Now that the Green Bay Packers have their next head coach in place, they can turn their attention to the assistant coaches. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, special-teams coordinator Ron Zook will not return in 2019 as part of Matt LaFleur’s staff.
As Demovsky notes, the news comes as little surprise. Zook, a former colleague of then-Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, originally joined the team as a special-teams assistant in 2014. McCarthy promoted Zook to coordinator after Brandon Bostick’s ill-fated kickoff recovery contributed to Green Bay’s demise in the NFC title game later that season. Zook ran special teams for the remainder of McCarthy’s tenure.
Though Green Bay enjoyed a slight uptick in performance under Zook initially, his special-teams units nosedived soon thereafter. The issues became particularly pronounced in 2018, a season that included Mason Crosby’s four-miss game against the Detroit Lions, Ty Montgomery’s game-altering kickoff fumble on the road versus the Los Angeles Rams, and the procession of errors that transpired in Week 16’s matchup with the New York Jets.
LaFleur will now have to determine who can revive the Packers’ special teams. Packers News’ Jim Owczarski suggested that Brayden Coombs could garner consideration for the job. Coombs, a young assistant coach with experience in all three phases of the game, worked on Marvin Lewis’ final Cincinnati Bengals staff.