What are the qualities of a good coach? Here’s my take; The ability to motivate, the foresight to initiate change, the ability to teach new techniques while refining base techniques, and the ability to define what works and what does not work.
Just like players, a good coach grows with each game. Game 2 coaching is better than Game 1 coaching, Game 3 coaching is better than Game 2 coaching, and so on. By the end of the season your coaches should be peaking as well as the players.
So, when a coach fails to fulfill his expected growth, shouldn’t he then suffer the same fate as the player that underperforms?
In the same token, if a coach makes an error that causes a player to underperform, shouldn’t that coach also get called on the carpet?
Finally, if a coach continuously has these lapses over the course of several years, shouldn’t that coach be replaced?
Let’s examine the coaching staff currently employed by the Green Bay Packers. Take any of the many coaches in this organization and pose to them these same questions, what is it that you see? Would you have kept the same Special Teams Coordinator all these years when almost each and every year Special Teams play is way less than special?
Would you have kept a Defensive Line coach that can’t scheme a pass rush? Would you have kept an Offensive Line coach that hasn’t developed line depth past the starting players?
Would you have kept the Pass Game/Secondary coach who couldn’t get his players to perform at an adequate level, the same players who excel after they have left the team and are playing under another Pass Game/Secondary coach?
What about their bosses, the Coordinators. The adage “The Buck Stops Here” is not just phrase for presidents. It has to be utilized to judge the results. The Defensive Coordinator is new, I get that, so he gets a mild pass while his system is installed – but at the NFL level that’s just one year.
If you cannot get the entire coaching staff to buy into your message in a year, then it’s time to find a better message or find people who can implement that message.
The Offensive Coordinator is also new, but actually is just a rehash, a throwback to an earlier time.
OC Joe Philbin was brought back to assume the title. The real Offensive Coordinator is Head Coach Mike McCarthy, and as such he should be critiqued along the same lines as the Offensive Coordinator. This is where the tires hit the road.
The Green Bay Packers have arguably one of the best quarterbacks (if not the best) in the history of the NFL, Aaron Rodgers. An Offensive Coordinator is supposed to be able to coordinate all the moving parts of an offense in order to accentuate that centerpiece.
The Offensive Line needs to protect the Quarterback during a pass play and open up holes for the Running Backs on a run play. The Running Backs need to be able to hit the hole that was created and accelerate outward.
The Wide Receivers need to be in the right place during passing plays. The Tight Ends need to be able to block when called upon and then slip out for passes when the play dictates that.
One has to ask whether the Packers have been consistent on the offensive side of the ball? OK, not every play or every series of plays result in a score, but each series of plays should be building into some sort of momentum.
Has there been a buildup during the course of the game, or does it feel like there is no method to the madness? Does the team get progressively stronger culminating in a “you can’t stop us” avalanche?
I know the answers I am formulating for these questions, and they are not positive.
Brian Gutekunst is not chained to this head coach or any of his many minions. Should this season once again fail to reach the promised land, it should be Gutekunst’s and Mark Murphy’s decision to scrap this group and start with a fresh new plan before this franchise QB retires.
This is not 13 years ago, the game has gotten faster, the players have gotten better, and the competition has gotten tougher. Good coaches know when to move ahead, good organizations know when to move on.