Mike McCarthy wants to get involved to fix Packers’ special teams

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Mike McCarthy giving up his play-calling duties was the headline.

But clear during his discussion of shifting his energies yesterday was the emphasis the Packers coach wants to put on special teams.

After finishing last year ranked last in the comprehensive rankings compiled by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, the Packers fired special teams coach Shawn Slocum. McCarthy promoted Ron Zook into that job, but wants to have a more active hand there himself.

“I will spend a lot of time with the special teams. Special teams needs to improve,” McCarthy said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “It’s an area definitely of concern in the past. We have to continue to develop our young players, get them ready to play and contribute as quickly as possible.

“And we [also] need to get more out of our veterans. To me, that’s the hole in our special teams. The consistency and the standard of play in our veteran players is not where it needs to be. And that will be a direct focus of mine.”

Zook made mention of having a veteran core of players buy in to the system, to set the example for the young players who typically make up the bulk of special teams units.

But the problems they had last year transcend one assistant coach, or any particular player. They had seven kicks blocked, were last in the league in kickoff returns, and their inability to cover a fake field goal or field an onside kick kept them from a trip to the Super Bowl.

“We’ll sit down and we’ll start the first page of the playbook, the huddle. Page 1, and go all the way through,” McCarthy said. “The culture, the energy, the mechanics of how you train your football team – there will be some changes. There always is anytime you’re changing a position coach and coordinator. That’s obvious. It’s important to be creative.

“It’s all about growth. It’s all about culture. It’s all about energy. And we’ll have energy and a different culture on special teams.”

And a little more oversight from the boss certainly won’t hurt.

70 responses to “Mike McCarthy wants to get involved to fix Packers’ special teams

  1. Too late. Your epic choke job blew a Superbowl. That’s not something you can simply erase with platitudes. And hanging it on the Special Teams coach was very low rent.

  2. First order of business on ST, and their 31st ranking…

    Learn that when a team is down by more than 3 points, they might just try a fake field goal.

    Learn that when they need to get the ball back, they will try an onside kick.

    Sign more than street free agents to appear on ST…

  3. The Packers team peaked over a year ago before their one and done playoff loss. This year’s epic choke against Seattle just reaffirmed it. Special teams is the least of their worries. Rodgers skills are deteriorating so he can no longer cover their ineptitude.

  4. Who has less to “fix” in order to earn the quickest return trip to the SuperBowl….Packers or Vikings?

    Duh!!

    The Viking trolls would serve themselves better to critique their own team, not a team that “owns” theirs.

  5. Here’s the deal Mike. You cannot coach speed as Jimmy J once said, you have it or you don’t. You can’t coach stupid either.

    TT drafted stupid. Late round and undrafteds making stupid mistakes. I want to be sure to include Ha Ha in that mess to because this guy couldn’t play deep safety if the opposing team never threw the ball.

    How hard is it to block the opposing team on an on-side kick? Put one arm up in the air and block a two point conversion? Run towards the end zone after and interception rather than take a knee at mid field with 5 minutes left in the game.

    This is not about coaching. Hey Mike, there are a lot of people that McDonalds was made for and some guys that get to go ivy league colleges. Your drafting mental midgets that all the coaching in the world ain’t gonna help.

  6. Hey Mike. The Vikes actually have a speed guy whose primary job is to run back kicks and can break one anytime and has. Your putting guys in that spot with little speed and wondering why they can’t get past the 20? Duh.

  7. Sometimes you have to be careful you don’t spread yourself too thin.

    McCarthy was calling a potent offense. He may end up not fixing anything, and giving up playcalling duties has a greater likelihood of the one piece that is competent starts going downhill.

    If he can’t call plays and watch over the defense and special teams, perhaps he needs to get better coordinators at that position.

    Seems to me he is too loyal to people who shouldn’t be coaching for him, and instead of looking for upgrades, he’s being loyal, and harming the offense.

    Maybe it works, but his plan makes little to no sense, and thus likely won’t. Fire the people responsible, if you think it’s a coaching and not personnel issue. This move seems to show he thinks it’s coaching, but he isn’t firing the bad coaches, he’s demoting himself in a sense to cover it up.

    There were plenty of DC available, and there’s always a ton of options (whether good or bad is another question) for ST coaches.

    Good luck Packers

  8. What makes people think this guy can fix it when he can’t even fix his own mistakes. Choke epic falls beyond fixable, that’s McCarthy, Rodgers, Lazzzy and the Packers organization.

  9. It seems impossible that the fans of a team that finished dead last in the division 3 of the last 4 years would try to disparage a 13 time World Champion that has won the division 4 years in a row, finished 12-4 and lost in OT in the NFC Championship game. Especially when that team has zero championships, more on and off the field embarrassments than any franchise in sports history, and has struggled at every level imaginable…up to including building a stadium that doesn’t tumble to the Earth below when it snows.

    But it’s not impossible. It’s Minnesota.

  10. stellarperformance says:
    Feb 13, 2015 11:10 AM
    Who has less to “fix” in order to earn the quickest return trip to the SuperBowl….Packers or Vikings?

    Duh!!

    The Viking trolls would serve themselves better to critique their own team, not a team that “owns” theirs.

    Ah yes….when the packers are up against the wall what better way to distract the attackers by bringing up the Vikings.

    Sorry man, not working on this one. Packers flat out suck.

  11. I think McCarthy might be right to address the play of the special teams. I mean, when Wilson threw that touchdown pass in overtime, clearly beating the special teams safety; no wait, that was on Defense. Or how about when Wilson through that back-across-his-chest two point conversion, clearly beating that special teams cornerback; no wait, that was on Defense too. Oh well,….

  12. I wonder what this says about the Packers?

    *That McCarthy is a better special teams coach than head coach?

    *That Dom Caper’s defense is actually just fine?

    *That TT can’t unearth anyone competent enough to play special teams without it necessitating the attention and involvement of the head coach?

    *That McCarthy, whilst a capable head coach, cannot judge talent for the position of special teams coach?

    I choose “all of the above”.

  13. We don’t need apologies from the likes of a troll. The Packers are arguably the second best team in the league…and they beat the SuperBowl winner. And they flat out suck? ….yeah, right. Got it.

    That sounds like the opinion of a “fan” that is tired of being “owned.” Be sorry about that. It must sometimes feel like it will never end, huh?

  14. Mike McCarthy career record:
    Regular season: 94-49-1 .656
    Post Season: 7-6, 1 Super Bowl win

    Bud Grant career record:
    Regular Season: 158-96-5 .622
    Post Season: 10-12, 0 Super Bowl wins

    Minnesota, LOL!!!

  15. McCarthy reminds me a lot of Dennis Green. Both had a lot of regular season success followed by playoff failure, both make incomprehensible statements, and both have an affinity for donuts. One difference is that Green was very good at hiring great assistant coaches.

  16. It’s not rocket science, just hire a good special teams coach. MM’s skills are best served with his expertise — offense.

  17. There’s a case to be made here for McCarthy focusing on special teams. It truly was what did the Pack in against Seattle.

    Even after all the conservative goal line decisions, even after series after series of conservative play calling that would make Rush Limbaugh blush, they were in it, with more than a touchdown lead.

    Along comes special teams and blows coverage on a fake field goal attempt.

    Along comes special teams and fails to recover an onside kick to ice the game, ultimately.

    But, I’d say to McCarthy, it’s great to say you’re going to directly focus on special teams personally, but, buddy, they’re so bad, you better pack a lunch.

    Now there’s something he’s good at.

  18. ruvelligwebuike says:
    Feb 13, 2015 11:44 AM
    It seems impossible that the fans of a team that finished dead last in the division 3 of the last 4 years would try to disparage a 13 time World Champion that has won the division 4 years in a row, finished 12-4 and lost in OT in the NFC Championship game. Especially when that team has zero championships, more on and off the field embarrassments than any franchise in sports history, and has struggled at every level imaginable…up to including building a stadium that doesn’t tumble to the Earth below when it snows.

    But it’s not impossible. It’s Minnesota……………

    Lets put this into perspective. It is coming up on 50 years since the Lombardi era. Since then in the last 50 years, despite 25 years of fulility and then 2 franchise HOF QBs, the Packers have only managed 2 Super Bowls in the last 50 years…

  19. Mike McCarthy career record:
    Regular season: 94-49-1 .656
    Post Season: 7-6, 1 Super Bowl win

    Bud Grant career record:
    Regular Season: 158-96-5 .622
    Post Season: 10-12, 0 Super Bowl wins

    And .250 without Aaron Rogers

  20. That sounds like the opinion of a “fan” that is tired of being “owned.” Be sorry about that. It must sometimes feel like it will never end, huh?

    Owned? Can I send you a copy of the Seattle game?

  21. You gotta love the Viking trolls, they are so filled with good advice that they can’t even waste it on their own team, they insist on sharing with the Packers. The same Packers that have won 2 games every season vs. the Vikings for 5 straight years. Think about that when you try to come up with a definition for one team owning another. 5 straight years of two wins each and every year is a pretty good bench mark, wouldn’t you say?

  22. As much as it pains me to say with Rogers around the Packers will always be in the playoff hunt. He has a few good years left before Barr catches him blindside and the lights go out in Green Bay.

    What the packers need to worry about is getting Mathews back on a correct cycle so he is peaking at playoff time not a step slow and sluggish like a man without a supplier. Get that D back with the correct pharmacist and Super Bowl is in reach.

    Maybe Seattle Will Share Contacts??

  23. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Feb 13, 2015 12:21 PM

    McCarthy reminds me a lot of Dennis Green. Both had a lot of regular season success followed by playoff failure, both make incomprehensible statements, and both have an affinity for donuts. One difference is that Green was very good at hiring great assistant coaches.
    ==================================
    They are not really comparable-

    Dennis Green:

    4-8 in the playoffs
    8 playoff appearances over 13 years
    2 conference championship appearances
    0 conference championships
    0 Super Bowls

    Mike McCarthy:

    7-6 in the playoffs
    7 playoff appearances over 9 years
    3 conference championship appearances
    1 conference championship
    1 Super Bowl

  24. Then hopefully we will never see Bostick in a Packers uniform again………

    An undrafted free agent (shock) that hasn’t touched the ball in weeks is put in on a crucial special teams play…Can’t blame the guy, inspite of Packer fans death threats to him, it was another comedy of errors on the coaching staff..

  25. Will McCarthy make their ST worse by getting involved?

    The ONLY reason why the packer’s are good is because of Aaron Rodgers. You can’t coach that.

    Overall, McCarthy isn’t a good coach. My guess is he makes ST worse.

  26. In Teddy We Trust
    Feb 13, 2015, 11:21 AM CST
    McCarthy reminds me a lot of Dennis Green. Both had a lot of regular season success followed by playoff failure, both make incomprehensible statements, and both have an affinity for donuts. One difference is that Green was very good at hiring great assistant coaches.

    ——————–

    LOL! One other difference is one has won a super bowl and one has not.

  27. ruvelligwebuike says: Feb 13, 2015 11:44 AM

    It seems impossible that the fans of a team that finished dead last in the division 3 of the last 4 years would try to disparage a 13 time World Champion that has won the division 4 years in a row, finished 12-4 and lost in OT in the NFC Championship game.

    Dude you guys have 2 SB wins in the last 50 years and 11 of those 13 “World Championships” came when there was under 12 teams in the league. But yea, “Title Town”*

    And no I’m not a fan of anyone in your division.

  28. rosstuckershair says:
    Feb 13, 2015 12:31 PM

    Lets put this into perspective. It is coming up on 50 years since the Lombardi era. Since then in the last 50 years, despite 25 years of fulility and then 2 franchise HOF QBs, the Packers have only managed 2 Super Bowls in the last 50 years…
    ==================================Seriously? Super Bowls don’t come easily. Only 12 teams have 2 or more Super Bowl wins. 13 teams have zero wins. The Cowboys and 49ers haven’t won in about 20 years. The Raiders, Redskins and Dolphins haven’t won one in well over 20 years.

    Hall of Fame Quarterbacks with zero Super Bowl wins:

    Fran Tarkenton
    Dan Marino
    Warren Moon
    Jim Kelly
    Dan Fouts
    Sonny Jurgensen
    Len Dawson

  29. When MM says he is going to improve an area of the Packers team, he does, running game=check, defense=getting there, almost check, next year special teams will be a check as well.

    Go home queenies, your all drunk…..

  30. The packers may think they lost to the Squawks because of special teams or that onside kick. In reality, they failed to get a first down after the interception near the end of the game. The play calling was way too conservative. A first down would have allowed them to run the clock out. Instead, 3 predictable runs cost them the game. The Sea Squawks had the same problem in the Super Bowl. They became ultra conservative when they got that 10 point lead in the 3rd quarter, produced a couple of 3 and outs, and the Patriots had enough time to come back to score 2 touchdowns. In fact they had almost too much time, because after they went ahead, the Squawks had time to march that final drive down the field.

  31. This is tremendous and inspiring news for Packer fans everywhere as the team prepares for another deep run into the playoffs and another serious run at a NFL record 14th World Championship.

  32. For about a quarter century after Lombardi’s departure the Packers had relatively little on-field success. In the 24 seasons from 1968 to 1991, they had only five seasons with a winning record, one being the shortened 1982 strike season. They appeared in the playoffs twice, with a 1–2 record. The period saw five different head coaches – Phil Bengtson, Dan Devine, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, and Lindy Infante – two of whom, Starr and Gregg, were Lombardi’s era stars, while Bengtson was a former Packer coach. Each led the Packers to a poorer record than his predecessor. Poor personnel decisions were rife, notoriously the 1974 trade by acting GM Dan Devine which sent five 1975 or 1976 draft picks (two first-rounders, two second-rounders and a third) to the Los Angeles Rams for aging quarterback John Hadl, who would spend only 1½ seasons in Green Bay.[15] Another came in the 1989 NFL Draft, when offensive lineman Tony Mandarich was taken with the second overall pick ahead of Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, and Derrick Thomas. Though rated highly by nearly every professional scout at the time, Mandarich’s performance failed to meet expectations, earning him ESPN’s ranking as the third “biggest sports flop” in the last 25 years

  33. “It’s all about growth. It’s all about culture. It’s all about energy.”

    Apparently what it’s really “all about” is insulting the intelligence of football fans with cliches and double talk and stupid, thoughtless remarks.

    So what I think McCarthy is saying is that next season his special teams will be playing at 300%, which would be 200% better than the next best team. But nobody has more than 100% to deal with. If he were to split that 100% into three equal parts (growth, culture and energy), McCarthy’s special teams would be 1/3 about growth, 1/3 about culture and 1/3 about growth.

    If professional sports is not the most cliche-ridden entity on the planet, I don’t know what is; it’s worse than politics or religion and I wouldn’t think that was possible.

    “It” can’t be all about three different things! If McCarthy had said “It’s one-third about growth, one-third about culture and one third about energy” I could believe him and I’d probably be interested in what he had to say. But this ‘coach-speak’ double talk is not only lazy and indicitave of poorly developed communication skills, it’s a snobbish and insulting form of Elitism.

    Before the NFL comes down on people like Lynch for not communicating at all, they need to educate people who regularly address the media, to say something that has been reasonably well thought out. PLEASE GOD, LET SOMEBODY SAY SOMETHING INTELLIGENT THIS OFF-SEASON. PLEASE!

  34. Oops! That last comment should read: “1/3 about growth, 1/3 about culture and 1/3 about energy.”

    And it should read: “indicative”, not “indicitave”.

    Sorry, my bad(s).

  35. Bud Grant with Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton: 69-29-2, .700

    Bud Grant with far from Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Kapp, Gary Cuozzo, Tommy Kramer, and Steve Dils: 89-67-3, .569

    Mike McCarthy with Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers: 91-43-0, .679

    Mike McCarthy without a Hall of Fame quarterback: 3-6-1, .350

  36. With all this NFCC talk…I feel like I might have to watch the last 45 minutes of that game, which is now a cherished DVR memento

  37. “Statistics are lies, and only liars use statistics.”

    -Lance Leipold*

    * Five-Time Div III National Football Champion Head Coach, 106-6 overall record at UW Whitewater, longest win streak in the nation at any level at 106-6, 29 straight victories. Recently accepted the Head Coach job at Div I University at Buffalo.

  38. Stellar, who are you talking to? No one on this story has used any statistics. I see a lot of talk about coaching records, but you used that yourself in establishing the credibility of the source of your quote.

  39. Who are you trying to kid? You need to read this:

    “The Emperor Has No Clothes.”

    – by Hans Christian Andersen

  40. Wow… cleaning up after Heidi trolls is like cleaning up after a Hell’s Angels picnic. But let’s at least sweep up a little:
    immafubared says:

    TT drafted stupid. I want to be sure to include Ha Ha in that mess to because this guy couldn’t play deep safety if the opposing team never threw the ball.

    The Ha Ha that made the All-Rookie team and had 2 interceptions in the NFC Championship game? That Ha Ha?

    and then:

    Hey Mike. The Vikes actually have a speed guy whose primary job is to run back kicks and can break one anytime and has. Your putting guys in that spot with little speed and wondering why they can’t get past the 20? Duh.

    Viking kickoff return avgs. this year – about 26, and no TDs. Packer kickoff avgs. – about 22 and no Tds.
    Viking punt return avg. – 11, with no Tds. Packers punt return avg. – about 16, with 2 TDs.
    Duh indeed.

    lambeauheap says:

    Dude you guys have 2 SB wins in the last 50 years and 11 of those 13 “World Championships” came when there was under 12 teams in the league. But yea, “Title Town”*

    Packers have won seven World Titles since Vikings entered the league in 1961, and there were always at least 14 teams in the league. But yea, “only.”*
    This is really exhausting.

  41. stellarperformance has a lot in common with Mike McCarthy and Dennis Green too, in that all three make incomprehensible statements. I’m guessing stellar also hasn’t turned down too many donuts in his time either.

  42. you gotta love Viking fans, one says Rodgers is done yet he just one MVP, yet another keeps forgetting the Packers WON THE SUPER BOWL in 2010, biggest losers in the sports world Viking fans.

  43. you gotta love Viking fans, one says Rodgers is done yet he just one MVP, yet another keeps forgetting the Packers WON THE SUPER BOWL in 2010, biggest losers in the sports world Viking fans…

    And 2-4 since then

  44. “It’s all about growth. It’s all about culture. It’s all about energy. And we’ll have energy and a different culture on special teams.” – MM

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    ….and yet pad level trumps all.

  45. Then hopefully we will never see Bostick in a Packers uniform again………

    An undrafted free agent (shock) that hasn’t touched the ball in weeks is put in on a crucial special teams play…Can’t blame the guy, inspite of Packer fans death threats to him, it was another comedy of errors on the coaching staff..
    ——————————————————
    Bostick said it himself, he was supposed to block so Nelson could catch the ball. It’s not the coaches’ fault that he neglected his job.

  46. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Feb 13, 2015 4:13 PM
    stellarperformance has a lot in common with Mike McCarthy and Dennis Green too, in that all three make incomprehensible statements. I’m guessing stellar also hasn’t turned down too many donuts in his time either.
    /////////////////////////////

    Tell you what….the next tine I’m in Minnyhapless I’ll post it here and we can meet at Grumpys on East Washington. We’ll both see what we’re dealing with.

  47. GB has had questions concerning performance on ST for years now. last seasons was not an anomoly. ST doesn’t focus around a muffed catch. It revolves around the quality (or lack of) of play. Finishing last is not the fault of one player. It’s the fault of the so sower not planting seed correctly. This coaching change by default will make GB better and if the Offense and Defense hold their own they’re will be back in the hunt for another title. GB is 2 shakes of salt from being dominant in 2015. Peppers will be the seasoning

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