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Packers Casting Wide Net in Coaching Search

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Packers Casting Wide Net in Coaching Search

The Green Bay Packers are in need of a new head coach and it appears the team wants to carefully vet its options.

The Packers have at least nine candidates that they plan to interview before making a decision.  They've already interviewed four: Jim Caldwell, Chuck Pagano, interim head coach Joe Philbin and Josh McDaniels.

Earlier this week and according to Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal via Twitter, the following are on the Packers' radar:

By the time this publishes, more candidates may have been added to Green Bay's wish list.

One who will not be interviewing who was thought to be a candidate is Northwestern University head coach Pat Fitzgerald.  It was reported yesterday that Fitzgerald will not interview for NFL coaching jobs this season.

Including Philbin, the Packers have had just 15 head coaches in their 100 year history.  It makes sense that the organization, traditional and conservative in its history, are taking this search seriously.

With their franchise quarterback already in place, it's not a reach to say that the Packers absolutely have to get this head coach hire right.  And while he who is chosen walks into a situation where they have their quarterback set, there's then the pressure to win right away.

Among those head coaches who have been dismissed since this season's end, six of them had less than five years on the job.  Those include Vance Joseph, Adam Gase, Steve Wilks, Hue Jackson, Todd Bowles and Dirk Koetter.

Today's NFL doesn't give head coaches as much time to develop their winner.  As such, most candidates prefer to bring in their own staff.  That presents a lot of change for a locker room so the biggest keys are the culture that the candidate brings as well as who they plan to help them instill that culture.

According to our own Zach Jacobson, Josh McDaniels is the Packers' preferred candidate and interviewed with the team yesterday.

McDaniels comes with plenty of question among fans and media circles. 

They cite his stint with the Denver Broncos nearly 10 years ago that lasted less than two seasons.  After moving franchise quarterback Jay Cutler (well, he was at the time) and getting caught video taping an opponent's walkthrough, McDaniels was let go midway through the 2010 season.

Others point to a year ago, when McDaniels gave the Indianapolis Colts a verbal "yes" to become their new head coach and put a staff in place.  He reneged on the decision just hours later and after the team had announced him as their new head coach.

There are plenty of questions about McDaniels' character but he has clearly demonstrated success during his time in New England.  Whether you want to credit McDaniels for that or simply give the credit to head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, the results aren't bad.

There will be daily updates to the NFL's coaching carousel and the Packers are in the middle of it.  We'll have updated coverage right here at Cheesehead TV.  

Are you glad the Packers are talking to several candidates or is there one that is clear-cut and that they should just lock up now?


Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (59) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lare's picture

I don't know if there are "plenty" of questions about McDaniels' character, although I'm sure the Indy situation will come up during the interview.

One other thing nobody has mentioned is that there are 8 playoff teams that are playing this weekend with coaches that the Packers can't talk to yet. As they are all winning teams, I would have to imagine that there are some other coaches there that they may be interested in.

TheVOR's picture

Why do people have such a hard time about someone changing their mind? He accepted the Indy job, then perhaps any number of possible things come up, family, the Patriots, concerns, who knows. He's as solid a candidate as there is.

Also, the Packers can talk to any coaches once the regular season has officially ended, which it has. The timing of interviews is tricky, as I think you're trying to elude to, but nothing other than getting ready for the playoffs interviews with the ability of a coach to interview.

Final word to the Packers, if you interview "The Guy", and you're certain he's it. Quit casting the wide net! Once you're sure you have the guy, make the offer, because believe it or not, this is a really poor replacement head coaching class! There really isn't a no brainer in the lot of these guys. I'd be looking at the one with the biggest upside, and an offensive mind that plays in today's NFL. If that's Josh McDaniels, and he really wants the job? Perhaps don't keep interviewing to make appearances, because after all, this is about "Not Blowing It" more than it's a volume of choices here. If you have 10 bad choices, and one ois clearly the best of the ten bad choices, then go get the best of the bad choices and lets get on with it already! There is no good choice this offseason, couldn't have picked a worst year for a coaching change.

carlos's picture

How about Vic Fangio. The Bears defensive coordinator.

Slim11's picture

I’m glad the team is interviewing multiple candidates. I remember when Holmgren departed for Seattle. It was widely expected Ray Rhodes would replace Holmgren and, as expected, he did.

The result was a very lackluster season and Rhodes was fired after an 8-8 season. He lost the locker room in less than one season.

IIRC, Rhodes was the only person interviewed by Ron Wolff. It seems that mistake won’t be repeated this time around.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

" Rhodes was the only person interviewed by Ron Wolff"

I still, to this day, find this to be very out of character for Ron.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Ray Rhodes was the first African American head football coach in Green Bay history. It had to be done at some point. Ron Wolf will always be remembered for this in positive fashion as a color blind GM. I commend him for that though he faced major push back after the one year firing from Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. That was quite the mess for a while.

LambeauPlain's picture

Wolf stated publicly he made a big mistake with Rhodes and went with his gut vs his brain. His brain said Andy Reid was the guy to hire to replace Holmgren. Not hiring Reid was what Wolf called one of his greatest mistakes.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Wolf also said not providing Favre with more weapons at WR was a mistake. I really admire how Wolf downplayed his accomplishments but still acknowledged them along with his mistakes. He was truly an admirable human being.

Rossonero's picture

I don't understand why Kansas City's Special Teams coach Dave Toub or ex-Miami coach Adam Gase are not getting interviewed.

Our special teams have STUNK for nearly a decade.

Toub is totally worth interviewing. Keep in mind that head coaches like Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin all have a special teams background themselves.

Toub also had excellent special teams units when he was in Chicago, so it's not just him being in Kansas City as a one-time flash-in-the-pan sort of thing.

Gase has always gotten the most out of his QBs. He had very little to work with in Miami, but when Ryan Tannehill was healthy, he played well.

Gase got Jay Cutler to play well even (that says a lot).

And of course, he worked with Peyton Manning, but with Manning's arm not being what it used to, he helped him leverage what he had left.'s picture

I've been a proponent of this hire for some time. Special teams means better field position which equals better offense and defense. They cannot be neglected. I believe Toub's time has come. Remember what he did to the Packers as coach of the special teams in Chicago!

Chris Scoggins's picture

Toub seems like a serious miss. I'm also really disappointed that they haven't brought in at least a couple college coaches.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

The set of College Coaches who transitioned to the NFL in the last 20 years is small. I don't count Pete Carroll because he transitioned to College from the NFL first.

Hawg Hanner's picture

College coaches haven't cut it in the NFL period. Let's not go there. Remember Dan Devine?

BradHTX's picture

Ridiculous statement.

Jimmy Johnson - Coached at OK State and Miami before leading DAL to two Super Bowl wins.

Tom Coughlin - Coached at Boston College before leading JAX to AFCCG and NYG to two Super Bowl wins.

Jim Harbaugh - Coached USD and Stanford before leading the 49ers to an NFCCG and a Super Bowl appearance.

Bobby Ross - Took Georgia Tech to a national championship and the Chargers to a Super Bowl.

Dennis Green - Coached at Northwestern and Stanford, and took MIN to the NFCCG.

Barry Switzer - Coached at Oklahoma and won a Super Bowl with DAL.

Sure, there are great college coaches who didn’t make it in the NFL: Chip Kelly, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, Butch Davis, Bobby Petrino and plenty of others. But to say “College coaches haven’t cut it in the NFL period” is just plain ignorant of the facts.

BradHTX's picture

(All of which said, I’m not inclined to gamble on a college coach at this point in AR’s career. I’d rather see them hire Josh McDaniels, Adam Gase, or Pete Carmichael, or even an up-and-coming lower level coordinator like Zac Taylor, than someone untested in the NFL like Pat Fitzgerald or Lincoln Riley. If AR were 30 instead of 35, maybe...)

BradHTX's picture

((All of which said, my money’s on Carmichael, because a “Michael” in the name is required for every Packers coach!))

pooch's picture

lol Barry Switzer..that was Jimmy Js team

BradHTX's picture

Switzer didn’t construct the team, no, but that doesn’t diminish him coaching them to a Super Bowl. Does George Siefert not deserve credit for the 49ers’ Super Bowl wins in ‘89 and ‘94 because it was “Bill Walsh’s team”?

In fact, you could add Siefert to the list — he coached at Cornell and Stanford before going to the 49ers (albeit, as a DB coach and DC before becoming HC).

John Kirk's picture

Adam Gase has the temperament and body language of Aaron Rodgers.

It would be a weekly contest as to which guy looked the most miserable and frustrated.

My guess as to why is they have no connection to him is why they aren't interviewing him.

Glad they aren't interviewing Gase but I do like Toub. Hard to hire someone with his pedigree and entrusting him with Rodgers final few years. Can't gamble like that.

John Kirk's picture

Gase is now getting interviewed by the Packers. I'm guessing it didn't go well with McDaniels who wants Cleveland more?

Lare's picture

"Gase is now getting interviewed by the Packers. I'm guessing it didn't go well with McDaniels......"

I also thought the timing of the Gase interview announcement this afternoon was somewhat interesting. Perhaps McDaniels isn't the slam dunk some of us thought him to be.

John Kirk's picture

Silverstein reported it had nothing to do with how the interview went but I don't know how he would know that. Our beat guys know as much as we do 90% of the time or at least only report 10% better than we could without any access.

Jonathan Spader's picture

I wish I knew how Aaron Nagler felt about ^^^^THIS^^^^

Bert's picture

I still kinda doubt that McDaniels will leave NE. Bob Kraft will pay him plenty to stick around until Bill B. retires in the next year or two.

LambeauPlain's picture

I doubt it...he already is rumored to be the highest paid coordinator in the NFL.

Tarynfor12's picture

Packers cast a wide net for a HC but the net has some lures attached that likely scare the hoped for away then attract them.
Rodgers ego and the his approval of the hire.
The who's in charge and actually report to.
Hiring and retaining and still here.
Voice in draft.
Plan with and after Rodgers as QB.
FO desire in FA and not tier 3 players only.
Length of contract.
Some prospects won't care because they will simply become the HC.
Truly qualified will not accept some of the issues and others will not meet the Rodgers criteria.
I cannot help but feel, the Packer fans better get ready for a HC search every 3 years unless they get the 3rd future QB and turn the Daily Double into a Trifecta.
I also sense Daniels isn't coming to GB....going against the high rumor and expectations of the masses and media pundits....what can I say.

Samson's picture

Although some of what you say is true --- one can make a laundry list of all the pros & cons for any NFL HC opening.

Tarynfor12's picture

Isn't that what any here can do...I just made a laundry list directed toward the FO of why some prospects might/will/should consider and not about each HC prospect and why or why not from my view of each.

Lare's picture

Frankly, I don't think any potential coaching or coordinator candidates have 1/10 the worries that many of the supposed "fans" here think they do. They're concerned with career advancement, salary and job responsibilities.

The bottom line is that the one thing anyone employed in the NFL is looking for is winning. It is the single most important variable in salary & career advancement. And in fact, I'll bet Murphy removed the biggest obstacle to winning for most candidates when he replaced Thompson.

fastmoving's picture

yeah, its a pretty brave thing to go against the best bet if don`t have anything to lose.

and in one of ten cases you may be even right.

………. and let us know for the rest of our lifes. as smart as you are…...

Tarynfor12's picture

Excuse me..were you replying to me? If so, I'm not telling who they will/won't hire. I just put forth some items I believe are more hindrance to getting the big fish as next HC and I feel McDaniels won't put himself in a situation where he needs hall passes to/ from multiple people to talk to someone about the team or have his concerns passed along and possibly becoming like rumors,exaggerated one way or another, as it makes it's way to whomever.

Who gets hire is out of my hands and have no input with the FO, so I express only opinion about things...I can have opinion?

I will have to endure either in disgust or revelry with the hired HC. Who I want is of no consequence and as like draft picks unless the FO cals me directly. I have my opinions and yes, I have been mostly right because I seen the negative clearer they those of blind faith optimism here. I don't deny them their opinion as long as they accept mine equally.

Optimism doesn't erase negativity...knowing the negative should strengthen the optimism...denying either completely leaves nothing to compare success/failure..right/wrong....Pros/Cons

It will be a long off season so let me contribute to keeping things somewhat alive....nothing directed towards the writers.

If your reply was not meant for me ...sorry, but still feel free to retort.
: )

Packerpasty's picture

well dat's good its only your opinion cuz I'm dumb as a stump and my opinion weighs the same as your with Packer management...which is zero...but hey, its fun guessing....

Tarynfor12's picture

Happy for you..accepting yourself as nothing more than a dumb stump...but I'll never dismiss your opinion or the game of guessing you enjoy.

LambeauPlain's picture

I really like the Patriots assistant....

....Flores, not McDaniels.

Flores has an impressive resume and has greatly succeeded at every NFL job he has had since he graduated from college: intern, scout, offensive assistant, ST coach, Safety coach, LB coach, leading the defense.

And he is a disciplinarian, tough but fair, delegates and holds people accountable.

Houndog's picture

LambeauPlain says:
I really like the Patriots assistant......Flores, not McDaniels.

I'm going out on that same limb with you LambeauPlain, after seeing his bio and list of accomplishments I like what I've read about this kid.

I'm all in for some young blood, but it needs to be a good one!
I'd like to more about LaFleur too, why he's bounced around so much......... but can't seem to find much info.

Old School's picture

It’s Philbin.

Free agent's picture

Regis has the same chance as Joe to be the next Packer HC. You must be joking.... Right?

Old School's picture

Interim coaches get the job 40% of the time.

John Kirk's picture


TXCHEESE's picture

McDaniels has too many skeletons. As posted previously, the only unique skills he has over most other candidates, is how to run rub routes, and skirt the rules. He took a young promising Jay Culter and ran him out of town, instead of developing, ala Holmgren/Favre. If he's the new coach, I'm looking for a new team after 50+ years.

Jonathan Spader's picture

How can you seriously attack McDaniels using Cutler as an example? If anything that should be an endorsement for Josh. Look what Cutler did in Chi he was always good for 2 or 3 interceptions when GB played Chi.

Holecrap's picture

I'll be shocked if accepted the job. Word has leaked that he wants the Cleveland job and has been talking to them via back channels un officially.
He thinks highly of QB there and worked with him in the off season.
If he is interviewing with the Packers, my guess is its for show only and he has zero plans to come here.

canadapacker's picture

Is Fangio totally out of the running = does he not want a promotion - he seems like a good candidate to me

John Kirk's picture

He's not on the reported list of guys we're interested in.

Lare's picture

If I'm not mistaken, they can't express interest in, or have any contact with any assistants who's team are playing this weekend. Once a team loses, they can then interview coaches either with permission or if the position is a promotion over their current position.

Bert's picture

I think you are correct Lare. Fangio is hands-off for now.

carlos's picture


pooch's picture

Just been reported pPackers interested in Adam Gase

egbertsouse's picture

I've seen in two sources that McDaniels is chasing the Browns job. He wants a good young QB to work with, the operative word being "young."

Red Foreman's picture

Let ‘s hope so. McDaniels would be a disaster.
1. Bad head coaching record.
2. Known hothead.
3. Caught cheating.
4. Stiffed potential staff and families fron Indy job.

Can’t understand why so many are rooting for him. To quote Pirandello...
People don’t change only the things around them change.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Plenty more interviews to go. There are a lot of qualified candidates to choose from. And more being added as time passes. Just because some are leading candidates doesn't mean they are a lock for the HC job. Or can agree to terms with the Packer organization. Who knows which ones will emerge as the top candidates once the first round of interviews are over? Doesn't matter who it is, but what he can do for the Packers to remain a top contender. I'm going to sit back and enjoy the ride :-)

flackcatcher's picture

At this rate I'm waiting on the report that the Packers interviewed former Head Coach Mike McCarthy.........:)

Since '61's picture

Wait 2-4 seasons and that just might happen if they blow it on this upcoming HC selection. Nearly every sports commentator here in NY want the Jets to hire him ASAP. They all believe that he is the best HC candidate currently available. Thanks, Since '61

Bure9620's picture

I am wondering if they try to interview Kris Richards if the Cowboys lose. He's a leader, no nonsense guy, he coached the legion if boom and has this Cowboys defense punching above their weight class. I would like him as HC, retain Pettine and get Zac Taylor or a college spread guy as OC like Kliff Kingsbury as playercaller.

Not all in on McDaniels. It would be a transition for Rodgers as all he has ever run is West coast. The Patriots run an Erhardt-Perkins offense which is quite different.

John Kirk's picture

I live in Dallas. He's a hard guy to draw away. I heard or read something today that the Cowboys make it very difficult to leave if they think a lot of you.

He's unlikely to leave because Jerry will make him an offer he can't refuse.

Since '61's picture

Adam Gase is now on the Packers candidate list. My concern with him is that he didn't get along with anyone in Miami and he threw his QB under the bus. Plus the Dolphins were terrible while he was their HC.

Maybe the Packers are just covering all their bases.

glad to hear that Fitzgerald is out of the running. No college coaches need apply. Thanks, Since '61

Bure9620's picture

It sounds like Gase's players were essentially celebrating his firing in Miami, he commanded no respect. He may have more red flags than McDaniels..........

Since '61's picture

Agreed. Thanks, Since ‘61

AgrippaLII's picture

The Packers need to find a guy who has the same offense mind set that AR plays to win...don't call plays to not lose...and don't let up until the final whistle!

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