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Cheese Curds, 1/15: Matt LaFleur starts to fill out Packers’ coaching staff

Former Jaguars OC Nathaniel Hackett will join LaFleur in Green Bay.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-OTA Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

In an interesting and well-researched piece about the inner workings of an NFL head coach interview, Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas offers this interesting nugget:

The longest block of time in most interviews is spent going over the candidate’s prospective staff. Coaching positions are in flux at this time of year, and you’re not always able to get the assistant you want, so candidates have to present a depth chart—three or four deep—of their top choices at every position from the coordinators to the position coaches. Be prepared to defend your choices if the team doesn’t like them. One owner, for example, vetoed a candidate’s third choice for a coordinator during their first interview.

Ventras goes on to cite former NFL general manager (and close friend of Mark Murphy) Charlie Casserly, who says staff selections can make or break a head coach while he’s still in the interview phase. “Everything else in the interview can be scripted,” he said. “But staff is judgment. If he has the staff wrong, I’m not going to hire him.”

I’ve thought about these observations a lot over the past week or so as Matt LaFleur and company have worked through the process of filling out the coaching staff in Green Bay. We’ve seen departures, firings, retentions, and, with the addition of Nathaniel Hackett this week, finally an outside hire.

How much of this process was really LaFleur? How much came down to how his vision aligned with Murphy and Brian Gutekunst? Was Hackett LaFleur’s first choice or did he miss out on Todd Monken, who interviewed in Green Bay before signing with Cleveland?

We’ll probably never have firm answers to most of these questions, but they’re worth considering as LaFleur navigates this crucial period early in his head coaching tenure.

Nathaniel Hackett will become Packers’ offensive coordinator | Packers News

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Packers to retain two assistant coaches from Mike McCarthy’s staff | Packers Wire

In addition to the Hackett hire, LaFleur is keeping two McCarthy-era coaches in Green Bay, retaining Jerry Montgomery and Brian Angelichio.

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Alas, if you were hoping to sate your hunger with processed cheese and noodles in a post-apocalyptic future, your luck has run out.