As the Green Bay Packers continue their search for a head coach to succeed Mike McCarthy and interim head coach Joe Philbin, a few newsworthy bits of information have come out in the past few hours.
The first involves Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who is rumored to be one of the top candidates for Packers president Mark Murphy. Of course, when serving as Northwestern’s athletic director, Murphy hired Fitzgerald as the school’s head football coach, making the connection between the two appear quite strong.
However, following Northwestern’s 31-20 victory over Utah in the Holiday Bowl on Monday night, Fitzgerald was asked about the possibility that he could leave Evanston for another opportunity — presumably the Packers job. His response was emphatic:
Gary Barnett turned down Notre Dame, Georgia & UCLA. It looks like Pat Fitzgerald just turned down the Green Bay Packers pic.twitter.com/WXpiXH1egf— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 1, 2019
“Hashtag Go Cats, man. I’m not going anywhere. This is home forever.”
That can probably end any speculation about Fitzgerald becoming the Packers’ head coach. Although other coaches have made similar statements in the past and backtracked, Fitzgerald truly is in his dream job, having grown up just outside of Chicago and played his college football for the Wildcats. Although the Packers reportedly planned to submit their request to interview Fitzgerald following the bowl game, given those comments they may not bother to do so.
Meanwhile, we now have confirmation that the Packers will indeed interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, as expected. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the team will interview McDaniels on Friday of this week, which is allowed under the NFL’s interview rules. The Patriots have a first-round bye, meaning teams can interview that team’s coaches in the week leading up to the Wild Card games. The team also plans to interview New Orleans tight ends coach Dan Campbell after talking to McDaniels, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
If the Patriots or Saints advance to the Super Bowl, the first opportunity that the Packers would have for follow-up interviews would be in the week following the Conference Championship games.
Finally, Rapoport also indicated that Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will interview with the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos next Monday. It would appear that the Packers are not considering Fangio at this time, as there have been no reports of the team reaching out to interview him. However, they could be waiting until next week to request an interview, since the Bears are playing in a Wild Card game and Fangio is unavailable to meet with teams until after that round of games.
Keep it here at Acme Packing Company for more news on the Packers’ search.