GREEN BAY, Wis. — Matt LaFleur still needs to hire a special-teams coordinator and fill a few low-level positions on his coaching staff, but two weeks after he was hired as the Green Bay Packers’ head coach his first staff has taken shape.
Here’s a look at where things stand and which positions still need to be filled:
Who’s in: Nathaniel Hackett
Who’s out: Joe Philbin
While Hackett has never worked with LaFleur, they share the same background in the West Coast offense. Hackett’s father, Paul, coached under Bill Walsh. LaFleur learned the system from Kyle and Mike Shanahan (who also was schooled in the Walsh offense). Hackett’s hiring was made official last week. Philbin, who went 2-2 as interim head coach this past season after Mike McCarthy was fired, recently cleaned out his office at Lambeau Field and has been released by LaFleur.
Who’s in: Luke Getsy
Who’s out: Frank Cignetti, Jim Hostler
Getsy served as the Packers’ receivers coach from 2016 to ’17 before leaving to become offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. He’s returning, sources told ESPN, to coach Aaron Rodgers and the other quarterbacks. Rodgers, who called Getsy “an unsung hero for us this year as a coach” after the Packers beat the Cowboys in the 2016 playoffs also said that Getsy has “gotten those guys ready to play and we’ve got great contributions from a number of guys.” Cignetti spent only one season on the Packers’ staff. Hostler, who worked closely with the quarterbacks as the passing game coordinator, also was released. He was hired by the Panthers to coach receivers.
Who’s in: Ben Sirmans
Although it hasn’t been announced yet, he will be one of the few holdovers from McCarthy’s staff, sources told ESPN last week. Sirmans completed his third season with the Packers and helped developed Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.
Who’s in: Adam Stenavich
Who’s out: James Campen, Jeff Blasko
LaFleur rolled the dice on going with a young coach who knows the system over the experienced Campen, who was a favorite of both the linemen and Rodgers. Campen was quickly hired by the Browns as associate head coach/offensive line and took Blasko (assistant O-line) with him to Cleveland. Stenavich, a Wisconsin native who was on the Packers’ practice squad in 2006 and 2007, was an O-line assistant with the 49ers, where he coached in the Shanahan/zone-blocking scheme that LaFleur plans to employ. The move, first reported by NBC Sports Bay Area, was confirmed by ESPN.
Who’s in: Unknown
Who’s out: David Raih
LaFleur let Raih leave for the Arizona Cardinals, where he was reunited with new coach Kliff Kingsbury. The two worked together at Texas Tech. Raih coached receivers for only one season after Getsy left but had been with the Packers in various offensive coaching capacities since 2014.
Who’s in: Justin Outten
Who’s out: Brian Angelichio
Outten worked with LaFleur when both were on the Falcons’ staff in 2016, when LaFleur coached quarterbacks and Outten was a coaching intern. The move was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday. Up to that point, Angelichio had been in limbo but now will be free to pursue other jobs. Like most of McCarthy’s staff, Angelichio was under contract through the 2019 season, meaning he will be paid by the Packers if he doesn’t land another job.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will be one of the few holdovers from Mike McCarthy’s staff. AP Photo/Mike Roemer
Who’s in: Mike Pettine
LaFleur’s first move was to retain Pettine for a second season in charge of the defense. In Pettine’s first year, the defense made a modest jump from 22nd to 18th in the league in yards and from 26th to 22nd in points allowed. It did so despite an inordinate number of injuries and without a dominant edge rusher.
Who’s in: Jerry Montgomery
Pettine and LaFleur valued the work Montgomery did with Kenny Clark, who is on the verge of becoming a Pro Bowler, and how he developed younger players such as Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster after Clark, Mike Daniels and Muhammad Wilkerson — the three opening-day starters — all were lost to season-ending injuries. Montgomery’s re-hiring has not been officially announced yet by LaFleur but was first reported by ESPN. Montgomery has been with the Packers since 2015 in various positions with the defensive line.
Who’s in: Kirk Olivadotti
Who’s out: Patrick Graham, Scott McCurley
Graham is expected to become the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator once they’re able to officially hire New England’s Brian Flores as head coach after the Super Bowl. McCurley was told he would not be retained after 13 years with the Packers in various capacities. Olivadotti, the son of a longtime NFL defensive coach, worked with LaFleur on the Redskins’ staff in 2010. He had two separate stints with Washington totaling 16 seasons. The move has not been announced yet but has been confirmed by ESPN.
Who’s in: Jason Simmons
Who’s out: Joe Whitt Jr.
Simmons, who oversaw both cornerbacks and safeties last season, is expected to be retained, sources told ESPN, but LaFleur dismissed Whitt, who was almost immediately hired by the Browns as pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach. Whitt, who had been with the Packers since 2008, finished second to Pettine for the defensive coordinator job in 2018 but became the defensive pass game coordinator. It’s unknown if LaFleur will use those titles on his staff.
Who’s in: Unknown
Who’s out: Ron Zook
LaFleur almost immediately fired Zook, who had run the Packers’ special teams since 2015, and then interviewed highly regarded Dolphins special-teams coach Darren Rizzi. However, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Rizzi will not be joining the Packers. Given how poorly the Packers’ special teams have performed, this is a key hire for LaFleur, who said: “I want to attack matchups on special teams. And we always talk about ‘penalty-free aggression.’ We want to make sure that we are playing aggressive, but we’ve got to be smart. We don’t want to put ourselves in negative situations.” Special-teams assistant Maurice Drayton’s status is unknown.