Report: Packers set to bring back former assistant

Mike McCarthy is getting the band back together — sort of.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky is reporting the Green Bay Packers are expected to bring Joe Philbin in as their new offensive coordinator. If the name sounds familiar, it should, as Philbin was a member of former coach Mike Sherman’s staff for three years, before serving as McCarthy’s offensive line coach in 2006 and as offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2011.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has spoken glowingly of Philbin’s time in Green Bay, which came to an end when he was hired as the Miami Dolphins head coach in 2012. He spent four seasons there before being let go and ending up with the Indianapolis Colts as their offensive line coach and assistant head coach the last two seasons.

In Philbin’s final year in Green Bay, the offense was nearly unstoppable. They led the league in scoring at 35 points per game, were third in total offense and Rodgers threw a career-high 45 touchdowns and earned his first NFL MVP award.

The move follows the news from Friday night that Indianapolis tight ends coach Jim Hostler had been hired as Green Bay’s wide receivers coach.

The Packers still need to find a new quarterbacks coach, and it’s possible they look to an old assistant as well for that job in the form of Ben McAdoo, who was fired as the New York Giants head coach during the season. McAdoo was Green Bay’s tight ends coach from 2006 to 2011 and the quarterbacks coach for two seasons after that.

Report: Packers have their new WRs coach

The Green Bay Packers have their new wide receivers coach.

According to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News, the team is expected to hire Indianapolis Colts tight ends coach Jim Hostler.

A Pennsylvania native, just like Packers coach Mike McCarthy, Hostler spent the last two years coaching the tight ends with the Colts, though most of his career has been spent tutoring the wide receivers. That includes with the Colts in 2015 and the Baltimore Ravens for six seasons.

Hostler was on the same staff as McCarthy in 2005 with the San Francisco 49ers and for two years with the New Orleans Saints. He replaces Luke Getsy, who left after the season to be the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State.

Packers: David Bakhtiari named second-team All-Pro

He didn’t make the Pro Bowl, but David Bakhtiari is once again an All-Pro.

The Associated Press released its All-Pro teams on Friday and the Green Bay Packers left tackle was a second-team pick. It’s the second straight year that he’s earned that distinction. Bakhtiari received 10 votes, 14 fewer than Los Angeles Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth — the first-team selection.

Bakhtiari started a career-low 12 games this season due to injury, but when healthy, he stonewalled nearly ever rusher he came up against. Pro Football Focus gave him the highest grade of any left tackle in the NFL.

According to Packers.com, wide receiver Jeff Janis earned two votes for his work on special teams.

McCarthy: Reboot designed to get the Packers back on top

If you thought all the moves in recent days by the Green Bay Packers felt like they were looking to start from scratch, you wouldn’t be too far off.

Speaking at his end of the season press conference Thursday morning, coach Mike McCarthy made clear what his decision to part ways with his offensive and defensive coordinator, along with four other assistant coaches, was about.

“We need to reboot, cleanse, however you want to word it,” McCarthy said. “We did not play to the standard of the Green Bay Packers. It’s my responsibility to make sure we get better and get back to that.”

For the first time since 2008, Green Bay missed the playoffs and finished with a losing record. While McCarthy has made changes in the past, including firing special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum after a disastrous 2014 NFC title game, the sheer number of changes are eye-opening.

McCarthy, who just finished his 12th year, told reporters the moves were not the result of any one game or event, but it’s difficult not to see a correlation between quarterback Aaron Rodgers going down early in the season and the team’s shortcomings being exposed without him.

“It’s not black and white,” McCarthy said. “This wasn’t done after Aaron’s injury. It wasn’t done after the last game. You have to evaluate all the time.”

But McCarthy had to evaluate the big picture earlier than ever and found that the status quo wouldn’t get it done.

“When you say you have a standard at the Green Bay Packers, it stops right there. The standard at the Green Bay Packers is to win world championships,” he said. “Now, are we doing enough to win a world championship? Or are we doing everything we need to do to win a championship? That question needs to be answered. It needs to answered throughout football operations.

“I know what I’m in control of. I’m in control of making sure we’re doing everything we can — everything we can — to win the championship. That’s what this process is.”

The timeline for that process isn’t clear, but McCarthy is diving right in. He said that current assistants Darren Perry, Joe Whitt and Winston Moss would have a chance to interview for the defensive coordinator opening, and he also didn’t rule out bringing back former offensive assistants like Ben McAdoo and Joe Philbin, both of whom left Green Bay earlier in McCarthy’s tenure to be head coaches.

A potential hiccup is the uncertainty as to who the next general manager will be — or even if that person will want McCarthy as his coach. Though President/CEO Mark Murphy said Tuesday that McCarthy was their guy, he also said the new GM would have the power to hire and fire coaches.

“I”m very comfortable where I am in my career,” said McCarthy, who did sign a one-year extension that has him under contract through 2019. “I’m more focused on the fit of the GM. And frankly, fit is a two-way street. It has to fit together.”

Finding the right fits — both in the coaching staff and with the general manager — is McCarthy’s goal as he looks to get Green Bay back to where he believes they belong.

“This is my professional responsibility,” McCarthy said of making changes. “It’s in my job description and I have to do what I feel gives the Green Bay Packers the best opportunity to win — to win it all in 2018. That’s why I’m standing here answering these questions.”

Report: Packers part ways with OC Edgar Bennett and QB coach Alex Van Pelt

It’s been nearly three months since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, but the impact of that injury is still be felt in Green Bay right now.

Just two days after news broke that defensive coordinator Dom Capers and two of his assistants were being let go, ESPN reported Wednesday afternoon that the team was also parting ways with offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.

It means at least five members of coach Mike McCarthy’s staff are out, including Bennett, who had been with the organization since 2001 after playing six years for the Packers in the mid-1990s. It’s by far the biggest shakeup since McCarthy took the job in 2006 with only the carnage in 2008 a real comparison.

Nearly all of the moves, perhaps even the replacement of Ted Thompson as general manager, came as a result of the team losing Rodgers in Week 6. At that point, Green Bay was 4-1 and looking every bit of a Super Bowl contender. By the time Rodgers returned in mid-December, the Packers were 7-6 and had been exposed as a pretender. That forced everyone, including the franchise, to look in the mirror and realize how mediocre the team was without the two-time MVP.

Report: Packers extend coach Mike McCarthy’s contract

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has had his contract extended.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the team extended his deal by one year and it now runs through the 2019 season. The extension, according to Demovsky, happened during the season and has no connection to the news that general manager Ted Thompson’s tenure is over.

McCarthy has won six division titles, been to the NFC title game four times and won the Super Bowl in 2010. At 7-9, this season was the first time the Packers had missed the playoffs under McCarthy since 2008, and it’s just the second time in his 12 years they’ve had a sub. 500 record.

The decision to extend McCarthy’s deal does not guarantee he’ll be the coach in 2018. It’s possible, and potentially likely, that the new general manager will want his own coach. However, if the new GM comes from inside the organization, that could end up being a good things for McCarthy’s chances of sticking around.

Packers start search for new GM as Ted Thompson moves into a different role

It’s official.

Ted Thompson is no longer the Green Bay Packers general manager.

The franchise made the announcement Tuesday morning, a day after news broke of the decision to move on from Thompson. He will stay with the franchise as a senior advisor to football operations.

“It’s been a great honor to serve as the Green Bay Packers’ general manager for the past 13 years. This is a special place and we’ve had some success along the way, but it’s the relationships that I value most,” Thompson said in a press release. “I’ve been fortunate to have worked with many dedicated people throughout the organization and I can’t thank Mark Murphy, Mike McCarthy, the football-operations staff and our scouts enough for their friendship and support.

“Additionally, I want to thank every player that has stepped on the field for us. This is the players’ game and I appreciate all the sacrifices they have made for the Packers. I look forward to supporting this team in my new role as we strive to win another championship.”

President/CEO Mark Murphy thanked Thompson for his time with the franchise that included six NFC North titles, nine playoff appearances, three NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl title.

“I want to thank Ted for his tireless efforts as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers for these past 13 seasons,” Murphy said in the release. “Fortunately, Ted will remain involved in our personnel department as we work to win another championship. We will begin an immediate search for the next general manager of the Green Bay Packers.”

Murphy will address the media early Tuesday afternoon.

Report: Ted Thompson moving into new role, Packers start search for new GM

The Green Bay Packers are now looking for a new defensive coordinator and a new general manager.

On the same day that news broke that Dom Capers would not be returning for a 10th season, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that longtime general manager Ted Thompson will move into a new role with the team and the franchise would be looking for a new GM.

Thompson was hired as the Packers GM in Jan. 2005 and helped rebuild a team that was old and hurting in terms of the salary cap. His boldest move came early in his tenure when he — despite having Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre on his roster — selected Aaron Rodgers with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He stuck with him through all the drama when Favre left the team following the 2007 season. And it paid off, as along with coach Mike McCarthy, Thompson and Rodgers made the Packers among the most successful franchises in the NFL, including a win in Super Bowl XLV.

However, since that magical run in 2010, Green Bay hasn’t been able to get over the hump, playing in two more NFC title games, but not getting to the Super Bowl. Many have criticized his draft and develop strategy that often left the coaching staff having to get rookies and undrafted free agents up to speed quickly. When he did dip into free agency last offseason, the results were mixed.

Green Bay will begin their search for a new GM immediately, but the Packers may not need to look far. There are several in-house candidates, including Vice President of Football Administration Russ Ball, Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf and Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst.

Reports: Packers fire DC Dom Capers

Dom Capers is out.

As first reported by Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Green Bay Packers fired their longtime defensive coordinator following Sunday’s 35-11 loss to Detroit. It brought an end to Capers’ 9-year tenure with the franchise to an end, a tenure during in which he had success early but was often unable to consistently put a good product on the field.

Though injuries were certainly an issue throughout this season, especially in the secondary, Capers’ unit finished No. 22 in total defense and No. 26 in scoring defense.

This is just the second time coach Mike McCarthy has fired his defensive coordinator since taking over the team in 2006. He also sent Bob Sanders packing following the 2008 season, which also happened to be the last time — before 2017 — the team failed to make the playoffs and had a losing record.

Reports indicate more coaching moves could be coming on the defensive side of the ball.

Last Hits: Lions 35, Packers 11

DETROIT – The Green Bay Packers finished their season with a 7-9 record after falling to the Detroit Lions 35-11 on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field.

Seventeen last hits for the 17-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Randall Cobb in the final quarter of the season’s final game.

1. .This season didn’t go as planned for the Packers. When one of the NFL’s most important players goes down with an injury missing seven games in the middle of the season, things typically don’t go as previously expected.

2. The absence of quarterback Aaron Rodgers did just that for Green Bay. The Packers went from a team that was a Super Bowl contender to one that finished with a 7-9 record on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

3. When Rodgers left the field with his broken right collarbone on October 15th against the Vikings the reins were handed over to Brett Hundley at quarterback. Hundley went 3-4 in the stretch of games Rodgers originally missed. Those three wins came against opponents that will finish the season with a combined record of either 9-39 or 10-38 on the season (as of this writing, Tampa Bay has yet to complete their Week 17 game against the New Orleans Saints). The wins against the Buccaneers and Browns came in overtime.

4. To pin missing the season entirely on Hundley would be silly. While his play is certainly spotlighted because of the stark difference between he and Rodgers, the blame isn’t all his. Rodgers missing time this year showed that Green Bay’s roster has many holes that have been masked by the skill of Rodgers.

5. Those holes primarily fall on the defensive side of the ball. That was on display again as the Packers allowed 35 points to a Detroit Lions squad that finishes the year at 9-7 as rumors fly about whether or not they will fire their head coach, Jim Caldwell. This isn’t a piece being written to try and show how the Packers need to be fixed, but rather show that it does need to happen.

6. Hundley finished the day with 172 yards passing, a pair of interceptions, and a touchdown. One of the picks seemed to be a miscommunication with Geronimo Allison, and the other one was a pass intended for Jamaal Williams thrown behind him. The pass bounced off the hands of Williams into the waiting arms of Detroit linebacker Jarrad Davis.

7. Hundley did not finish the game, as Joe Callahan saw his first NFL regular season action for the final drive of the game. He completed 5-of-7 passes attempted for 11 yards in mop-up duty. Callahan’s appearance was one that doesn’t teach the world much about him. Allowing him to play extended action in a meaningless game may have been wise.

8. The reasoning for playing Callahan over Hundley would have been to see if he has what it takes to be the backup quarterback of this team. Over the past few months, if the Packers have learned one thing, it should be that if something were to happen to Rodgers again next season, they’re not in a position to be competitive with Hundley.

9. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford finished the day 20/29 passing for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He had receivers open down the field all day, and missed out on plenty more yards with errant throws. Green Bay’s defensive backfield had no answer for him.

10. Three Detroit wide receivers, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., and Kenny Golladay had 80 or more receiving yards on the day. All three of them found the end zone and had a catch of 50 yards or more, as well.

11. Offensively, the Lions only rushed for 51 yards on 23 carries, but with a defensive backfield as weak as the one the Packers boasted, a successful ground attack isn’t necessary.

12. There’s a different feeling around the team as they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Many of the men in that locker room have never seen the season end before the calendar changes over to a new year.

13. “A lot of us have never experienced this feeling of not making the playoffs,” Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels said. “We’ve experienced the feeling of not making the Super Bowl but it’s a little different because you end on a high note, okay, you’ve got the Divisional Round, Wild Card, NFC Championship, but when you don’t make the playoffs it stings a little bit longer. It stings harder. It’s definitely a tougher feeling that you have to learn from.”

14. “Obviously, I’m disappointed on the way it went,” said linebacker Clay Matthews on the season. “I don’t think anyone anticipates, at least in this locker room and this organization, not making the playoffs and not playing for the Super Bowl. It’s just the standard we’ve set.”

15. Questions surround the Packers moving forward into the offseason. There was a report out late Saturday night that the Packers would be parting ways with defensive coordinator Dom Capers. A season like this raises questions like that one, including whether or not Ted Thompson should still be the man in charge in Green Bay.

16. Time will tell on all of the questions surrounding the Packers. They have plenty of time to answer them with their next meaningful game not until September of 2018. Until then, 2017 will be looked back at as a wasted year in the middle of the career of one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game of football.

17. If the Packers answer all of their offseason questions correctly, there’s very little doubt that they’ll be contenders for the Super Bowl next season. Even if they don’t, a healthy Rodgers at quarterback has proven to be a magic elixir before, and it may be once again.