Packers Special Teams: Still Suck

As already noted over at Cheesehead TVRick Gosselin posted his year end stats for special teams and the Green Bay Packers were the 2nd worst. From the Press-Gazette:

The ranking isn't an anomaly either. The Packers finished dead last in 2005 and 2006, rebounded to tie for seventh in 2007 and then fell back to 26th in 2008, after which former coordinator Mike Stock was pushed into retirement and Slocum promoted to replace him. 

If you can name a special teams player, he probably had a bad 2009 season. They all struggled. A couple areas stunk extra bad:

1. Penalties. The worst with 28 penalties, although this can almost be excused because the entire team has a problem with penalties. It's nothing unique to the special teams. This is something the entire coaching staff is going to have to work on hard this offseason.

2. Punts inside the 20 yard line. As bad as P Derrick Frost was in 2008, P Jeremy Kapinos's miserable 2009 campaign was even worse. But while Frost ripped off some memorably bad punts, Kapinos avoided any truly horrible ones and was just generally awful. He actually did OK in 2008 with 7 punts inside the 20 and only 1 touchback in 4 games, before only 15 in 2009 with 10 touchbacks. His net average of 34.1 was the worst in the NFL. He can comeback and compete for his job again in 2009, but they have to bring in some serious competition. Tim Masthay alone isn't going to cut it.

With the exception of 2007, the special teams have been awful every season since Shawn Slocum has been a Packer special teams coach, so I don't know how he's keeping his job. On the other hand, he's not on the field either missing FGs and committing penalties. Mike McCarthy has already done his coaching evaluation and only made two minor moves, so Slocum's not going anywhere. 

The healthy return of Will Blackmon can only help the return game, but they need to bring in some healthy competition too. Kapinos needs competition and so does K Mason Crosby. None of this necessarily has to be done in the draft, but I wouldn't object if a punter or kick returner was drafted in April.

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