Things are changing in a big way with the Green Bay Packers. There’s a new general manager, a new power structure, new coaches on both sides of the ball, new personnel and long-time players have been shown the door.
Potentially the biggest change might be with coach Mike McCarthy, who is said to be revamping everything from the ground up.
“This offseason resembles a Year 1 offseason,” McCarthy said. “Obviously the defense is going through that because they’re building a brand-new playbook, new coaching staff, new philosophy. There is some carryover from our old defense. But offensively, when you have the same offensive system for 12 years, you’re playing late into the playoffs, you usually turn the page and evaluate and just try to evolve off what you did last year. We’ve taken a totally different approach. We’ve gone back to Page 1 in the playbook.”
It’s interesting that the playbook is being rebuilt — that includes language, formations, declarations and pre-snap adjustments.
People have long complained that McCarthy’s play calling had become predictable and the plays had become stale. Will this change things?
We’ll have to see. However, the last time Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator for the Packers — 2011 — they led the league in scoring with 560 points.
Nonetheless, with all the change, McCarthy says this is the toughest offseason he’s been through.
“Then to jump in with this new approach with Joe Philbin and [new assistants] Jim Hostler and Frank Cignetti — these guys all have history in this offense. The best question you can ever ask is ‘Why?’ Why did this change? Going back through all that. We’re having conversations that the other guys in the room have never heard. That’s a great learning lesson, because when you’re around a place that long and you have coaches leave or move on, the existing coaches are supposed to pass it forward to the new coaches coming in. That probably wasn’t done as well as it could have been. We were able to go in and clean that up. It’s kind of a back-to-basics approach on offense, and defense is obviously is a whole different deal.”
One thing to keep in mind as the season begins is that teams that install new offenses or defenses typically start slow. It takes them some time to feel comfortable in and fully grasp their new system.
With what is being advertised as new systems on both sides of the ball, we wouldn’t doubt the Packers will fall into that category this season.