Surprising No One, Packers Special Teams Under Ron Zook Ranked Last in Gosselin’s Rankings

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Mason Crosby

While Ron Zook is out as special teams coach and new prospects are being interviewed, looking back on the 2018 season for Packers’ special teams is very grim. On that note, looking back on the last ten years or so of special teams is not particularly encouraging. This trend started long before Ron Zook took the Special Teams Coordinator position with the Packers in 2013. The future was looking brighter with the consideration of Darren Rizzi for the position but that hope has fizzled out as no deal was made and it is unlikely that there will be one. Now it’s looking like the Packers are leaning towards Mike Mallory of the Jacksonville Jaguars – a coach that doesn’t come with as much respect as that of Darren Rizzi. In fact, Mallory was even demoted after the Jaguar’s 2016 season. Their following season was a lot better with Mallory as assistant and Joe DeCamillis took over as ST Coordinator. Not exactly a great resume, in my opinion; at least in comparison to Darren Rizzi.

During Mason Crosby’s 12th season with the Packers, he managed 81.1 percent of FGs which placed the Packers at a dismal 23rd ranking in the NFL. This was mostly due to the 4 missed attempts in a single game against the Detroit Lions. This a good example of the fact that the Packers’ special teams has talent but is very inconsistent. This is one of the areas that Matt LaFleur should be focusing a lot of his attention on as this is how you win football games. Just look at the Packers/Vikings tie game on September 16th: Mason made an important field goal attempt but was iced by Vikings coach Mike Zimmer – he then went on to miss the second attempt.

Another factor dragging the special teams down is injuries. Key players like Trevor Davis not being available turned the Packers return game into a crapshoot throughout the season. This is yet another reminder for LaFleur and the Packers front office that WRs should be a primary focus with off-season acquisitions. They’ll need more than just some coaching changes as the team fielded six punt returners and seven kickoff returners last season.

Then there is penalties. With 24 special teams penalties in the 2018, the Packers are the second worst in the league – only losing to Pittsburgh with 25 penalties. This one pretty much speaks for itself.

Here is the full rankings list from Rick Gosselin of 2018 NFL special teams:

2018 NFL SPECIAL TEAMS RANKINGS

1. NY Jets 231

2. New Orleans 242.5

3. Kansas City 248

4. Miami 296.5

5. Arizona 300.5

6. Baltimore 301.5

7. Jacksonville 301.5

8. Houston 307.5

9. LA Rams 317.5

10. Indianapolis 320

11. New England 320.5

12. Detroit 342

13. Minnesota 352

14. Philadelphia 358.5

15. NY Giants 361

16. Tennessee 366

17. Washington 367

18. Seattle 370.5

19. Oakland 375.5

20. Atlanta 376

21. SF 49ers 381.5

22. Cincinnati 386.5

23. Carolina 394.5

24. Denver 407.5

25. Pittsburgh 426

26. Chicago 442.5

27. Dallas 444

28. Tampa Bay 444

29. LA Chargers 447

30. Cleveland 457.5

31. Buffalo 459

32. Green Bay 470.5

 

Be sure to also read our contributor Rob Born’s look back at Ron Zook

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Publisher / Editor / News Guy - Attended University of Georgia - currently living in SE Asia.

4 Comments on "Surprising No One, Packers Special Teams Under Ron Zook Ranked Last in Gosselin’s Rankings"

  1. FTS

    ST have always been an issue with McCarthy. No surprising that the unit never was never a priority for improvement. Another case of many complacent decisions by the man.

  2. I’ll leave missin’ Mason alone a just a bit. There were too many games where the offense just couldn’t do jack when they arrived in the red zone and they had to rely on field goals way too much. He made some good kicks in the MN game and got iced on the last one. The Detroit game, well… what…another case of the yips? He rebounded. But, if we can’t consistently send a kick off deep enough with Mason, then please teach Mr. Scott to handle kick offs.

    But the rest. The penalties, the coverage breakdowns, the bonehead decisions by the players, and more damn penalties. That stuff was a reflection on the coaching staff. That was a breakdown in discipline and it was there with Slocum and with Zook. Indeed, never a big priority.

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