Success breeds imitation. In the same way that many believe Matt LaFleur was hired because of his success with Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, the league will soon start poaching Packers coaches to imitate the success the Packers have had over the past three years. Here’s who could be leaving.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that Hackett will leave. There are eight current openings, and at least three will be interviewing him for a head coaching position. That’s not surprising after his offense was top ten the past three years (really top 2 the past two years), the best ever in the red zone last year, and all this after he was able to get a Blake Bortles-led offense to a championship game in Jacksonville.
Hackett has the classic west coast offense bonafides from his dad who was a west coast pioneer, he learned the spread RPO game when he ran Syracuse’s offense, and now he knows the Shanahan-tree wide zone boot offense as well. He is adaptable enough to work with a second year QB like Justin Fields who is used to a spread system or to partner with a seasoned veteran like Russel Wilson or Desaun Watson.
At this point, the real question isn’t will Hackett get a job, it’s who is he going to take with him?
The most obvious answer is Getsy, who Hackett praised on his conference call this week. Getsy worked closely with Hackett over the past three seasons while coaching QBs. Prior to that, he was offensive coordinator for RPO guru Joe Moorehead for a year and coached wide receivers for the Packers for a few years. Davante Adams actually credits Getsy for a lot of his development recently.
If Hackett leaves, Getsy is probably Matt LaFleur’s first choice to be the new OC. If Hackett lets him call plays, LaFleur steals his brother from the Jets, or the new team simply offers Getsy more money, Getsy could be on the way out.
There’s also the (slim) chance that Getsy is hired by the Broncos to be their head coach. They are interviewing him in a move widely thought to be more about Aaron Rodgers, who Getsy coaches, than a true job opportunity. By all reports, Getsy is an incredibly capable coach, and even if the interview doesn’t present a real opportunity, he could do well enough to convince the Broncos to want him as OC. That was reportedly how Matt LaFleur ended up in Tennessee – Titans management chose Mike Vrabel as head coach but liked LaFleur so much they encouraged Vrabel to bring him on as OC.
If Getsy and Hackett do leave, I’d guess Stenavich is next in line to be the Packer’s OC. He has done a remarkable job coaching the offensive line over the past three seasons and reportedly has done his share of drawing up plays and making smart game planning decisions as well.
Additionally, LaFleur has praised assistant O-Line coach Luke Butkus several times this season, and implied that he is ready to take on the full job.
It’s likely that Stenavich’s success has been noted around the league over the past few years, and if he isn’t promoted internally soon, he will be elsewhere. Considering his experience coaching college football, that promotion could come at a big name school too.
Gray was considered for the team’s defensive coordinator job last year and if you spend much time on Packers Twitter, you’ll find a lot of people who believe he should’ve gotten the job.
This sentiment was increased earlier this season when the Packers shut down a rising Cardinals offense during a Thursday night game when Joe Barry was out with COVID. The next day long-time NFL exec Scott Pioli mentioned Gray as a minority coach who had been passed over for coordinator jobs too many times.
Gray now has ample experience in all kinds of NFL systems; he’s worked for Mike Zimmer, Mike Pettine, Joe Barry (in a Vic Fangio scheme), Gregg Williams, and has coordinated his own defenses twice. He’s widely thought to be one of the best secondary coaches in the league and with his schematic flexibility could be a potential DC candidate for any of the openings.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.