The Green Bay Packers are going to promote from within, elevating assistant special teams coach Ron Zook to replace the recently departed Shawn Slocum as special teams coach.
The announcement is expected to come this week, according to Bob McGinn.
This move should come as no surprise. When coach Mike McCarthy fired then special teams coach Mike Stock after the 2008 season, he promoted his assistant, which happened to be Slocum.
Interestingly, during the six years Slocum had the job, McCarthy fired two of Slocum’s assistants — Curtis Fuller and Chad Morton. With the special teams units not performing — the Packers are ranked 30th in the NFL since McCarthy took over as head coach — McCarthy decided to cut off an arm rather than head. It’s easy to assume the reason for is because McCarthy and Slocum are known to be very good friends.
Zook may also fall into that category. He and McCarthy coached together in New Orleans in 2000 and 2001. That being said, we’re much more excited to have Ron Zook in this role than we were Shawn Slocum.
Zook coached special teams at Florida from 1994-95 and for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-98. While that’s not a great special teams resume, it’s the rest of Zook’s resume that is exciting.
He was the head coach at both Florida (2002-04) and Illinois (2005-11).
None of those teams were great, but if Zook can organize 120 college kids, then he should be able to improve one special teams unit. That experience could also be beneficial in the regard that special teams units are typically made up of younger players.