Packers Coaches Get Defensive In 2009

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Packers Coaches Get Defensive In 2009

Mike McCarthy's purge of his defensive coaching staff this offseason was a bold move. He set out to make big changes to a defense he felt had become too predictable and ineffective.

 

After all the changes, here is what the staff looks like, and a little about what each coach will have to do in order for the Packers to be successful this season:

 

Mike McCarthy: Head Coach

This is Mike McCarthy's fourth season as head coach – and it is turning out to be a very important year.

 

Hired as an offensive coach, that was good with quarterbacks, McCarthy's offenses have ranked in the top ten in the league every year he has been head coach.

 

Last year, his offense produced a 4,000-yard quarterback in his first year (Kurt Warner was the only other QB to pull that off), two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000 yard running back. The first time that has happened in team history.

 

He went 8-8 in his first year, a marked improvement over the 4-12 record the previous year. The next two years yielded opposite results: 13-3 and 6-10.

 

Depending on how this season goes, one of those years will look like a blip and the other will look like a pattern. Go 12-4, and the 6-10 year looks like an aberration in an otherwise spectacular record. Go 5-11, and the 13-3 year looks like a fluke.

 

Sensing this need to succeed, McCarthy spent the offseason retooling his defense, and started with his defensive coaching staff.

 

Dom Capers: Defensive Coordinator

The Packers new defense is being molded by veteran NFL coach Dom Capers. Capers got around in his 23 years in the NFL – serving with seven different franchises.

 

He first ran a defense in 1992 as defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has also spent time as head coach of the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans.

 

He's in Green Bay to give the defense a crash course in the 3-4 defense. His reputation as a teaching coach will be tested this season. The Packers fortunes may be tied to how quickly he can teach these players to excel in his defense.

 

Joe Philbin: Offensive Coordinator

Joe Philbin is one of the few holdovers from the Mike Sherman era in Green Bay. Mike McCarthy promoted Philbin to offensive line coordinator in 2006 and then to offensive coordinator in 2007.

 

Philbin is in his seventh season with the Packers and with the NFL.

 

Shawn Slocum: Special Teams Coordinator

Shawn Slocum takes over special teams after the retirement of Mike Stock.

 

Slocum previously served as an assistant special teams coach with the Packers.

 

Slocum has been valuable turning young talented players, like Will Blackmon, into performers on special teams.

 

Winston Moss: Assistant Head Coach/Inside Linebackers

Winston Moss's title and job was altered this year.

 

With the adoption of the 3-4 defense Moss will focus on the inside linebackers Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk.

 

This move was made to make room for an outside linebackers coach – and someone with more experience dealing with the strange hybrid position that is the outside linebacker in a 3-4.

 

Moss is in his third year as assistant head coach and fourth with the Packers. McCarthy elevated Moss after being impressed by his leadership skills.

 

Kevin Greene: Outside Linebackers

Kevin Greene's qualification as a coach is an internship with the Steelers during training camp in 2008. However, there are few players with as much experience as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 than Kevin Greene.

 

In 15 seasons in the league, Greene went to five Pro Bowls. He has 160 career sacks, as record for linebackers and third all-time behind Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

 

The Packers hope Greene gained a few insights and that Greene can impart that knowledge to his players.

 

Edgar Bennett: Running Backs

Edgar Bennett is in his fifth season as the Packers' running backs coach. But what he'll always be remembered for is his efforts as a running back on the 1996 Super Bowl Champion Packers team.

 

Bennett rejoined the club in 2001 heading up player development.

 

James Campen: Offensive Line

James Campen joined the packers as an assistant offensive line/quality control coach and was promoted to assistant offensive line coach and finally to offensive line coach.

 

Campen started out in the high school ranks and has a reputation for being a good teacher.

 

One of Campen's goals this season is to get more consistency on the line. The shuffling of players because of injury was difficult the last two seasons. Naming starters early and getting the line comfortable playing as a unit is a must this season.

 

Jerry Fontenot: Assistant Offensive Line

The Packers have a lot of young linemen. Jerry Fontenot's job is to get them ready to play.

 

Fontenot is in his fourth season as an NFL coach. Fontenot got his start in Green Bay as a coaching intern over the summer and was retained before being promoted.

 

Mike Trgovac: Defensive Line

The defensive line in the new 3-4 will be bigger. The large bodies are supposed to take up offensive linemen so that the blitzing linebackers can attack the quarterback and running backs.

 

Hired in February, this is Mike Trgovac's second stint with the Packers. The first was as defensive line coach in 1999. Trgovac is in his 15th NFL season.

 

Tom Clements: Quarterbacks

Tom Clements' job last year was to hold Aaron Rodgers' hand and make sure he was absolutely prepared to be the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers – something no one else on the planet had done since 1992.

 

The result was a success and Aaron Rodgers had a productive season.

 

With a seasoned Rodgers, Clements might have some time this season to focus on getting the Packers young backup quarterbacks ready. Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn both looked like they had a lot to learn last year.

 

Clements is in his fourth season with the Packers.

 

Darren Perry: Secondary – Safeties

Darren Perry has coached defensive backs for the past seven years.

 

Most recently he was the defensive backs coach for Oakland before coming to the Packers.

 

Joe Whitt Jr.: Secondary - Cornerbacks

Last season Joe Whitt Jr. was responsible for breaking down opponents' offensive tendencies. He also assisted with defensive backs and special teams.

 

This season he is coaching the cornerbacks – Charles Woodson and Al Harris.

 

Whitt came to Green Bay from the Atlanta Falcons as an assistant defensive backs coach.

 

Jimmy Robinson: Wide Receivers

Jimmy Robinson has been a coach in the NFL for twenty seasons. In those twenty seasons he's coached many of the NFL's top receivers.

 

Robinson has also been hard at work developing the Packers great, young group of receivers.

 

Robinson is in his fourth season with the Packers.

 

Ben McAdoo: Tight Ends

Ben McAdoo's job this season is to mold Jermichael Finley into a starting NFL tight end.

 

Finley only flashed his talent last year, and did a lot of showing off his youth. Most famously for criticizing Aaron Rodgers for not throwing him the ball exactly how he wanted it in the end zone.

 

Finley wasn't heard from again until he caught a touchdown in the final game of the season.

 

If Finley develops into a mature player, McAdoo is going to have a large role in it.

 

McAdoo is in his fourth season with the Packers.

 

Curtis Fuller:Special Teams Assistant

Curtis Fuller spent the 2008 training camp with the Packers as an intern before being promoted by McCarthy at the beginning of this year.

 

Fuller was a safety for the Packers in 2003-04.

 

John Rushing: Offensive Quality Control

John Rushing has spent 13 years coaching in the college ranks. This is his first stint in the NFL.

 

Scott McCurley: Defensive Quality Control

Scott McCurley takes over a lot of the duties that Joe Whitt did last season – breaking down opponents' offensive tendencies, preparing game plans and game tapes.

 

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