Ryan Downard/Defensive Quality Control– Downard comes to the Packers after spending the last two seasons with Bowling Green coaching their safeties. Prior to that Downard was a defensive assistant for Mike Pettine in Cleveland. Downard is just 29 and is a rising star in the coaching ranks. He will be a head coach in the college game sooner rather than later.
Green Bay Packers 2018 Coaching Staff | Ticket King Inc.
The Green Bay Packers had about as well documented of a 7-9 season of any team who finished a year with that record in recent memory. The broken collarbone of Aaron Rodgers, which exposed the flaws in this organization, and the performance of backup quarterback Brett Hundley, all led to the franchise making massive changes up and down the organization. Here is the rundown of the major personnel changes for 2018.
Brian Gutekunst/General Manager– The highest profile change came first when Mark Murphy relieved longtime general manager Ted Thompson of his duties and replaced him with the Packers best scout, Brian Gutekunst. He has been with the Packers for 20 years as a scout, and then became director of player personnel for the last two years. Most people wanted Eliot Wolf, the prodigal son of Ron Wolf as the new general manager. However, if you look at the whole scope of this, Gutekunst is the better choice. He is 10 years older than Wolf, and unlike Wolf, he has both played and coached football, which he did for his alma mater, Wisconsin-La Crosse. From what we hear, Gutekunst is going to be more aggressive than his predecessor.
John Wojciechowski/Director of Player Personnel– Replacing Gutekunst in his old position is John Wojciechowski, who begins his sixth season with this Packers. Prior to joining the Packers, he spent time with the Cowboys, Jaguars, and Steelers organizations.
Joe Philbin/Offensive Coordinator- Perhaps the favorite hire of them all was Joe Philbin who returns to the Packers after spending three seasons as the Dolphins head coach and two seasons after that with the Colts. Philbin didn’t work out as a head coach so do not expect him to leave so soon this time. This is a great hire. When Philbin was here this offense, and team in general, was at its best.
Frank Cignetti Jr./Quarterbacks Coach– Brett Hundley was Alex Van Pelt’s project, so obviously Van Pelt should have, and did, take the blame for Hundley’s play. Replacing Van Pelt is Frank Cignetti Jr., who comes to the Packers with nearly 30 years of coaching experience, most of it with quarterbacks. He has been all over the place in both college and the NFL, having a proven track record at both levels. This is not a sexy hire, but a great one nevertheless.
Jim Hostler/Pass Game Coordinator– The Packers created new titles on both sides of the ball for run and pass game coordinators. This was to give extra focus on each area of the game on both sides of the ball. Hostler will work with wide receivers coach David Raih as well as Philbin to keep the passing game in sync. Hostler has nearly 30 years of coaching experience, most with tight ends and wide receivers.
Mike Pettine/Defensive Coordinator– Most of the coaching changes came on defense, most notably with the play caller. Pettine comes to the Packers having formerly served as the Browns head coach for two seasons and spent last season with the Seahawks. Pettine has never been in charge of an NFL defense that finished lower than ninth, a stat that should comfort Packers fans for the moment.
Patrick Graham/Run Game Coordinator/Inside Linebackers– Graham comes to the Packers after serving for the last two seasons as the Giants defensive line coach, and before that he spent five seasons in New England mostly as the linebackers coach. The Packers want their inside linebackers to get more aggressive, which is what Graham teaches.