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He's back where he belongs

The Packers are putting everything on the table this offseason


Brian from Chesapeake, VA

Before anyone comments on Philbin or Pettine, they need to watch the entire news conference. Very impressive men, excellent communicators and very balanced in their demeanor. Excellent hires. How many other teams have recent head coaches as both OC and DC? I like the thinking and perspective this brings. Philbin and Pettine nailed it.


I felt Philbin and Pettine won the news conference. That was to be expected with Philbin, who many in the Green Bay media continue to hold in high regard from his first stint with the Packers. However, Pettine was relatively unknown to most in the auditorium prior to Wednesday. I thought he did a great job of conveying his vision for the defense, reflecting on his path to Green Bay and what he hopes to accomplish with the Packers. I thought his quip about coaching everywhere around the Great Lakes other than Canada was a nice touch, too. **

Gary from Wrightwood, CA

"I've heard my resting gaze is not pleasant to look at..." What a great line, I like him already.

Exhibit B.

Matt from East Lansing, MI

I just read an article regarding Philbin's return to Green Bay and the emotional experience attached to his return. It was horrible to discover what happened to his son, and it really shows what coaches and their families go through when considering the fluidity of maintaining a job in this league. His daughter will have attended several different high schools. Hopefully more fans can consider that coaches are humans that cope with the same issues we do before calling for their heads because winning expectations are not always met.


Joe Philbin is as real as they get. He's a good coach, but also a beloved member of that locker room. The team felt what he felt in January 2012. Nobody would have blamed him if he never wanted to come back to Wisconsin, but it's obvious how much this area still means to him and his family. He's back where he belongs.**

Derrick from Rockaway, NJ

I think the overall theme of the pressers was "adaptability." Both our OC and DC appear ready for whatever adjustments they need to make with the roster they're provided to win games. Looking forward to see if they can translate the words to production. Now the waiting game.

The Packers are putting everything on the table this offseason. As Pettine readies to install a new defense, the Packers also are going back and rewriting their offensive playbook. This is their chance to go back and determine what makes sense for 2018 and what things need to be done differently. Pettine is adaptable and has proven time and time again he can tailor his scheme to his personnel.

Geoff from Omaha, NE

I am just curious why Pettine was available. Was he out of football for personal reasons or was he just unable to find a job he was interested in?

Pettine**opted to take some time off**after serving as the Browns' head coach for two seasons. After recharging for one year, Pettine worked as a consultant for the Seahawks before getting the itch to coach again. I think it's understandable. From high school to the NFL, Pettine never had taken a break from coaching his entire adult life.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Congratulations and welcome to all the new coaches and assistants, and welcome back and thank you to all that are back from last year. On defense it appears Ryan Downard is the only assistant with experience in Mike Pettine's system. Will that potentially be a problem, or do you think everyone will be up to speed by August?


Take a look at coaches new to the Packers, as well as those with new roles. Photos by AP and Evan Siegle, packers.com.

I don't think it'll be a problem. It's not like the Packers are stitching together an entirely new defensive coaching staff. They have a good blend of returning coaches with experience and new additions who'll bring fresh perspective.**

Brian from Lorimor, IA

Let the dynasty begin! With the coaching staff in place, roster evaluation is next. Hopefully Gutekunst will get what McCarthy and Pettine want to build this team. Pettine can boast a No. 1 defense on his resume and Philbin/McCarthy had a top-10 offense. Are you excited?


Of course. Just remember that optimism once the honeymoon phase ends. **

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

What are duties/difference of the run and passing coordinators with the offensive and defensive coordinators? How do they interact?

Some roles have to be determined, some already have been in place and some have been blueprinted. For example, James Campen already has been coordinating the run game, so that's not a drastic change. The move to have a defensive pass game coordinator was done to help improve communication on the back end. In general, these changes are about helping set a vision that'll be taken into each individual position room for implementation.

Ari from Chicago, IL

I know Mike Pettine was working as a consultant with the Seahawks, but it seems like all of his other NFL experience is in the AFC. Do you think he has some extra film study to do of the NFC, especially the NFC North, to catch up?

That's why he felt this past year has been so beneficial. Consulting not only gave him the chance to stay current on players, but also afforded him the opportunity to zero in on teams that previously were all uncommon opponents.

Mike from Charlotte, NC

I was looking at the coaching changes and I can see the theme of cross functionality and a broader level of exposure. For example, Joe Whitt will have full coaching duties of the passing phase of the defense. That suggests a lot of work with not only DBs, but also other functional groups of the defense instead of just the secondary. I don't obviously know for sure, but it fits with the "bringing down the silos." No question. Just liking the way the Packers are handling this. It looks like real organizational change rather than just plugging in a new person.


Precisely. These changes were meant to increase dialogue between all levels of football. You're seeing it already with Pettine and Whitt comparing notes, Mark Murphy and Mike McCarthy talking more than ever before, and the offensive coaches rewriting their playbook. A little communication never hurt anyone. **

Craig from Hudson, WI

The Vikings' defense is only going to get better. What do the Packers have to do with an aging Aaron Rodgers to reclaim the NFC North?

That's your assessment today, but you never know what tomorrow holds. Minnesota has a lot of talented players on its defense, but also many guys who are going to be up for pricey extensions in a year or two. The Packers need to get their roster healthy, build depth through the draft, and maybe add in a free agent or two. They aren't far away.

Mark from Colts Neck, NJ

Hey guys, love the way you answer these questions, so here it goes. I like Mike Daniels' and Josh Jones' toughness. Whom do you see on the roster that is No. 3 for a tough guy award?

Easily Nick Perry. I know his durability has been an issue for fans, but please don't confuse that with a lack of toughness. The guy has played through so much over the years without complaint.

Ollie from Luton, UK

What are the differences between a UFA and an RFA? Also, I hope the Packers address the corner position should the likes of Malcolm Butler or Trumaine Johnson become available in free agency.

Unrestricted free agents have four or more accrued seasons and an expired contract. A restricted free agent has three accrued seasons and an expired contract. Since 2011, RFAs are almost always players who went undrafted. Their current team can issue those individuals a right-of-first-refusal tender, which allows them to match any contract offer from another team.

Curt from York, PA

Insiders, I've heard enough of the comments about the Eagles and how smart they are to have a good experienced QB like Foles on the roster. That is only possible because Wentz is on a rookie contract. Once that expires and they need to pay him the huge bucks, they will either have a third-rate backup QB like most of the other good teams or be sadly lacking in talent somewhere else. When your team gets really good, you can't pay everybody enough to stay.

The man has a point. The price of experienced backup quarterbacks keeps going up.

Bob from Abilene, TX

Here's what the NFL should do with DPI: Three thresholds – spot foul (if less than 15 yards), 15 yards from the previous spot (if longer than 15 yards), or the 1-yard line (if foul occurs in the end zone inside the 15). Almost identical to NCAA. Your thoughts?

I could live with this.

Joshua from Mankato, MN

There is a very simple fix to the huge pass interference penalties, albeit one the pass-crazy NFL will never implement. Eliminate pass interference. Let them play. You want the ball? Fight for it. Earn it. One less rule to worry about.

I couldn't live with this. What's stopping cornerbacks and safeties from just holding skill-position players at the line of scrimmage on every play?

Logan from Britton, SD

A tight end that I believe would be a good fit for the Packers would be SDSU tight end Dallas Goedert. He is projected late first, early second so would it be a good idea to trade up and get Aaron a possible dominant TE? Your thoughts?

We'll have to see what Brian Gutekunst's philosophy with tight ends is. I always tried to calm fan expectations of the Packers taking a tight end early because it just didn't seem Ted Thompson was in that business. The earliest he drafted one was Jermichael Finely (No. 91) in 2008.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

To piggy back off Burt from Oconto Falls, I actually liked that the Jaguars were sticking with their run game, even when it stopped producing late. I didn't look at it as playing not to lose, I saw it as sticking with a game plan and not becoming one-dimensional. If I remember right, though, it didn't seem like Bortles was able to run himself as much as the other two games.

I took issue with a few things the Jaguars did in the second half, but pounding the ball with Leonard Fournette wasn't one of them. You gotta dance with the one that brung ya. That was a winning formula all season for Jacksonville.

Andy from Eugene, OR

I saw that the Packers coaching staff was set, but noticed it didn't include Darren Perry. Was he fired, or did he take a position with another team? I was a little surprised not to see his name listed.

McCarthy said Perry's situation likely will be cleared up by the end of the week. He added Perry was in analytics meetings this week, so it appears there's a good chance he'll remain on staff.

Robert from Omaha, NE

I read the article about the new coaching staff but didn't see Edgar Bennett listed. Is he being retained or has he been let go?

Bennett joined Jon Gruden's staff earlier this month. He'll coach the Raiders' receivers next season.

Lonny from Aberdeen, SD

Were the conditions of the Lerentee McCray trade met? Will Green Bay receive Buffalo's seventh-round draft pick?

It's my understanding they were. McCray was on the Bills' roster the entire 2016 season, recording 16 tackles in 13 games. The Packers should have a seventh-round pick coming their way.

Steve from Benson, AZ

With the Pack playing half of their games at home and suffering numerous injuries year after year, is the home turf to blame? Are there other stadiums with that type of turf and are they suffering significant injuries? Seems the surface is always slippery.

I don't see a correlation, but it's a pointless discussion since the playing surface is**getting replaced this offseason**. It's my hunch playing on artificial turf leaves players more susceptible to injury, but I don't have any facts to back that up.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Both teams in the Super Bowl have a Badger running back. Are there any takeaways from that?

My biggest takeaway is each team has like 11 running backs on their rosters.

Gary from Wilkes Barre, PA

Wednesday, Rich from De Pere showed how the intelligent use of free agency and trades have helped the Eagles. Amongst the players Rich mentioned was LaGarrette Blount and you were fine with Blount and the others listed. However, early in the season I wrote stating the Pack whiffed when Blount was out there as a FA and they chose to pass on him. Of course, you trotted out all the draft-and-develop talking points and tried to educate me on how not all free agents can be perused. Seems to have worked pretty well for Philly. Could you possibly be willing to admit that maybe longtime fans do know a little something?

So we're still dying on this hill. The Packers were just fine with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. In fact, a real curmudgeon would sarcastically point out the Blount signing worked out so well for the Eagles they then traded a fourth-round pick for another running back. I'm not that guy, though. If you want to have a debate about the value of signing veteran free agents, we can do that. But please let this Blount argument go. Green Bay didn't need him.

Duke from Edinburg, TX

Since the Packers' offseason began earlier this year I'm anxiously waiting to attend my second training camp with my family, friends, and of course, you Insiders. What's your favorite memory of the 2017 training camp? Mine is Davante Adams leap-frogging Alonzo Highsmith on the sideline. INCREDIBLE!

Without question. It's one of the most impressive things I've seen during my time on the beat. Zo is a large man and Adams leapt over him like he was a child.

Pmac from Shreveport, LA

With respect to Jesus from El Paso, do you ever feel like a ninja with the way you can deflect questions?

I see myself more like Neo than a ninja.

Eric from Keene, NH

When can we expect the announcement that Spofford has been named the new Inbox Coordinator?


Derek from Eau Claire, WI

What is your favorite aspect of Pro Bowl week?


Take a look at photos of Packers WR Davante Adams and DT Mike Daniels at the 2018 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, which airs Thursday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN. Photos by AP, Logan Bowles and Ben Liebenberg, NFL.

Mike Daniels playing dodgeball. **

Mark from Austin, TX

Glad to see you finally address the Patriots' key to sustained success: rubs and picks (combined with the occasional long ball/pass interference). You said every team has it in their playbook. My question is why don't more teams do it to the extent of the Patriots? It obviously works.

Absolutely, especially when you get penalized once for 10 yards the entire game.

Mark from Appleton, WI

What separates the success of Belichick/Brady and McCarthy/Rodgers? Why do the Patriots always seem to find a way to win? Even when Brady was hurt they went 11-5.

I'm over talking about the 2008 Patriots, who didn't make the playoffs that year by the way. And don't tell me that makes a difference because I have a hard time believing Packers fans would've been satisfied with an 11-5 record with no postseason appearance. I'm Billy Crystal in "Throw Momma from the Train." Class dismissed. I have an enormous headache in my eye.

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