Defensive coordinator Sanders among six coaches fired by Packers

Published on January 7, 2009 by     Seahawk Fanatic

The Green Bay Packers’ season came apart thanks in large part to a defense that consistently blew fourth-quarter leads. Defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and most of his staff were let go Monday as a result.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy released six assistants, including five on defense: Sanders, defensive ends coach Carl Hairston, defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn, secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer and nickel package/cornerbacks coach Lionel Washington.

Also let go was strength and conditioning coordinator Rock Gullickson.

“These are difficult decisions,” McCarthy said in a statement. “I hold each of these men in high regard on a personal level, and I want to thank them for their service to the Green Bay Packers.”

Assistant head coach/linebackers Winston Moss and defensive quality control coach Joe Whitt Jr. were the only defensive coaches to keep their jobs. Moss is a likely candidate to take Sanders’ place, but is also a candidate for the St. Louis Rams‘ vacant head coaching job.

Monday’s moves were the Packers’ latest reaction to a disappointing 6-10 season. Special teams coordinator Mike Stock announced his retirement last week after presiding over a unit that also took a significant step backward in 2008.

Sanders, the Packers’ defensive ends coach under Mike Sherman in 2005, was tabbed to lead the defense after former defensive coordinator Jim Bates left the team. Bates, a finalist for the head coaching job after Sherman was fired, did not stay after McCarthy was hired.

The Packers’ defense got off to a shaky start under Sanders in 2006, giving up too many big plays and occasionally showing signs of confusion on the field. The unit improved in 2007, tying for sixth-best in the league in scoring as the Packers went 13-3.

But the defense regressed in 2008. The Packers’ big-play problems returned as they struggled to shake off several significant injuries. Consistent pass-rush pressure was a season-long concern.

After giving up 291 points in 2007, the Packers yielded a whopping 380 in 2008.

The Packers allowed 135 points in the fourth quarter in 2008, second-worst in the league behind Houston. Before their season-ending victory over Detroit, the Packers had blown fourth-quarter leads in four straight games.

Sanders took responsibility for the defense’s shortcomings.

“I take responsibility for everything,” Sanders said on the Monday after the Packers’ season finale. “It’s my responsibility. Certainly, I try to get our guys in the best position I can to be successful, and when it doesn’t happen, certainly I understand that. There were a lot of good plays. The scheme has brought a lot of good plays and a lot of good wins. Certainly I know what this scheme can do. At times, I didn’t get the job done. I understand that.”

At the time, Sanders knew it could cost him his job.

“If you’re a coach, certainly that’s part of the situation that you sign on to,” Sanders said. “I just work to the best of my ability.”

McCarthy did not rule out coaching staff changes in his season-ending news conference last week, but said he intended to move deliberately.

“We focused very hard on hiring quality people, good teachers, and men that demand,” he said. “On a personal side of it, I think we did an excellent job with the quality of people we have on our staff. That’s definitely always tough if you go in that direction.”

The Packers’ next step could be to promote Moss. But with several experienced coaches looking for jobs, McCarthy could look outside the building for Sanders’ replacement.

His list of candidates could include former San Francisco coach Mike Nolan, McCarthy’s old boss with the 49ers.

McCarthy said last week that he wasn’t necessarily committed to the style of defense Sanders ran, a 4-3 alignment that featured aggressive press coverage by cornerbacks and relied mainly on pass rush pressure from the front four instead of blitzes — a major problem this season after defensive end Cullen Jenkins was injured.

“All of our schemes are under evaluation right now,” McCarthy said. “That’s what you do right now. That’s what this time is for.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

140505donald600

Where does Aaron Donald fit in first round of NFL Draft?

Aaron Donald did all the right things at the University of Pittsburgh, but the undersized defensive tackle needs ...
Untitled

Golden Tate Cheating With Russell Wilson’s Wife?

Some of you will read this post and say no way, but yes it's true and i have ...
140501clowney600

Mike Mayock can see Seahawks trading down in first round of NFL Draft

The Seahawks hold the last pick in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft, and analyst Mike ...
140502suafilo600

Do Seahawks have designs on building blocks in NFL Draft?

The Seahawks could go in just about any direction with the 32nd pick in the first round of ...
kveTl.AuSt.5

Family tragedies fuel Seahawks running back Robert Turbin

Sitting alone with both elbows on the table and hands folded, Robert Turbin waited. The Seattle Seahawks’ backup running ...
140430schneider600

This NFL draft is very different, but John Schneider’s approach isn’t

John Schneider has been involved in the NFL Draft for two decades and admits that he even dreamed ...
1c4jGw.AuSt.5

Earl Thomas reaches long-term extension with Seahawks

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network first reported Thomas’ extension. The extension will make Thomas the highest-paid safety in ...
trufant (1)

Marcus Trufant to retire a Seahawk

Marcus Trufant will retire a Seahawk. On Wednesday, the Seahawks announced the former Seahawks cornerback had signed with the ...

Shop for Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII Champs Merchandise at NFLShop.com

Shop for Conference Champs and Super Bowl XLVIII Match Up Merchandise at NFLShop.com

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz