We have not even seen the team’s first practice and are a few weeks away from the 2018 NFL draft, to really see how this years roster will be fully constructed and what the coaches have to work with. It’s already been a busy offseason in Green Bay, as not only is General Manager Brian Gutekunst turning over the roster, but Mike McCarthy has rebuilt the coaching staff. Looking at McCarthy’s important hires of bringing back Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator and hiring Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator, which one will make a immediate impact?
Granted things will still change before the season gets here as we don’t know the players yet who will be filling some of the holes on the defensive side of the football. For the past couple of seasons we have all been talking about the Packers defensive and how bad it has been. Looking back, the offense has been stale and not as productive as it previously has been. Whether that is lack of talent or coaching, time will tell.
I definitely think that having Joe Philbin return as offensive coordinator again would make an impact on the Packers offense from the start. There are numerous ways that his impact will be felt from the first practice. McCarthy has mentioned various times this offseason that the coaching staff is taking the offensive all the way back to page one of the playbook. Looking at the playbook after being away, will allow Philbin to have a fresh perspective to the play concepts. He can take the concepts and create variations to them that McCarthy has not been trying. It also provides Philbin with the opportunity to design new concepts that can be implemented in the upcoming OTAs to see how how Rodgers feels about them and it they will work with the players they have.
During the season, Philbin is going to provide a voice for the offense and McCarthy that it has not had. Allowing McCarthy to concentrate on other aspects of the team, even though we all know that he will still call the plays. Philbin worked extremely well with Rodgers in his previous stint with the Packers and really helped him develop as a player. This should not only bode well for Rodgers, but also for the backup quarterbacks where the Packers lacked last year with Brett Hundley.
In Philbin’s previous stint with the Packers, the team did not have much of a run game if anything. This time he is inheriting a running back group that has 3 talented backs. An effective running game could make the Packers offense lethal and even more dynamic that it was before.
Think more play action passes. With a run game that is eating up chunks of yardage, the play action pass would open up the passing game even more and get cornerbacks to freeze for a split second. Rodgers would thrive even more and it would give opposing defensive coordinators even more to think about when game planning against the Packers.
Don’t get me wrong, Mike Pettine is going to be a breathe of fresh air on the defensive side of the football. He is going to bring updated schemes, discipline, and hopefully a more aggressive defensive. But for the defense to be really successful, this all relies on the type of players that Brian Gutekunst is going to provide him with. They need more play makers to elevate it to a top 10 defense.
The defenses best friend is and always will be Aaron Rodgers and an offense that can put up points, more the chains and win the time of possession. We should see Joe Philbin reinvigorate a stale offense by providing more creativity into the play designs and making it more dynamic.
With Rodgers at the helm, the offense has always been able to put up a lot of points. By scrubbing the playbook all the way back to page 1, the new coaching staff has a challenge ahead of itself to not only keep the offense productive but to also find ways to improve it’s efficiency. We should see an reinvigorated Aaron Rodgers who is always up ready for challenge.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag