The off-season has begun for the majority of the NFL and with that comes the annual pursuit of coaching candidates to fill head coaching vacancies. The Cardinals, Browns, Bengals, Buccaneers, Jets, Dolphins and Packers have all begun their intensive search.
In Green Bay, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin took over on an interim basis after Mike McCarthy was dismissed after the Packers fell to the Cardinals on December 2, 2018. McCarthy went 125-77-2 over 13 seasons including eight seasons with ten or more since and a Super Bowl victory. However, the team struggled to 11-16-1 under McCarthy the past two seasons, including 4-7-1 at his dismissal.
Here’s a list of top candidates for head coach of the Packers.
Caldwell is a veteran with plenty of success in the league, having been head coach of the Colts from 2009 – 2011 and Detroit Lions from 2014 – 2017. The 63-year old Caldwell has an extensive collegiate coaching resume with eight different teams before his first NFL coaching jobs as quarterbacks coach for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Colts. He’s had a losing record only twice in seven seasons, but after winning his first two post season games, he’s lost his last four. One may question Caldwell’s ability in the big games, having failed to win a Super Bowl with the Colts in 2009 despite having a 14-2 regular season mark with Peyton Manning at quarterback.
The 39-year old LaFleur played briefly in the National Indoor Football League in 2002 and the Indoor Football League in 2004. He spent time coaching at the collegiate level before become offensive quality control coach for the Houston Texans in 2008. After time on the coaching staffs of the Washington Redskins (2010-2013), Notre Dame (2014), Atlanta Falcons (2015-2016) and Los Angeles Rams (2017), LaFleur became offensive coordinator for the Titans in 2018.
Most of his work has been developing quarterbacks and has been successful no matter who has been behind center. Not only has LaFleur developed quarterbacks, he began calling the plays for the Titans this season. Although the Titans haven’t been explosive on offense, ranking in the lower half in scoring, he’s gotten the most out of a bunch of mostly anonymous players. Many compare LaFleur to the likes of Frank Reich and Doug Pederson, whom have had a great deal of success with coaching the passing game. That is an attractive quality in a league that thrives on the passing attack.
McDaniels has been the offensive coordinator of quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots since 2012. One can’t argue the success of New England’s attack, however with Tom Brady at quarterback, is that a reflection on McDaniels or would any coach have similar success?
On the other hand, despite a mediocre 11-17 record in his brief head coaching stint with the Broncos in 2009 and 2010, the Colts gave McDaniels a chance last season to be their head coach. However, McDaniels turned them down to return to New England. The question then is whether or not McDaniels would really leave his comfortable position with the Patriots. Would another team give him a shot knowing how he spurned the Colts? Offering McDaniels a head coaching job could be a high-risk, high-rewards proposition.
Speaking of the Colts, former head coach Pagano is an intriguing option. Pagano clearly was one of the top coaches in the league his first three years with the team from 2012 through 2014. He had three consecutive 11-win seasons including a deep run in the 2014 post season before the tide changed. Much of the fall had little to do with Pagano, as an injury to franchise quarterback Andrew Luck and questionable roster moves lead to an eventual 4-12 2017 record and Pagano’s firing. However, sound minds around the NFL know the kind of influence Pagano can have on a roster. He’s an attractive candidate, but the question is whether or not the 58-year old wants to get back into coaching. If so, Pagano moves among the top of the coaching candidate list.
Another member of the Patriots current coaching staff, the 37-year old Flores has been part of the Patriots staff since starting as a scouting assistant in 2004. After holding positions as pro scout, special teams assistant, assistant offense and special teams, defensive assistant, safeties coach and linebackers coach, Flores because defensive coordinator in 2018. Flores has become well-known for substituting Malcolm Butler as the end of Super Bowl 49, which culminated in Butler’s interception of Russell Wilson to seal the victory.
Flores has done an admirable job this season, orchestrating the defensive into one of the top ten in the NFL. A strong motivator and developer of talent, Flores has gotten the most out of veterans and rookies alike.
Having coached nearly every position on the field, Flores appears to be well-suited and ready for the next step as a head coach in the NFL.
Just two years removed from a 10-6 season and playoff appearance as head coach of the Dolphins, Gase was fired following this season with a 23-25 overall record. However, he’s very intriguing option, having had success with young quarterback Ryan Tennehill, despite an overall roster with very little firepower. Gase has been an offensive/quarterbacks coach since he started his NFL coaching career with the Detroit Lions in 2003. In a league dominated by offense and quarterback play, Gase is a strong candidate, particular with for a team looking to develop a quarterback for the future.
Just doing one of my jobs here.
Offensive Coordinate? Sorry can’t help myself.
haha thanks I’ll fix those
I feel like Todd Monken is a dark horse candidate and will be a good offensive head coach. The Bucaneers had a very good pass offense despite having Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. He also has a background coaching WRs which could be a positive with the young talent the packers have at the position. He likes to attack defenses down the field and in the middle. My biggest concern there is will Rodgers buy in? Rodgers style in being very careful with the ball has led to him avoiding the middle of the field at times where interceptions are more likely. Not mention Rodgers deep ball accuracy was pretty horrific this year.
that was my first impression too, but i havent dug deeper, and now there is no point to, i guess.
Absolutely knew they would f*** this up. Matt LeFleur.
I don’t know much about him other than he hasn’t been with a team longer than 2 years sans the 3 years he was with the Redskins.
He’s been with 7 teams now since 2008, including a 1 year stint at Notre Dame.
I hope to God I am wrong about this. But I really don’t like this hire
I know nothing about the guy other than he looks the same age as Aaron Rodgers. Not sure whether to be alarmed that he hasn’t stayed anywhere for very long or if it’s just him going up the ranks. Either way, nothing I can do about it except sit back and watch as it all unfolds.
Which is exactly what we’ve all been doing, sitting back for years and watching as this team went backwards. I’m at the point of…does it even matter who the coach is? Nothing matters if this team doesn’t get good football players and gets them in a damn hurry.
My question is, going into this draft and free agency, do we have less needs than we did a year ago? Did we move forward? We cannot say with any certainity that we acquired playmakers in the draft last season, and we sure as fuck didn’t add any in free agency.
I remember a time when all we were looking for was a tight end and mlb. Now it doesn’t seem like a stretch to name off 5-10 needs on this team. And i’m not convinced we filled any with last Aprils draft, maybe Alexander, but time will tell. Remember fans thought our cornerback situation was fixed after Randall’s and Rollins rookie season. I stopped pretending Kevin King was the answer at corner awhile back. Maybe we’ll pay Tramon another 5 million next season and then wonder if he’s even playing.
We have a first year head coach, a 2nd year GM who is neutered. A President who gave himself all the power and under his watch we ended up at 6-9-1.
Excuse me for saying this….but what do we have to get excited about concerning this team right now?
I could get excited to get some football players who can make a difference, but as we’ve seen the last 4-8 years, that is easier said than done with this team.
we shall see, if he hasnt stayed long anywhere, who knows how long he’ll stay here. ps PF4L if you have a twitt acct, i would like to follow. let me know. miss your insights.. czstevens at yahoo.com
Young offensive guy. Nice
(…I remember a time when all we were looking for was a tight end and mlb. Now it doesn’t seem like a stretch to name off 5-10 needs on this team. And i’m not convinced we filled any with last Aprils draft, maybe Alexander, but time will tell.)
Long snapper. We drafted us a long snapper. Since we didn’t hear any news of him shitting the bed on, or off the field, we maybe filled a need there.
Punter. Meh? That’s a longer term project. Needs a bunch more meat on his bones too. A Pat McAfee he is not.
Guard? Yeah, we drafted a guard. We drafted a guard like in the 4th round and that was going to help fill a need and,….uh,…..yeah,….forget it. Okay, I’ll quit.
5th round. Yup, it was the 5th. Quick feet. Could have even played tackled, maybe…
I swear if they hired him because he was the only one that was willing to keep Pettine around….
Yeah how does that go. Mark Murphy- Would you be willing to keep Mike Pettine and his defensive staff if we decide to name you head coach. LaFleur- Umm, yeah. Of course. Didn’t I tell you guys Mike Pettine has always been my guy? Murphy- You’re hired! Welcome to the Green Bay Packers.
Just like he did with Gutekunst.
MM- “Hey Brian, you can have the head coaching job as long as we can reorganize the front office power structure and neuter your position so essentially no other GM candidate would even want the job.”
BG- “….Sure Mark, that’ll work I suppose.”
MM- “Great! You can’t hire your own coach and you’ll have to let Teddy whisper sweet nothings into your ear from time to time but this will work out just great!
I tried to make MM’s dialogue more realistic by filling it with umm’s, ahh’s, and ya know’s, but it was barely readable. I wonder how long it will be before Murphy loosens the leash and lets LeFleur choose his own Defensive Coordinator? Or will MM have to do that too since Gute wasn’t even allowed to make the decision on a new coach because Murphy possesses valuable insight due to him being “involved in football all of his adult life.”
The only way Ted whispers in Gutes ear is by phone as he’s living in Texas. I’m sure the checks are being deposited though. Lets fire a guy, give him a new job title, watch him sell his home and then move to Texas, and keep paying him.
Mark Murphy has empowered himself to make the personnel decisions for his GM and head coach because his experience in college as an Athletic Director certainly qualifies him….amirite?
Peter LaFleur baby! The Packers are back! Great hire! A super bowl winning hire! Things are finally looking up at 1265. The losing is over.
Reference to the movie “Dodgeball.” Vince Vaugn’s characters name
Gute read skinnys comments and let out a deep sigh. The weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders. He doesn’t feel the pressure now to get player talent and get it quick, because, the losing is now over.
This is about what I predicted. There are already reports that he is keeping both Philbin and Pettine and most of the other yahoos that pass as coaches in GB. Also reported that AR is happy because the offense won’t change that much. So, they’ll be running the same old shit with the same old coaches. The only difference will be instead of a fat, middle-aged guy that looks like a grown up Jerry Mathers holding a Waffle House menu, we now have a young, good-looking guy doing it. Thanks for shaking things up, Alfred E. Murphy!
Look. The guy has good experience. He has worked under Kyle Shannahan and Sean McVay. That isn’t disputable. Here is my biggest issue with this. He has one year of playcalling experience. And I don’t know that it was all that successful. There is a lot more to calling a successful offense than building a playbook based off of two successful playcallers. Does he have a feel for the flow of a game? Does he have a feel for pushing the right buttons at the right time in a big spot with a 40 second play clock? Can he get Aaron Rodgers to buy in and not quit on him if a few games go by and the offense struggles? Can he put the young position players in a position to succeed? Can he make second half adjustments based on what the defense is doing and the offensive gameplan was trash in the first half? While doing all of that, can he be at least acceptable in game management, managing timeouts, challenges, personnel?
A lot of question marks at point where they cannot make a bad hire. There were safer choices.
Well, if anything, we can look at the NFC North as the Matt division…as in Nagy, LeFleur and Patricia. So there’s that.
LaFleur too, don’t want to piss off the “spelling Nazis”. Fuck you, that’s funny.