2009 is done and gone (thank god for that), and it’s the time of year when many people set themselves up for failure by making New Year’s resolutions. I imagine many on the Green Bay Packers’ coaching staff do the same, so we here at Total Packers have compiled some suggestions of what we think should be at the top of their collective list.
1. Draft/Bring In A New Kicker
Mason Crosby’s time in Green Bay is done and gone, and while he had a decent game last week against Seattle, it was his first error-free performance in five weeks and he may still end up costing the Packers a postseason victory in coming weeks. He needs to go.
2. Protect Aaron Rodgers
The offensive line has gelled as a unit in recent weeks, I’ll give them that, but the team still leads the league in sacks allowed at 49 and Rodgers is hurting. It’s a miracle the guy’s made it this far given the number and nature of hits he’s taken this season, but the Packers won’t always be so lucky. Rodgers is the future of this franchise, and Mike McCarthy needs to make protecting him a priority in 2010.
3. Halve The Number Of Penalties Per Game
The Packers are among the worst in the league this season in penalties called, penalties accepted and penalty yards and those red flags have been costly in a number of ways — even costing the team a victory or two. It’s ridiculous, and something that should have been addressed this season and must be looked at in the offseason. A new policy benching players penalized excessively would be a great start for 2010.
4. Teach Special Teams Players How To Cover Kickoffs/Punt Returns
Green Bay’s special teams unit has been both a blessing and a curse this season, but largely a curse. Missed field goals and extra point attempts were addressed above, but the unit also had a penchant for giving up long returns at critical points in the game this season. Poor tackling and bad/missed blocks are largely to blame, and McCarthy & Co. must work on these fundamentals in the offseason.
5. Inspire Your Players With Passion/Emotion
This is largely aimed at McCarthy, one of the most unemotional and uninspiring coaches in the National Football League. Granted, the team has rallied back from a 4-4 start to go 10-5 and clinch an NFC wild card playoff berth, but it’s not because of their coach. McCarthy often looks dumbfounded and/or clueless on the sidelines and is abrasive and defensive when anyone questions his decisions, play calling, leadership, etc. Basically, he comes off as an uncaring jerk, and we still maintain that his attitude created the laissez faire attitude that dominated the Packers’ locker room for much of this season. Mike needs to toughen up in some areas (i.e. penalties/fundamentals) and lighten up in others. Maybe show some emotion on the sideline so fans know he cares and isn’t a complete douche bag. This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, man. Time to turn over a new leaf.