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Monday Cheese Curds: Packers zone in on Rich Bisaccia to cure special teams woes

There’s nowhere to go but up in Green Bay and Bisaccia just might be the man to do that and beyond

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the final week of football season and while the Green Bay Packers wish they were preparing for Super Bowl LVI they are instead finalizing their coaching staff for 2022.

While everyone awaits word on Aaron Rodgers’ decision, Matt LaFleur continues to fill out his staff to compensate for losses to former protege Nathaniel Hackett in Denver.

With former tight ends coach Justin Outten off to the Broncos as Hackett’s offensive coordinator, LaFleur promoted senior analyst John Dunn to replace him. He joins a flurry of internal promotions LaFleur has made to either offset departures or replace people he moved up on his own staff.

The biggest and most important position remaining to be filled is special teams after Maurice Drayton was dismissed following an abysmal 2021 was his group. LaFleur knows he has to stick the landing with this hire (his third coordinator in four years) and has already reportedly reached out to former Raiders interim coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia about the job. How close they are to a deal is not yet known.

During a season in which he took over for Jon Gruden as head coach following his resignation, Bisaccia oversaw a special teams unit that ranked 11th per Rick Gosselin’s ratings. His groups were 16th and 25th the two years prior which, while nothing special, is far and above what Packers fans have had to deal with the past few seasons.

Bisaccia’s goal for the Packers group should he be hired is simple: just get to competency first. If special teams were competent in the divisional round, Green Bay almost certainly hosts the NFC Championship game and is possibly playing for it all on Sunday.

LaFleur may or perhaps even should expand his net further when it comes to special teams but Bisaccia might very well be the best candidate considering who is available. He isn’t going to come cheap and the Packers would be wise to open their wallets.

If they don’t, they’re risking further special teams failure and another year of that would tarnish LaFleur’s reputation considerably.

Sources: Packers in talks with Rich Bisaccia to be their special teams coordinator—

Bisaccia was clearly beloved by his players given how some of them reacted when Josh McDaniels was hired to replace him. That’s a good thing but Drayton was also well-liked by Packers plays. Fuzzy feelings don’t mean a thing if the results aren’t on the field, however. Hopefully Bisaccia has better luck.

Packers promote John Dunn to tight ends coach—

The Packers made Drayton’s firing official on Friday in a move everyone saw coming. Meanwhile, Dunn meanwhile was tight ends coach with the Jets from 2019-2020 and will bring an experienced eye to the offensive staff.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling talks about frustrating 2021 season, being a Packer and his uncertain future—Packers Wire

Marquez Valdes-Scantling looked to be a breakout candidate for 2021 before a hip injury derailed his season but MVS’ value to the offense was clear. Defenses play the Packers differently without a legitimate deep threat and the offense just isn’t as effective or diverse. Here’s hoping the Packers find a way to bring him back.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes ‘still not over’ loss to Bengals in AFC title game—

If anyone can feel for Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs fans, it’s Packers fans. The hangover from such a heartbreak is very real (see the 2015 season) but much like Rodgers did that season, Mahomes can single-handedly will a team to contention.

Florida man steals car; train sends it crashing into house—Associated Press

Sometimes karma comes in like a freight train but it’s unfortunate the residents of that house have had their lives disrupted. Meanwhile, the thief later vandalized a fruit stand and tried to steal a forklift. Only in Florida.