clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

GMC Playbook: Packers Coaches Edgar Bennett and Joe Whitt Excel With Top Talent

New, comments

Though they have plenty to work with, two Packers coaches in particular are worthy of recognition this week for their efforts and the excellent play of the players under their supervision.

Packers WR coach Edgar Bennett
Packers WR coach Edgar Bennett
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers are on a bye this week, but we still have a question to answer from Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk as part of the GMC Playbook series.

Take it away, Marshall:

Though a variety of Packers coaches have seen their players posting good performances in 2014, there are two whom we want to highlight in particular: wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett and cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, Jr.

Bennett, as any Packers fan knows, was the Packers' starting running back in the mid-1990's, and he posted seven 100-yard games and one 1,000-yard season (1995). After coaching the running backs for several years in the mid-to-late-2000's, Bennett moved over to coach the wide receivers starting in 2011. Since then, his charges have been among the top receiving units in the NFL each season, and it is in no small part due to Bennett.

This season, Jordy Nelson ranks by most statistical measures as one of the top wide receivers in football, and Randall Cobb is not far behind. But in perhaps the biggest sign of Bennett's work, rookie Davante Adams has developed quickly and taken firm hold of the team's #3 wideout spot, although he was aided in that by Jarrett Boykin's injury. Adams still makes the occasional rookie mistake (see the route he cut short leading to an interception against the Saints) but Bennett will surely break that play down and ensure that Adams is continuing his routes until the whistle.

On the other side of the ball, Joe Whitt has helped the cornerbacks to be one of the better units of boundary defenders in the league this season. Admittedly, they had a rough game against Drew Brees and the Saints' receivers, but that game was the first of 2014 in which the Packers had allowed more than 261 passing yards. Even with the game last Sunday night, the Packers defense still ranks ninth in the league in fewest passing yards allowed per game.

Furthermore, with injuries to Sam Shields and Tramon Williams (though Williams' was a less serious issue), this season Whitt has coaxed very good play out of Davon House and Casey Hayward in their stead and also in sub packages. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, both Shields and Hayward are among the top 15 cornerbacks in the NFL in pass coverage and House has graded positively as well.

Besides just man coverage, the Packers' corners are doing a good job turning the football over as well, as each of the four players mentioned has at least one interception (Shields and Hayward have two each). Furthermore, according to Packers.com, the Green Bay cornerbacks have recorded 63 interceptions since Whitt began his current job in 2009, and that is the highest number in the NFL over that span. It is the combination of splash plays and generally consistent coverage that is a sign that Whitt's efforts are working and that he is one of the top cornerbacks coaches in the league.

Join the #GMCPlaybook discussion at sbnation.com/sponsored-gmc-playbook and on Twitter by following @thisisgmc & @marshallfaulk.