It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who watched the Green Bay Packers play in 2009 – the team’s special teams were atrocious.
That has been confirmed once again in the Dallas Morning News’ annual special teams rankings, where the Packers finished 31st. The rankings are compiled by ranking each team in 22 special teams categories and assigning points according to their standing – one for the best, 32 for the worst.
The Packers finished with 460.5 points. By comparison, the Cleveland Browns finished first with 215.5 points. In the overall rankings, only the Carolina Panthers were worse than the Packers. The Panthers finished with 473 points.
The Packers finished dead last in punts inside the 20 (15) and penalties (28).
In 2008, the Packers terrible special teams performance (they finished 26th in the rankings), cost special teams coach Mike Stock his job when he was forced into retirement.
Stock was replaced by Shawn Slocum and special teams remained the Packers’ Achilles’ heel.
Kind of makes you wonder why Slocum’s job doesn’t seem to be in jeopardy this offseason.
Oh, that’s right, the Packers had a winning record and Mike McCarthy didn’t need a scapegoat this offseason.
Special teams are so important. Pretty much the Charger’s season is a washout because of it. The Packers have been poor at it for three years, and partially explains how they can be so good in the more obvious categories and yet still are a playoff pretender team. But it speaks volumes about McCarthy that instead of calling a spade a spade and taking responsibility for the on field performance he rights off the embarrassment of the kick off return in the NE game as due to injuries. It’s hard enough to have to live with incompetency, it’s too much to take to endlessly shirk responsibility for it. The old “I take full responsibility” CAN get old if things still don’t get better, but it’s better than “cough, cough I b’en thik cough, cough” excuse. How is the team D second in the league in points yet the special teams can’t stop a platoon of grandmothers? Granted guys on O play special teams too, but still. It’s not just coverage either – the kicking game leaves a lot to be desired. The overall talent is their, just not enough guys organizing the x’s and o’s.