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Letting Mike Solari Walk Shows Packers’ Double Standard

Mike Solari

Mike Solari isn’t a name many Green Bay Packers fans know or care about. That’s because he was with the team as an assistant offensive line coach for just one season. Solari officially became the new offensive line coach of the New York Giants on Tuesday, when Ben McAdoo unveiled his first staff.

Why should you care?

Well, we’re happy to enlighten you.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy started the offseason by firing two assistants — running backs coach Sam Gash and tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot. They were fired not so much because they did a bad job, but because there were two better options available. Two guys, in Brian Angelichio and Ben Sirmans, who had track records of getting something out of nothing.

Meanwhile, the Packers have been harboring an offensive line coach in James Campen who’s never been known to get something out of nothing. Not only that, but Campen’s unit was an utter debacle in 2015.

Gash coached the 10th-ranked rushing attack in the NFL in 2015 and he still got fired. Meanwhile, Campen’s guys went out and looked like the Keystone Cops and he’s happily employed.

And that may not be a big deal, except the Packers already had a more accomplished offensive line coach on staff and they just let him walk away.

Solari coached the San Francisco 49ers offensive line from 2010-14. The 49ers had one of the best lines in football during that period.

So again, McCarthy demonstrates that not everyone is held to the same standard. That he governs on the whims of the day.

A clear message was sent when the Packers fired Gash and Fontenot. If we feel we can improve our coaching staff with better personnel, we’ll make a change.

The Packers have since sent the opposite message on two occasions.

They sent it when they refused to replace Campen with Solari and they sent it again when they refused to re-hire Kevin Greene.

So what is the message now?

We’ll make changes to the coaching staff, but only when we need to scapegoat someone. Otherwise, it’s just status quo as usual.

Vaden Todd

Vaden is the publisher of Total Packers. When he isn't working, he enjoys loud music, fast guitars and faster women.



  1. Osseo, WI February 17, 2016

    I would say the downward spiral of Eddie Lacy played a major role in Gash’s firing. The failure of Richard Rodgers to improve in year 2 played a major role in the Fontenot firing.

  2. Empacador February 17, 2016

    I’m sure McCarthy feels comfortable with his coaching room…smh. But to be fair, Campen did oversee that 2010 unit that, you know, won the Super Bowl. So Campen has that on his resume, which will entitle him to a free pass forever. Just like Mike. Idiot.

  3. Matt February 17, 2016

    So the guy who coaches a highly regarded offensive line (when healthy), got Cory Linsley ready to play as a rookie, same with Bakhtiari, and has mostly guys drafted in the 4th round or later can’t coach? I bet you weren’t saying this last year when the o-line dominated late in the year.

    1. Empacador February 17, 2016

      Oh, I’ll bet I have never been a fan of James Campen as an offensive line coach. He was just a guy when he played, and is nothing special as a coach. 2014 was more a product of the line staying healthy. An anomaly if you will.

      If you look beyond last season, there have been plenty of guys who weren’t deemed worthy of the Packers who have played elsewhere and been more than turnstiles. Case in point. Scott Wells was a good center, but the Packers decided they could upgrade with Jeff Saturday. Hence the need for Tretter and fortunately Linsley. Allen Barbre didn’t stink up the joint as bad as some of the guys after him.

      And the Packers have had their share of turnstiles. Marshall Newhouse, Derek Sherrod, Barclay partially due to injury, Jamon Meredith. Looks like Josh Walker will be joining that list too.

      1. Matt February 18, 2016

        Barbre is really the only guy who exceeded expectations after leaving Green Bay…but he’s mediocre at best. Newhouse isn’t exactly the disaster he was at left tackle since leaving (he’s played mostly RT) but he hasn’t been very good either. Sherrod is an unfair one since he was never the same since breaking his leg as a rookie. My point is that he’s done Campen is rarely given anyone drafted prior to the 4th round (Bulaga and Sherrod are the exceptions since Rodgers has been starting). If the writer wants to compare Campen to Solari look at the high draft picks San Fran invested vs. Thompson’s mid round guys/undrafted guys. The whole wells to Saturday debacle was also a Thompson mistake not Campen. Also don’t forget that Campen got starting caliber play out of undrafted evan dietrich-smith, then developed Tretter and Linsley into valuable pieces.

  4. Deepsky February 17, 2016

    Campen, a Plan B free agent, was on the Packers team that gave up an unbelievable 62 sacks in 1990. I don’t know how many of you guys remember this year, but basically, the quarterbacks had about one second to get rid of the ball before they were killed. This was the offensive line that allowed Don Majkowski’s throwing arm to get ripped to shreds by Freddie Joe Nunn, all but ending his career. To put this in perspective, Tennessee, which gave up the most sacks by a team this season, gave up only 54 sacks.

    Yet, he’s the coach.

    1. Phatgzus February 17, 2016

      Plenty of players who weren’t the best become coaches, totally different skill set require to teach than it is to play. You know what they say about those who can’t do.

      1. PF4L February 18, 2016

        Yep, lets bring back Randy Wright to coach up A Rod back to his MVP self.

        1. Phatgzus February 18, 2016

          Noll, Landry, Shula, Cowher, Dungy, Reeves, Fisher, Schottenheimer Jauron, Herm Edwards, Jim Harbaugh, Jack Del Rio, the list goes on.

          And Aaron Rodgers will be just fine next year when he has a healthy receiving corps and o-line and throws off his back foot less.