers said. “I would guess they would look for someone to be the quarterbacks coach. I know when Tom originally got hired, that one of the names that Mike was interested in was Billy Joe Tolliver.”

Tolliver, whose playing career ended in 2001 after being beaten out by Doug Pederson in a competition to be Brett Favre’s backup, has never coached at the NFL level. However, Rodgers’ assumption that the team would look to a former quarterback to fill Clements’ role as the position coach suggests that he’d prefer to have a coach who has played the position.

Clements quarterbacked Notre Dame to a National Championship in 1973, finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1974 and played professionally for more than a decade, bouncing between the CFL and NFL. But with a quarterback-savvy head coach in McCarthy, along with an offensive coordinator (Clements) who had served as the team’s quarterbacks coach for seven seasons, the Packers opted to promote McAdoo to quarterbacks coach.

Prior to the move, McAdoo had spent the previous six years in Green Bay as the team’s tight ends coach.

The Packers are no strangers to making curious promotions on their coaching staff; wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett played running back in the NFL for eight seasons, running backs coach Alex Van Pelt played 11 seasons as an NFL quarterback, and tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot also coached tight ends in Green Bay despite a 16-year playing career at center.

20

December

Fixing Jermichael Finley. What’s Wrong And How To Repair It

Packers Jermichael Finley drops another pass

Jermichael Finley has the drops

The party’s over, folks.

For the first time in one day shy of a full calendar year, the Green Bay Packers lost a game.  The whole team was flat in a 19-14 loss to the 5-8 Kansas City Chiefs.   The Packers’ dream of an undefeated season en route to a second consecutive world championship came to a screeching halt at Arrowhead Stadium.

After having a chance to come to terms with the defeat, it interested me to see what the fan reaction was to the Packers falling to 13-1 on the season.  The responses were about what I expected.

Some were sad, some were sad yet relieved that the Packers wouldn’t have the pressure of a perfect season on them entering the postseason and others were on the ledge and ready to jump so to speak.   Being a fan is an emotional investment in a team and an emotional like this is expected to draw a wide range of reactions.

In particular, the reaction to one particular player’s performance caught my eye: tight end Jermichael Finley.  Finley had another rough game as his habit of dropping passes continued.  A few of his catches may (may) have cost the Packers some points.  We will never know for sure.

What was more alarming was fans’ reaction to his play.  Some were saying he is just going through a rough patch while others went way beyond that and were calling for Finley to actually be released.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  This loss made a lot of people upset.  Finley happened to be a convenient scapegoat for fans to take their anger out on.  It’s been a long time since the Packers last lost a game, so maybe the fans (as well as the players) forgot how much losing stinks.

Still, they have a valid point.  Something is clearly wrong with Jermichael Finley.  Is it mental? Could his physical skills possibly have been overrated by everyone?

I don’t have the perfect answer.  Only Finley himself knows that.  What I can do, however, is try to diagnose what may be the problem and what solutions could possibly right his play and return him to his former Pro Bowl-caliber self.

Now, I’m not a football coach nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  But after watching the game via DVR late last night, I will tell you what I am seeing from Finley.

30

March

2011 Draft Prep: Green Bay Packers Needs by Position – Tight Ends

In this third installment of our 2011 Draft Prep series looking at the Green Bay Packers’ needs by position, we are going to analyze how the tight end position currently stands. Strengths, weaknesses, depth, and uncertainties will all be examined to determine the urgency of need in regards to next season.

This series is meant to help us figure out the needs of the team and how the draft could be used to improve the weaker areas. While Ted Thompson largely uses the “best player available” (BPA) approach, his decision to trade up or down the board is affected by what position players he would prefer to have. Additionally, the picking up of players in the later rounds and in undrafted free agency is often based on need, since the talent is less defined.

CURRENT PLAYERS:

#88 Jermichael Finley
24 yrs. old / 3 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2011

#81 Andrew Quarless
22 yrs. old / 1 yr. exp.
Signed through 2013

#83 Tom Crabtree
25 yrs. old / 1 yr. exp.
Signed through 2012

#41 Spencer Havner
28 yrs. old / 2 yrs. exp.
Free Agent (tender offered)

* Contract information acquired from RotoWorld.com

POSITION STRENGTHS:

Jermichael Finley could be the best receiving tight end in the league right now, and his case for this distinction would be much stronger if not for his season-ending knee injury. In the first four games of 2010, Finley had 21 receptions for 301 yards and a touchdown, which would have put him on pace for a 1,000 yard season.

But beyond the numbers, Finley is just a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses. Mike McCarthy has lined him up as both a tight end and wide receiver, trying to take advantage of his height and his speed. He is also a big red zone target, not only because of his size, but also because of his great hands.

Behind Finley, the Packers have picked up two promising, young tight ends in Andrew Quarless and Tom Crabtree. Though neither player was stellar in his role this season, each one has shown the potential to be solid cogs in the offensive machine.

For a position that McCarthy likes to utilize in his offense, he has a great group of talent and depth to work with next season.

POSITION WEAKNESSES: