Bonamego 'Thrilled' To Be In Green Bay


John Bonamego grew up an Army brat, which means he grew up all over the place.

He estimates that he's relocated once every three years on average, from Waynesboro, Pa., where he was born, to Paw Paw, Mich., where he went to high school, to a handful of places in between and since.

And after four seasons within the Jacksonville Jaguars' organization, he's on the move again. But this time it's a little like coming home.

Monday, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman named Bonamego the Packers' special teams coordinator, and in doing so brought the 39-year-old to a place right out of his childhood.

"I'm just thrilled to be here," Bonamego said Monday evening from his still-empty office at 1265 Lombardi Ave. "It may sound corny, and I'll say it anyway, but as a kid this was my favorite team.

"I've always been a Packers fan."

Bonamego, 39, replaces Frank Novak, who announced his retirement from the position January 10, and who remains on staff as a consultant.

The 15th special teams coach in the organization's history, it will be some time before Bonamego knows his player personnel well enough to start building his schemes, but he did outline a few of his goals.

Among them is to have the Packers' return units generate better field position for the offense than in 2002.

Classifying himself as an "aggressive" coach, he also wants to put pressure on opposing punters and kickers.

Yet Bonamego remains conscious of the need to prevent big plays from the opposition.

"The No. 1 thing is, you don't want to get yourself beat," he said. "Your coverage units, your protection units, those have to be solid and dependable before you can go thinking about attacking the other guy."

To ease his transition, Bonamego said he would rely heavily on the council of Novak, who he called a "friend."

In the meantime, he's taking the chance to adjust to his new surroundings.

"I couldn't have scripted this any better," he said. "I'm thrilled, I'm excited and I just can't wait to get to work."

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