Mike McCarthy really does have a plan to fix the Green Bay Packers special teams.
Phase one was to fire special teams coach Shawn Slocum and replace him with Ron Zook. Phase two was to start paying more attention to special team himself. Phase three is to let more veteran players run around out there and cover kicks.
“I think we need to adjust our special teams philosophy,” McCarthy said.
“I know what it was here the last 20 years, but we had starters play more on special teams [last] year than we had in the past, and that will continue to increase. Special teams needs to be an asset, not something that we use as a stepping stone offense or defense. That’s part of the charge.”
In that last 20 years that McCarthy referenced, the Packers almost exclusively played youngsters and backups on special teams. Last year, safety Morgan Burnett was the only starter to play more than 25 percent of the Packers’ special teams snaps. He played 25.1 percent, which ranked 15th on the team.
For whatever reason the Packers didn’t previously play veterans on special teams — whether that be increased injury potential or reward for being a starter — things are obviously about to change.
And why the hell not?
The Packers have been awful on special teams for years. Other successful teams are also freely using starters on special teams, most notably Seattle.
Maybe throwing a few more starting defenders out there will do the trick.