It’s Groundhog Day, so the following story is appropriate.
The Green Bay Packers need a new special teams coordinator. Again.
The firing of Maurice Drayton should not come as a surprise after Green Bay’s abysmal performance in 2021 topped off by costing the Packers their season with two blocked kicks in the divisional round. Had the special teams been better, it’s very possible and maybe even likely the Packers are preparing for the Super Bowl instead of stewing over what might have been.
The writing was already on the wall for Drayton earlier in the year however and now Green Bay is stuck looking for yet another special teams coordinator. For Matt LaFleur, this hire will be his third coordinator in four years as head coach and it is one he absolutely has to get right.
After firing Shawn Mennenga a year ago, LaFleur made the perplexing decision to promote from within rather than search outside the organization. Mennenga’s unit was bad and promoting one of his assistants wasn’t exactly the wisest idea. Yet Drayton knocked his first press conference out of the park and there was some optimism that maybe he could be the guy.
That optimism turned to pain which then turned into utter despair as it became clear Drayton could win at the podium but not even sniff competency on the field.
To be fair to the former coach, special teams have been an issue for a long long time in Green Bay as the team just kept it in neutral and didn’t really focus much on that part of the game. Given how this year’s team saw its promising campaign come to an end, we would hope the lack of attention to special teams will no longer be a problem.
No one knows what LaFleur will do but he most certainly will turn outside the organization for help this time. As a suggestion perhaps former Raiders interim coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia?
The Packers are going to have to pay up for special teams this time otherwise they risk next season ending the same way this one did and that would be malpractice of the highest order.
This will be the second most watched story of the next month behind what Aaron Rodgers decides to do but it will carry a ton of significance. Special teams have to get better and fast. This is a hire LaFleur has to nail.
In other coaching staff news, the nephew of the Bears legend has been groomed to take over this role. Don’t think he was beneficiary of nepotism however as he started his coaching career as a grad assistant at Oregon in 2005.
Tom Brady officially retired yesterday and the Packers fared as well against him as most teams did. Here’s to a fantastic career Tom and thanks for clearing the path for Rodgers to return (maybe)!
Despite how the season ended there were a lot of highlights in 2021. Here’s a good list of those who helped make it another memorable season for Packers fans.
Hopefully this isn’t an omen on how the Packers’ search for a new special teams coordinator will go.