Saturday, January 21, 2023

Rival NFL team interviews Packers coordinator for head coaching job

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The Green Bay Packers weren’t expected to have much turnover at the top of the coaching staff this offseason, but it now appears that things may have changed.

Most recently, one of the team’s newest additions was interviewed for a head coaching job elsewhere in the NFL. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported on Friday, Jan. 20 that Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia had completed a meeting with the Indianapolis Colts about their vacant position.

“The Packers’ current special teams coordinator [Rich Bisaccia] just interviewed for the job as the Colts head coach, the team announced. Demovsky tweeted.

Bisaccia’s departure from Green Bay is far from imminent ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reportsd The Colts are and/or have already interviewed a dozen people for the position. However, the possibility of losing Bisaccia is no small thing for the Packers.

Bisaccia successfully served as the interim head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. His promotion followed an abrupt end to Jon Gruden’s career and ended with the Raiders narrowly losing to eventual AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals over the wild card weekend.

The Packers brought in Bisaccia to fix a malfunctioning special team unit in what arguably cost Green Bay their NFC championship shot due to a missed field goal and a blocked punt in a Division Round home game against the San Francisco 49ers.

By all accounts, Bisaccia did his job and more by simply adding kick-returner specialist Keisean Nixon to the list. Nixon didn’t take on the role until midseason, but was named a first-team All-Pro in 2022 with 1,009 yards and a touchdown on 35 kickoff return attempts. He also returned 11 punts for 140 yards.

Nixon proved a key cog in the Packers’ four-game winning streak, which stayed just under five and would have landed Green Bay in the playoffs after a 4-8 start to the season.

Bisaccia isn’t the only Packers coordinator whose position may be in question.

Head coach Matt LaFleur told media on Jan. 9 that he doesn’t expect any serious turnover in his staff, especially at the top.

“I’m not really expecting much, if any, personnel changes,” LaFleur said. “I think while it wasn’t always pretty, I thought we’ve improved over the year. I thought we saw more of an identity. I definitely thought we played well enough to win on the defensive side of the ball.”

LaFleur’s comments were originally related to a question about defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s future. However, just two days later, the New York Jets announced that they had fired offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, Matt LaFleur’s younger brother.

Green Bay asked permission to interview Mike LaFleur back in 2019 while he was with the 49ers, but San Francisco turned it down. The Packers hired Nathaniel Hackett, and with notable success. Former offensive line coach Adam Stenavich took over as offensive coordinator last season when Hackett left to serve as head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Hackett was in Denver before he finished his first season, but it’s already back on the market. With the Packers’ former OC in Hackett as well as the man they arguably wanted even more for the job three years ago in Mike LaFleur both available now, it’s possible Matt LaFleur is reevaluating his options.

Although back-to-back MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers played under center, the Packers’ passing offense took a dramatic step backwards in 2022. The biggest changes were the departure of wide receiver Davante Adams to Las Vegas and the arrival of Stenavich in the offensive coordinator position.

Hackett was in Denver before he finished his first season, but it’s already back on the market. With the Packers’ former OC in Hackett as well as the man they arguably wanted even more for the job three years ago in Mike LaFleur both available now, it’s possible Matt LaFleur is reevaluating his options.



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