Will Packers make a run at Pat Fitzgerald?

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The head start that the Packers secured by firing coach Mike McCarthy with four weeks left in the regular season allowed Green Bay to court, and to interview, candidates not currently tied to other NFL teams. That has resulted in reported interviews with candidates like former Colts/Lions coach Jim Caldwell and former Colts coach Chuck Pagano.

But what about college candidates? The name most prominently connected to the Packers’ vacancy is Pat Fitzgerald, and for good reason. Employed as the head coach at Northwestern since 2006, Fitzgerald secured the job on the watch of former Northwestern A.D. Mark Murphy. And, yes, that’s the same Mark Murphy who as of 2007 became the CEO of the Green Bay Packers.

The 44-year-old Fitzgerald, who became Murphy’s legacy-making hire at Northwestern, could become Murphy’s legacy-making hire in Green Bay, a coach who could remain in place for a decade or longer, assuming he has the chops to thrive at the next level.

Fitzgerald has generated a record of 95-70 at Northwestern, and he has taken the Wildcats to nine bowl games. This year, Northwestern will play on Monday in the Holiday Bowl. After that, it could be that the next move for Fitzgerald will be a move to the NFL, and a partnership with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Even if Rodgers wants Joe Philbin instead.

The Packers likely will cast a wide net of interviews, looking for the best candidate for the job. But it surely will help Fitzgerald that he once was the best candidate for a head-coaching job that Murphy was filling in one of his final acts before taking the job he now has.

18 responses to “Will Packers make a run at Pat Fitzgerald?

  1. Whoever they hire it better be someone who can put Rogers in his place. Just say no
    to Philbin. Who is really running that organization?

  2. Man, I wish my team would show Zimmer the door and make a run at Fitzgerald. I mean he is already used to wearing purple. That’s about the only prerequisite that’s needed right?

  3. It would be an intriguing hire for sure … going to be tough to get Mr. Northwestern Wildcat to leave, but the Packers job is one that should intrigue him. If he’s ever going to make the jump to the NFL this would be a good landing spot .. despite him being a Bears fan 😉

  4. If the Packers hire Fitzgerald, its highly likely Philbin stays on as OC. Rodgers would be happy dealing with Philbin in this offense. Fitzgerald would focus on the defense.

  5. As a Packer and Badger fan – this is actually a really interesting thought. The guy is an excellent football mind. Northwestern was bottom of the barrel annually until Fitzgerald came into the picture. Now they compete with every team in the Big Ten. And it isnt the easiest school to recruit for. Hmmmmm – very interesting.

  6. The Packers plan to cast a wide net and may interview 15-20 people or more.

    It cracks me up that people are whining about the Pagano and Caldwell interviews. The process has just begun. Would you interview a wide variety of people if you owned a company or would you only interview the 3 top candidates on your initial list?

    Sometimes you need to sit down with someome before you know if they are good or bad. Someone may surprise you that you may not have had high on your list before starting the process. Also, because the Packers started early, several coaches they will be interviewing are not allowed to be interviewed yet.

    And guess what? You may not hear about every single person the Packers interview throughout this process. You may hear the hire and it may be someone that you didn’t even know they spoke to.

    #GoPackGo!🧀

  7. Alright, just to clarify a few things, just because Rodgers AND Davante Adams have endorsed Joe Philbin doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the coach they want.
    Despite the narrative that PFT wants to push, this is just a couple of vets having the back of a coach they’re fond of.

    As far as this is thinking outside the box and the Packers are just interviewing retreads, this is just dumb and simpleminded thinking.
    Currently, there’s nobody else to interview.
    Everybody worthwhile, is already employed and can’t be contacted until Sunday night at the earliest.
    Green Bay used the last several weeks to do their homework on Coordinators they wanted to interview, they also used that time to research all the college coaches they liked too and will be doing their due diligence with them shortly.

    As for Pat Fitzgerald, I would absolutely love that hire.
    I can’t stress that enough, as long as he surrounds himself with competent offensive coaches.
    Dedicated, smart football guy, hard nosed Defensive coach, who many top NFL personnel believe he would excel quite well at the next level.
    He’s taken Northwestern, which is basically an Ivy League school playing in the Big 10, and made them quite relevant in a very competitive college football environment.

    As much as I would love the Packers to make a serious run at him, and I believe they will, I don’t expect him to leave what he’s already called his dream job in Evanston.
    And could you just imagine the Bear/Packer matchups.
    But it’s definitely worth a try.

  8. He’s already on record as saying that the only NFL job he would consider leaving Northwestern for was to coach the Bears.
    So yeah, this would definitely be what I would classify as an uphill battle

  9. Come on Packer Backers, how bout’ really thinking outside the box and sign the ole UW Coach Alvarez? Not a snowballs chance in hades Fitzgerald leaves Chicago for the Cold Tundra up North …

  10. freefromwhatyouare says:
    December 28, 2018 at 4:55 pm
    The Packers plan to cast a wide net and may interview 15-20 people or more.

    It cracks me up that people are whining about the Pagano and Caldwell interviews. The process has just begun. Would you interview a wide variety of people if you owned a company or would you only interview the 3 top candidates on your initial list?

    Sometimes you need to sit down with someome before you know if they are good or bad. Someone may surprise you that you may not have had high on your list before starting the process. Also, because the Packers started early, several coaches they will be interviewing are not allowed to be interviewed yet.

    And guess what? You may not hear about every single person the Packers interview throughout this process. You may hear the hire and it may be someone that you didn’t even know they spoke to

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Captain Obvious

  11. Just remember the track record of college HCs coming into the NFL as a HC isn’t very good! Most fail miserably! Here’s some that have tried, Butch Davis, Steve Spurrier, Saban, Petrino, Chip Kelly and even Pete Carroll sucked in his first attempt. Only a handful out of all that’ve tried made it their first go round, so the odds aren’t with Fitzgerald!

    The NFL isn’t just the next level, it’s actually a HUGE LEAP for both players and coaches.

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