The Blame Game has begun in the Green Bay Packers Front Office. After a six win season, head coach Mike McCarthy released defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and five other assistant coaches.
How bad was the defense in Green Bay? Charles Woodson and Nick Collins were both elected to the Pro Bowl, meaning there were at least bright spots in the defense.
Is it fair to blame Bob Sanders and the other assistants for the demise of the Packers?
When someone puts a someone at superstar status ahead of the team, he forgets how this can impact the rest of the team.
Mike McCarthy signed Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension, ensuring his job for the next few years. In signing Rodgers, the Packers had to make room in their salary cap, so they got rid of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.
This and the Minnesota loss began the downturn of the defense in Green Bay.
Rodgers could have been signed after the season, so Gbaja-Biamila could stay all season. By getting rid of a team player, they hurt the defense and the defensive line.
The defense broke down at the end of games with teams running through their front line. Would Gbaja-Biamila have made that big of a difference? Maybe not, but two or three more wins could have won the division.
The Packers secondary held teams in check, but needed the defensive line to finish games.
The Packers also had injury problems on defense. By losing linebacker Nick Barnett, they lost a key leader on defense.
This, along with the Minnesota loss, and the defensive line problems hurt the Packers in the long run.
Mike McCarthy did not take the team's immediate success in to consideration. He thought about the future and in turn, may have sacrificed the 2008 season.
The defense did have problems; however, Bob Sanders was the scapegoat for an overall bad season.
Mike McCarthy did what he thought was best for the team and only time will tell if this was the best option.