Special teams coach [intlink id=”621″ type=”category”]Shawn Slocum[/intlink] has been the weak link on the Green Bay Packers coaching staff since joining the team in 2006.
The Packers have consistently been ranked near the bottom of the league in special teams and the units have produced a fairly regular comedy of errors. So, it wasn’t too surprising to see all the Packers running toward a punt returner that was never going to catch the ball and the guy who did catch the ball running down the sidelines in yesterday’s game against the [intlink id=”13″ type=”category”]Chicago Bears[/intlink].
A directional kick left was called on the play to keep the ball away from Devin Hester. Of course, Hester moved to his left away from the ball and everyone on the Packers followed him away from the kick. Johnny Knox would field the ball, which was kicked exactly where it was supposed to go, and no one was around him.
Fortunately, there was a flag on the play and the 89-yard return was negated.
That doesn’t explain why everyone on the Packers went to the right when the call was made to kick left. Are they all a bunch of idiots? Was the Bears plan that masterful and well executed? Are they poorly coached?
You could argue all three, but the fact that this sort of special teams blunder isn’t out of the ordinary tells me it has something to do with the coaching.
So what did Slocum have to say about the play today?
Not much, other than someone should have been covering Knox.
“You’d like for them to have the awareness of knowing where the ball is,” Slocum said. “No. 1 the direction of the kick call indicates that. It’s a tough chore because you’re fighting to get out and they’re trying to hold you up. Then you’re trying to defeat the man that’s blocking you. Then you’re going down the field and the next indicator is the returner.”