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Packers Finish Last in Annual NFL Special-Teams Rankings

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Packers Finish Last in Annual NFL Special-Teams Rankings

The Green Bay Packers finished in last place in the 2014 annual special teams rankings compiled by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, released on Friday.

Ranking each team in 22 different categories and then tabulating the results, Gosselin's system is among the best to judge the performance of special teams units in the NFL.

The Packers finished last in the NFL in two categories: blocks allowed (seven) and punts downed inside the 20 (14). It's safe to say they finished among the lowest in several other categories as well.

Gosselin's recently-released rankings don't bode well for special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum, whose job is in jeopardy after a poor performance from his units.

Slocum completed his sixth season holding the same job, which might look a parabolic curve charting his success.

The Packers won a Super Bowl in 2010 in spite of exceedingly poor play from their special teams and then climbed back to respectability from 2011 to 2013 before plummeting again in 2014.

An unfortunate performance in the NFC Championship game might be the straw that broke the camel's back, an outing in which they failed to recover and onside kick attempt and allowed a fake field goal for a touchdown.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

HankScorpio's picture

I have been sort of neutral on Slocum over the years. I get why people want him gone. There have been plenty of good reasons. I've just also understood why McCarthy kept him, too. Consistency is a good thing. But there is a fine line between consistency and complacency. It's time for Slocum to move on. Voluntarily or otherwise.

7 blocked kicks pushed me over the edge earlier this season. The inexcusable TD pass to a fricken OT put a exclamation point on it. And that's giving him the benefit of the doubt on Bostick abandoning his job to try to be the hero.

balding_pastor's picture

Agree with Hank here. In some years they didn't have much depth due to a tidal wave of injuries, which necessarily impacted special teams performance. But there were no such concerns this year--no excuses, they stunk. Last in punts downed is perhaps a bit deceptive since the team didn't really punt very often.

badaxed's picture

Hawk Does not even belong on special teams. one of the slowest players is your safety valve. get real. slocum must go

Vrog's picture

ST have been useless for years

lou's picture

If Mike McCarthy (a.k.a. the new Bud Grant – lets play not lose boys) does the due diligence he says he will, the evaluation of Slocum will reveal;
1. Dead last rated unit in the NFL.
2. All time record for blocked kicks in a season (7).
3. At his age Harlan Huckleby could return kickoffs for a better average than DuJaun Harris – but the decision was never in question.
4. Having Bostick who the coaches "can’t trust" on offense as a key member of all special team units.
5. Failure to "boot in the ass" their punter who just went through the motions for 18 games.
6. Keeping a long snapper who hasn’t made a special teams tackle in 4 years.
7. Failure to convince McCarthy to put the most athletic/talented players on his units (Janis)
8. The fake field goal TD in the conference championship game.
9. Putting Bostick on the field PERIOD in the conference championship game.

zoellner25's picture

While injuries and lots of young players are typically part of the problem (alot of these guys probably didn't play much ST in college because they were the best athletes), all signs to point to Slocum in my eyes.

Our kick return game has been terrible for years. The blocked kicks, even 2 on the year, are atrocious. And players keep making mistakes, which is poor coaching and not making adjustments and corrections. Hit the bricks.

KenEllis's picture

Aren't Coach McCarthy and Slocum good friends?

Going to be awfully tough for McCarthy to fire one of his buddies.

Problem is, I can't for the life of me think why the special teams were so bad this year. Very few injuries, good punt returner, Crosby was fine, etc.

There just seems to be no sizzle with this group.

Hard to be any worse than 32nd in a 32 team league.

TommyG's picture

Considering the source, I'm surprised we didn't somehow rank below some college teams. Screw anything Dallas related.

Point Packer's picture

As I've mentioned prior on this blog, I was screaming "watch the fake" repeatedly prior to the Ryan fake FG. I am a loyal and educated fan, but nothing more. Slocum gets paid good money to coach GBs special teams. It truly was not that difficult of a play to predict, given the circumstances, that was a Pete Carroll kind of play. Why did I know that and not Shawn Slocum? Because The dude doesn't deserve to coach in the NFL. Fire Slocum now.

stockholder's picture

The players on special teams look more like pets then discipline performers. It's time to get players that don't screw up and can push the starters! Enough of the brain farts. Play to win!

4thand1's picture

The fake FG will be Slocums demise. I'll give him a pass on punts inside the 20, the Packers didn't punt that much. Not being able to coach people to block on kicks is ridiculous. The return game sucked.

badaxed's picture

In the preseason MM is always reiterating that he keeps certain players over others for their "special teams" ability. If slocum cannot coach these players either he is a bad coach or MM is a poor judge of talent and no one could coach them.

egbertsouse's picture

Didn't they bring in Ron Zook this year as a ST consultant? And the result is the worst ST in the league. Both Slocum and Zook need to go or 'accountability" is just another BS buzzword

66EP's picture

egbertsouse, you are correct on Zook. They had another assistant last year but brought in Zook. Zook was the DC at the Saints when McCarthy was the OC for the Saints. Zook also is good friends with Darren Perry the Packers Safeties coach when Zook was the ST coach for the Steelers. As you can see, the McCarthy / Steelers connection is at work at Green Bay. Remember it's not what you know, its who you know.
BTW, Zook was a HC at Univ of Illinois for 10 years and before that HC at Univ of Florida for four(1 contract).

Amanofthenorth's picture

Not all slocum. Packer D never should have even left the field for the field goal. Give em three points.

GRB1531's picture

Slocum should be gone. We have never been in the top half of the league under him. Punts blocked, field goals blocked, and if the return team get a decent runback,,how many times is there a holding or block in the back called? If Zook takes over what was his input during the year? Am I the only one that thinks it is time to find a fullback to lead block and be able to be a threat down the field?. Take a look at the second goal situation ,second and third downs and tell me that was what we need from a fullback.

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