I am sorry to say it isn’t with the Green Bay Packers, but Kevin Greene finally is back in the league as a coach. The New York Jets have hired Greene to coach their outside linebackers.
Greene, of course, held the same position with the Packers from 2009-13. He abruptly resigned in January of 2014 in order to spend more time with his family.
We can’t argue with that, but it almost seemed like the Packers held it against him.
Greene wanted to return to coaching last offseason. He made that known, along with his fondness for the Packers, before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last August.
Greene has strong ties to Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who he played for in Pittsburgh and Carolina. Capers also got Greene into coaching.
Still, when Greene expressed interest in coming back, the Packers balked. Capers delivered the line: our staff is already filled out.
A horseshit statement if there ever was one.
The Packers haven’t had an outside linebackers coach since Greene. They just turned all of the linebacker coaching duties over to Winston Moss. Previously, he only handled inside linebackers.
Our reaction to all of this was simple. When a talented individual is available and you don’t have an open position, you create one. That’s what you do in the business world.
Creating one for Greene would have been easy. Outside linebackers coach. And Moss, who is also an associate head coach, goes back to just coaching inside backers. After all, Moss played inside linebacker and Greene played outside backer.
That would be too logical for the Packers, though.
The Packers just couldn’t do it. Their staff was already full.
Never mind that Clay Matthews had his best seasons as an outside linebacker when Greene was his coach. It’s easy to forget after watching him struggle this past season, but Matthews was the presumptive (he ended up finishing second) NFL defensive MVP in 2010 (he was fucking robbed of that award).
Since Greene left, you wouldn’t utter the words “Clay” and “MVP” in the same sentence.
Other than Nick Perry this past season — his second consecutive contract year — have any of the Packers’ outside linebackers done anything of note under Moss?
The answer is clearly, no.
The other thing we loved about Greene was that intangible quality we’d call “fire.”
The guy played like a madman and he brought that to the coaching staff. He got in guys’ faces, he fired them up and his enthusiasm was infectious.
In other words, he was the exact opposite of everyone else on the Packers’ coaching staff. And maybe that’s why he wasn’t brought back.
Because he wasn’t bland enough.
Maybe Mike McCarthy’s ego couldn’t handle someone on staff who worked outside of the Packers’ carefully-constructed image box. Who took attention away from him…
Whatever the reason, this is the Packers’ — and their outside linebackers’ — loss and the New York Jets’ gain.