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Mike Nolan Spurned Packers For Family

Nolan chose the Broncos over the Packers.

Since we’ve been foaming at the mouth for the past two days about Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff implosion, we’ve ultimately ignored some Green Bay Packers “news.”

One of those items is the fact that former Denver Broncos and current Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan admitted that he turned the Packers down when offered the defensive coordinator position in Green Bay prior to last season. We, of course, knew that, but the so-called media in Wisconsin didn’t bother to really delve into the situation until now. And hey, kudos for a job… done.

Although the comparisons will be slightly different now, we looked at the jobs done by Nolan, the New Orleans Saints’ Gregg Williams and current Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers back in November (Williams also turned the Packers down). At the time, Nolan was looking like the best of the bunch.

Now, the only thing that’s really certain is that all three men are pretty solid defensive coordinators and all three improved their teams this past season.

Williams’ Saints are in the Super Bowl. The Broncos went from 29th in total defense in 2008 to seventh in 2009, under Nolan. And, despite being completely unable to figure out the spread offense, Capers’ first season in Green Bay saw an improvement from 20th overall in 2008 to second in 2009.

That’s a pretty impressive collective, but back to Nolan, who says he turned down the Packers because he wanted to be closer to California, where he formerly coached the 49ers.

“I wouldn’t say I turned them down,” Nolan said at the Senior Bowl. “I had two great offers and, for personal reasons only, I chose the one that most appealed to me. I really wanted to stay close to California. Denver allowed me to do that.”

“You could say, ‘Well, now you’re in Miami so I’m not really buying that reason,'” Nolan said. “But I had a son who was a senior (in high school) and it was important for me to stay close.”

And so, there you have it.

Ultimately, we’ll never know if the Packers would have been better with Nolan or Williams, but in the wake of Capers’ failure to stop anything in the playoffs you have to wonder. Tell us what you think.


Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.