The Packers offense was obviously an issue this year, and led to a number of changes.
But after firing a pair of assistants and reinstalling himself as the play-caller, Packers coach Mike McCarthy admitted the reason was a simple one.
“Anytime you change the responsibility, whatever your area of emphasis is. There’s a reason I went to those areas. There definitely will be input into the defense and special teams,” McCarthy said, via Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “Offensively, we took a huge step back. We’re not a championship defense. That will be the focus of our staff and players. On special teams, we need to take another big jump there, as well.”
Of course, McCarthy didn’t make major changes to other areas of the coach staff. But running backs coach Sam Gash and tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot were fired, replaced by Ben Sirmans and Brian Angelicho respectively. Also, offensive line assistant Mike Solari left to work for the Giants.
“You have change each and every year,” McCarthy said. “It’s important to thank Jerry Fontenot and Sam Gash’s contributions. The changes we made on offense. I think we definitely had two young coaches that we hired two years ago, we felt we had two promising prospects. Ben and Brian bring new energy, new ideas. It brings a freshness and aspect we haven’t really had a lot of. I felt Mike Solari brought that last year to us. It’s an opportunity to improve and grow.”
They also promoted Luke Getsy to wide receivers coach, allowing Alex Van Pelt to only coach quarterbacks after handling both spots last year.
“We had a plan last year,” McCarthy said. “It wasn’t executed to the level we look at achieve. The quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends and o-line, the interactions between positions have been a staple of how we operate the last five years. The excuses are over. We’ve adjusted the job responsibilities back more to what we’ve done in the past.”
Those shufflings will also put more pressure back on McCarthy. He gave up play-calling a few years ago to take a more broad-based look at his team and it didn’t work as he had hoped, which will return the focus to his role.