In truth, I take no pleasure in calling for someone to be fired. I understand that is that person’s livelihood. But at the same, the NFL is a business and a cutthroat one at that. Coaches and players are getting paid hefty salaries to produce results and when they don’t there are consequences. When it comes to the Green Bay Packers, it’s time for special teams coach Shawn Slocum to face the consequences of having one of the poorest special teams units in football. Again.
According to rankings put together by the Dallas Morning News, the Packers ranked dead last in special teams last season. Yes, there were a few bright spots like the solid kicking of Mason Crosby or the punt-return touchdown Micah Hyde had against the Eagles, but unfortunately, the bad moments far outweigh the good.
The Packers had seven, yes seven kicks blocked this year! Seriously, how in the hell does that happen in today’s NFL. But even with that, Slocum probably would have been fine if it wasn’t for the complete and utter meltdown his unit had in the second half of the NFC championship game against Seattle last Sunday.
Not only did the Packers allow Seattle to score a touchdown on a fake field goal when leading 16-0, Green Bay also failed to recover an onside kick, when that’s all that was needed to punch its ticket back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2010.
Slocum is not solely responsible for those failures. But then again, no coach in the NFL is fully responsible for the failures of those he is coaching. Is it Slocum’s fault Brandon Bostick tried to field the onside kick instead of blocking for Jordy Nelson? Probably not. Yet, in the NFL the buck stops with the coach. His units have a history of underperforming in the special teams rankings and in fact this is the second time in his tenure they have finished last. That’s unacceptable.
It’s been clear that the Packers special teams did not play at a championship level this season and it cost them dearly on one of the NFL’s biggest stages. Thus, it’s time for a change. After all, if we ignore the past, then we are doomed to repeat it.