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The Rankings Agree: The Packers Special Teams Suck

Over the next couple weeks, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy will have finished his post-season evaluation of his coaching staff, and decided on any changes that need to be made. After the 2009 season, he announced only one change about two weeks after their playoff loss at Arizona. It was a small move that promoted Chad Morton to assistant special teams coach. I'm hoping for a bigger move this year.

The 2007 season was the exception because CB Will Blackmon and CB Tramon Williams delivered some big plays on kick and punt returns. Every other year under McCarthy, the special teams have been bad. Kevin Seifert rounded up the rankings for the NFC North after Rick Gosselin released his annual special teams rankings, and he compared those to Football Outsiders. They ranked No. 27 by Football Outsiders, and No. 29 under Gosselin. And that's including a surprisingly good season for P Tim Masthay

The Super Bowl was another example of their lousy special teams getting beaten by an unremarkable unit. The Steelers did miss a long field goal, and they did commit two costly penalties on kick returns. Still, they managed returns past their own 34 yard line on three occasions, while the Packers couldn't get a kick off return past their own 25. And the botched punt return when CB Sam Shields was blocked into Williams was an embarrassment. I was glad to see P Jeremy Kapinos leave after the 2009 season, but he was great in the Super Bowl for the Steelers. He had a net average of 44.3 yards, and Masthay could only net 36.3 yards per punt. 

What do you see as the biggest problem on special teams?