Schottenheimer fills Slowik's shoes

The promotion of Bob Slowik left an opening on the Packers' staff for a defensive backs coach – but only momentarily. At the same press conference in which he named Slowik the new defensive coordinator, Mike Sherman filled Slowik's old job, selecting Kurt Schottenheimer as the team's new DBs coach.<p>

Schottenheimer, 54, comes to Green Bay from Detroit, bringing 18 years of NFL experience. His coaching resume also includes stints with Washington in 2001 (defensive coordinator), Kansas City from 1989-2000 (special teams/defensive backs and defensive coordinator) and Cleveland from 1987-88 (special teams).

"Kurt Schottenheimer has been in this league for a number of years and has been an excellent coach," Sherman said. "I have a lot of confidence in him. I think he's a good fit for our staff and our football team. He has a passion for football that excites me that when I talked to him down at the Senior Bowl was very evident."

Schottenheimer first met with Sherman at Senior Bowl last weekend and visited Green Bay Tuesday night. After another meeting early Wednesday, he was given the job. The Packers were one of several teams to contact Schottenheimer since he was released by Detroit.

The Packers got a glimpse of Schottenheimer's scheme this year, when his Lions' unit limited the Packers to their lowest output of the season. Green Bay gained just 52 yards in a 22-14 loss at Detroit on Thanksgiving.

"I look forward to seeing if I can make a difference, to put something in with the secondary that's going allow these players to become exceptionally good players," Schottenheimer said at the press conference. "I'm looking forward to that part of it, I really am. The coordinator thing, hey, it's fun, it's exciting, but I'm looking forward to coaching the secondary."

Schottenheimer pointed to the influence of his brother, Chargers' coach Marty Schottenheimer, on his approach to defense and on his career in general.

"The number one thing ... you're looking for a person in a leadership role, the head coaching position that gives you and provides you with an opportunity to be successful. That's what Marty Schottenheimer does," Schottenheimer said of his brother. "Marty Schottenheimer is a winning football coach in this league and has done it for many, many years. When you walk in that locker room, when you walk in the office every day, you know you've got a chance to win."

Kurt Schottenheimer's best season came as part of his older brother's Kansas City staff in 1999. The Chiefs topped the league in the all-important turnover ration with plus-21. KC also led the league in defensive touchdowns (9), and were second in takeaways (45), fumble recoveries (20) and points off turnovers (125).

Schottenheimer also held the same post in KC that he now assumes in GB. As DB coach there from 1995-98, the Chiefs allowed an NFL-best 16.4 points per game.

Slowik and Schottenheimer each are eager to get started with the new staff.

"I'm just like Bob (Slowik)," Schottenheimer said. "I want to challenge people. I want to jam and disrupt wide receivers. I want people to be aggressive and physical in the secondary. I look forward to working with this group of players."

"I like a challenge. I like to get players to play to the best of their ability. That excites me."

Slowik was happy to hand the reins over to his successor:

"The experience with those guys in that particular position is invaluable," Slowik said. "They can look at things globally, the whole picture where sometimes, if you've been only a position coach, you can get tunnel vision. To have those guys that can see the whole picture, give some input into our game-planning from a coordinator's standpoint is a great asset."


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