Did the Green Bay Packers wide receivers slump in 2015 because of injuries to Jordy Nelson, among others? Or did the production wane in part because coach Mike McCarthy had Alex Van Pelt coaching the quarterbacks and receivers?
McCarthy answered that question on Wednesday. A year after making the unorthodox decision to have one man being the lead voice for two position groups, McCarthy promoted Luke Getsy to receivers coach and left Van Pelt in charge of just the quarterbacks.
In finalizing his coaching staff for the 2016 season, McCarthy also hired Brian Angelichio as tight ends coach, Ben Sirmans as running backs coach, David Raih as assistant offensive line coach and Ejiro Evero as defensive quality control coach.
McCarthy was not quoted in the team press release announcing the moves. He will talk to reporters at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next Thursday.
Remaining on the staff with the same title but different duties is Tom Clements. Last offseason, McCarthy handed the play-calling duties to Clements and promoted him to associate head coach/offense. However, in December, McCarthy took back the play-calling chores. After the playoff loss at Arizona, McCarthy said he would “be calling the plays from here on in.”
“I said it here clearly the day that the change was made – it really wasn’t about Tom,” McCarthy said. “It wasn’t about Tom calling plays. Tom is a valued assistant coach and has been my whole time here.”
Getsy joined the Packers in 2014, serving as offensive quality control coach the past two seasons. Getsy, who coached wide receivers at Western Michigan in 2013, worked closely alongside Van Pelt in the quarterbacks/receivers room last year.
Getsy will benefit from the healthy returns of Nelson and Ty Montgomery; it will be up to Getsy to coax the best out of third-year receivers Davante Adams, Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis. Adams had a disappointing second season and Janis couldn’t get on the field, despite the problems in the passing game, until a breakout performance in the playoff loss.
Van Pelt, a former NFL quarterback, will be entering his third season in charge of Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the quarterbacks. With Scott Tolzien headed to free agency, Van Pelt might have to get second-year player Brett Hundley ready to be the backup.
Sirmans replaces Sam Gash, who was fired after the season. Sirmans spent the past four seasons as the Rams’ running backs coach. Last year, first-round pick Todd Gurley won Rookie of the Year honors with 1,106 rushing yards in 13 games. With Green Bay, Sirmans will be in charge of getting Eddie Lacy back on the right path. Lacy slumped to 758 rushing yards and three touchdowns last season; in his first two seasons, Lacy averaged 1,159 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“Eddie Lacy, he’s got a lot of work to do,” McCarthy said after the season. “I think I’m stating the obvious. His offseason last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it. I had a chance to talk to Eddie today and that was pretty much the majority of our whole conversation. So, he has to get it done because he cannot play at the weight that he played at this year.”
Angelichio replaces Jerry Fontenot, who was fired after the season. Angelichio spent the past two seasons as the Browns’ tight ends coach. Under his tutelage, Gary Barnidge led the team with career highs in receptions (79), receiving yards (1,043) and receiving touchdowns (nine) last season. Barnidge had 44 receptions in his previous six seasons. In Green Bay, Angelichio’s No. 1 tight end is Richard Rodgers, a third-round pick in 2014 who had 58 receptions for 510 yards and eight touchdowns last season — including the 61-yard, game-winning Hail Mary at Detroit on Dec. 3. But Rodgers averaged only 8.8 yards per reception and hadn’t developed as a blocker.
Raih replaces Mike Solari, who was hired as the Giants’ offensive line coach earlier this week. Raih, a former quarterback at Iowa, has been with the Packers since 2014, spending those two seasons as a coaching administrator.
Evero spent the past five seasons with the 49ers, the last two as a defensive assistant. John Rushing held that title last year.
Tom Clements – Associate head coach/offense
Edgar Bennett – Offensive coordinator
Brian Angelichio – Tight ends
James Campen – Offensive line
Luke Getsy – Wide receivers
David Raih – Assistant offensive line
Ben Sirmans – Running backs
Alex Van Pelt – Quarterbacks
Winston Moss – Associate head coach/linebackers
Dom Capers – Defensive coordinator
Ejiro Evero – Defensive quality control
Scott McCurley – Assistant linebackers
Jerry Montgomery – Defensive front assistant
Darren Perry – Secondary – Safeties
Mike Trgovac – Defensive line
Joe Whitt Jr. – Secondary – Cornerbacks
Ron Zook – Special Teams coordinator
Jason Simmons – Assistant special teams
Strength and conditioning
Mark Lovat – Strength and conditioning coordinator
Chris Gizzi – Strength and conditioning assistant
Thadeus Jackson – Strength and conditioning assistant
Grant Thorne – Strength and conditioning assistant
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.