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Cheese Curds, 1/23: Packers’ special teams desperately need turnaround after ranking last

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After missing out on a top option to coach those units, where does Matt LaFleur go from here?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, one NFL writer puts out the end-all be-all of rankings for NFL special teams units, and year after year, the Green Bay Packers are near the bottom. New head coach Matt LaFleur wasted no time in firing special teams coordinator Ron Zook after the team’s abysmal performance in 2018, doing so well in advance of those rankings’ publication.

Well, now they’re here, and they provide no surprises as far as the Packers are concerned. After a few years of hovering around the bottom, Zook’s units finally finished dead last this season.

Between the penalties, lack of production in the return game, and kicking challenges, this really was easy to see coming. Now the question becomes how can the Packers fix it? They’re missed out on one respected coach, and there are few individuals with significant experience leading an NFL special teams group still on the market. The focus appears now to shift towards assistants, and the next candidate is headed to Green Bay soon to interview.

But there’s one good thing about this. It can only get better from here, right?

...Right?

Rick Gosselin's 2018 NFL special-teams rankings - Talk Of Fame Network
Gosselin is writing for a new outlet, but he's still compiling his annual rankings of special teams. And guess who finished dead last out of 32 teams? That's right, the Packers, under Ron Zook.

Packers lose out on coveted special teams coach Darren Rizzi | Packersnews.com
Zook is of course out of a job, and the Packers are looking for his replacement as special teams coordinator. However, Rizzi won't be the guy, and the speculation is that the reason is the Packers weren't willing to meet his asking price. Now the team has scheduled an interview with Jaguars assistant Mike Mallory for the job.

Lane Taylor hoping for healthier 2019 | Packers.com
Taylor's ankle surgery in the offseason had him feeling off until after the bye week, but then he had a few additional injuries that sapped his effectiveness in the final month. He'll be looking for a big bounce-back season in 2019.

Packers should target Vikings OLB Anthony Barr in free agency | Packers Wire
Barr could be a decent fit as a 3-4 edge rusher, the position many draft analysts thought he would play coming out of college. But can Packers fans really embrace the guy who broke Aaron Rodgers' collarbone in 2017?

Super Bowl 2019: Tony Romo predicted so many Patriots plays vs. Chiefs - SBNation.com
Congratulations, Tony! You finally get to go to a Super Bowl!

Cole Beasley: Cowboys front office 'pushes' WR targets - NFL.com
Beasley is a free agent, and with these comments it's tough to imagine him returning to Dallas. Could he be a useful fit in the slot for the Packers? Former Packer receiver Donald Driver thinks so:

Iceland is home to the world’s first ever beer spa and it’s just as amazing as it sounds | The Irish Post
Beer spa? BEER SPA?!