The Packers’ special teams was anything but special this year.
Green Bay had seven kicks blocked and were ranked dead last in the annual special teams rankings compiled by The Dallas Morning News. Not to mention, a fake field goal and a botched onside kick sealed the Packers’ NFC Championship Game fate.
And to prove that this year’s ranking wasn’t a fluke, the paper ranked the Packers 20th last season.
Special teams are very fickle. A few crazy bounces and it could mean the difference between a decent year and a forgettable one.
And it’s those things that usually protect coaches. Special teams might be the most unpredictable position in all of football but Shawn Slocum did some questionable things this year.
Three blocked field goals, two blocked extra points and two blocked punts scream that teams saw something. They noticed a weak link and exposed it as often as they could.
That’s just like the Seahawks’ fake field goal. As Robert Klemko from TheMMQB.com reported, Seattle noticed how overaggressive Brad Jones came off the edge all season. And that’s all the Seahawks needed for holder Jon Ryan to throw the first touchdown pass for Seattle in the NFC Championship Game.
Obviously the onside kick was just as demoralizing, but Brandon Bostick trying to be the hero isn’t a fault of Slocum.
The main job of a coach is to teach a certain discipline or philosophy. The good ones realize when their teaching or philosophy isn’t working and opt for a change-up. Other ones stand pat and hope that their philosophy will eventually win out.
Slocum didn’t do that. Other teams found flaws throughout the season and continued to make the Packers pay.
Now, it’s time for coach Mike McCarthy to make a change-up.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn