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Since the hiring of Vince Lombardi in 1959, arguably the most impactful move by the Green Bay Packers was implementing the West Coast Offense in 1992.

The pass-happy West Coast Offense was the brainchild of former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh. Walsh developed it while on Paul Brown’s Cincinnati Bengals staff, and had great success with it as the 49ers head coach from 1979-88. He passed the system on to a number of his assistant coaches who went on to use it elsewhere.

Mike Holmgren was one of those assistants. He was a 49ers’ assistant coach from 1986-91, and offensive coordinator during those final three years.

When the Packers brought in Holmgren as head coach in 1992, he brought the West Coast Offense with him. It’s been in Green Bay ever since, under Holmgren (1992-98), Ray Rhodes (1999), Mike Sherman (2000-05), and Mike McCarthy (2006-16). Five of Holmgren’s original Packers assistant coaches have become NFL head coaches, further spreading the system.

In the 24 years since 1991, the Packers have had only two losing seasons (2005 and 2008), and they’ve gone to the postseason 19 times.

No current NFL coach has been running the West Coast Offense for the same team nearly as long as McCarthy, who is embarking on his 11th season in Green Bay.

And let’s credit Ron Wolf, whose first major decision upon being hired as GM in 1991 was to bring Holmgren and the West Coast Offense to Green Bay. That choice, among others, put him in the Hall of Fame.

By one account, there are currently 13 NFL teams that predominantly use Walsh’s offensive philosophy and playbook.

Happy 25th anniversary to the West Coast Offense in Titletown!

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Packers fan July 4, 2016

    I hope the Packers offense becomes better than last year because we need it. I hope we go to the Super Bowl. As much as I like McCarthy, this should be make or break. Not because he is a bad coach but I think Aaron Rodgers should see another ring before he retires.

  2. Tucson Packer July 5, 2016

    Well, its not like we have been knocked put in the Playoffs the last three consecutive seasons, in O.T. with not one chance to do anything with the ball. Then again, we should just win in regulation and not have to make it go into O.T. In the first place.

    Only two teams have gone to the Playoffs for 7 consecutive season, Packers and the Patriots. IS that more about those team’s divisions or the coaching/play?

    1. Packers fan July 5, 2016

      Tucson Packer, it was actually 2 consecutive seasons the Packers season ended in Overtime, the NFC Title game against Seattle and the divisional round between Arizona. I don’t blame McCarthy for losing the Cardinals game and I would blame Capers and refs for losing the Cardinals game since Capers switched from man to zone and the refs made some stupid calls. The NFC Title game against Seattle is the only time I blame McCarthy for not going to the SB because 1) There is no excuse when your up 19-7 2) McCarthy got too passive in the second half after when Morgan Burnett intercepted Russell Wilson by calling 3 runs to Eddie Lacy. 3) The onside kick fail has happened right after Seattle scored their touchdown. In Seattle, that’s the only time I blame McCarthy. McCarthy is not nonsense however, Andy Reid is who he reminds me with.

      The Packers usually make the playoffs because of Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers is the face of the Packers. 2013, they only went to playoffs because Aaron Rodgers threw a game winner to Cobb. 2014, Aaron had a MVP season. Last year (2015), defense and Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary against the Lions sent us to the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers is why the Packers get to the playoffs and enter the years as Super Bowl contenders. The Packers should contend as long if Aaron Rodgers is there. When Aaron Rodgers retires, the Packers will be pure trash just like how they were in the 70s and 80s. So Tucson Packer, Aaron Rodgers is why we make the playoffs every year.

      1. Tucson Packer July 5, 2016

        Woah woah, I am not saying we are in the position we are in because Big Mike is magical and can do no wrong. I also, like you, blame him for taking it easy in a few areas in that Seattle game. There are also numerous examples where Mike’s play calling in regular and post season has both delighted and infuriated me.

        Taking all of that in to account, look around the League at all of the other frustrating things coaches/staff do during games…and some away from games. We are repeatedly having winning seasons. I, like I am sure you, are also however, not satisfied without each and every season taking home the Lombardi to it’s home and rightful place.

        Boiling this down, is it really one person who is to blame? For one specific situation sure, but for an entire season’s results? I think we have a great thing going, not perfect but pretty darn great. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The NFL is designed to not have repeat successes.

        I don’t think you will get anyone to disagree with you that AR12 is no longer arguably the greatest QB currently playing football, AR12 simply is the best. An absolute phenom.

        I hope you are very, very wrong about post-Rodgers. Very.

        1. Packers fan July 5, 2016

          Tucson Packer, I think McCarthy is a good coach but that doesn’t mean he is my favorite. He gets passive at times like Seattle which I agree. AR12 is the best QB in the NFL, I clearly sent you a link to that.

          I do hope I am wrong about post-Rodgers too but that’s what I think would happen.

      2. Shawn July 5, 2016

        The Packers were 2-2-1 with Matt Flynn at QB in 2013, and they would likely have been 3-2 if Flynn had started the game against the Vikes instead of coming in in the second half. And Brett Hundley will be better than Flynn was. In other words, this nonsense that the Packers will be junk without AR12 is just that – nonsense.
        AR12 got plenty conservative himself against Seattle, mostly after throwing his second pick. Watch the tape, if you can stomach it. Ahead 13-0 in the 2nd quarter, ball at the Seattle 34, third and 4, AR12 clearly had the run-pass option with all his WR’s running routes, including Jordy 1-on-1 with Richard Sherman on the slant. Jordy was there. However, even though Seattle brought Kam Chancellor up to essentially put 8 in the box, Rodgers chose to hand it to Eddie Lacy on third and 4 rather than giving Jordy a shot against Sherman. Lacy got 3. The Packers kicked a FG to lead it 16-0 at half.
        If AR12 converts any of those third downs, then MM’s 4th down decisions never come into play. I find it humorous how people think the Packers could have gotten done on 4th down what they failed to do in the three downs before that. If your offense fails on third, what makes you think it will be successful on fourth?

        1. Packers fan July 5, 2016

          Shawn, I hope you are right on the QB part but I don’t know how much longer Hundley will stay and that’s why I am worried about how the Packers would be without Rodgers. McCarthy is not really nonsense in my opinion I blame Capers more on the playoff loses than McCarthy. The only playoff loss I will truly blame on McCarthy and I grant you Shawn that it’s a big one and you said it better, the NFC Title at Seattle. No excuse when your up 19-7. I don’t want to watch that tape at all. But Big Green Mike got more passive than him since he called 3 Eddie Lacy run’s. That’s the only time I blame McCarthy for losing the playoffs, let alone winning the SB. And I don’t think it would be successful on 4th if they fail to convert 3rd.

          1. Tucson Packer July 5, 2016

            I guess with AR12, Lacy and Cook to play with, I can see us doing some amazing things on 4th down. Then again though, I really like the riverboat mentality so I have always rooted for going for it on 4hth. I mean, look what the Eagles did that one time on 4th down, too soon? (yes, always)

            I’am out in Pac12 land and let me tell you, that Hundley was one awesome specimen to watch. But that was in college, and we all know that doesn’t always hold true to the pros. I thought it was amazing the Packers got him and I would think it also amazing if indeed he didn’t get some trade offers sooner than later. Unfortunately.

            Who IS though, to blame for the Packers near misses as of late?
            Capers or McCarthy…write in candidate?

          2. Packers fan July 6, 2016

            Capers in my opinion is to blame for the near misses more than McCarthy. I agree the offense will be good this year. Expect a 12-4 season Tucson Packer if we stay healthy.

        2. PF4L July 7, 2016

          Shawn, you can dissect Rodgers plays all you want in repeated slow motion video sitting at your desk, and pick it apart, but the players don’t have that luxury, they play it in real time, on a real football field. I would say, that without Rodgers the past 8 years, the Packers wouldn’t have accomplished anything close to what they have. Credit to Ted for drafting him, although most think it was a no brainer.

          As far as Flynn, he was the 3rd backup of Teds after V. Young and S. Wallace. A monkey would have been an improvement. Flynn was average at best. Flynn did better mainly because, he knew the system better than those two flunky’s. There is a reason that Flynn is no longer in the NFL

          As far as Hundley, he may well turn out to be a good QB in the NFL. But lets wait to see him start in the NFL in real time, against 1st string defense vs defense’s mostly made up of back ups and players who didn’t make the cut. If we’ve learned anything it’s not to crown players from training camps oe exhibition games. Plus, PACKERS FAN has it right, if Rodgers stays healthy. Hundley will more likely be moving on after 2018, sooner if the Packers get a solid trade offer before then, but if they don’t, they will keep Hundley around partly because he comes on the cheap. If they want to extend him out, the Packers would have to pay dearly for Hundley to be a back up, and i just don’t see Ted doing that.

          As far as the future without Rodgers, we all might be in for a reality check when that happens. If Rodgers plays another 5-6 years, that means we had back to back HOF QB’s for about 3 decades. When has that happened before in the history of the NFL? I’m thinking never. So the odds of us getting a 3rd HOF QB consecutively must be astronomical.

          Think of that the next time you’re sitting at your desk critiquing Rodgers plays in slow motion on video, wondering how the hell he didn’t see Cobb open, or Jordy open on a few plays.

          We all maybe sitting in front of our tv’s in the future, talking to our family, kids and friends relishing the years we had Aaron Rodgers at QB. I know i will.

          1. Packers fan July 7, 2016