Mid-season analysis: Coaching

Sherman not always attacking opponents' weaknesses

As the saying goes, players make plays. Coaches put the players in place. So, has Mike Sherman and his coaching staff put players in place this season to succeed and win games? Judging by Green Bay's disappointing 1-7 record, the answer would be no. Of course, Sherman has had to deal with numerous injuries to two key positions on offense, which has, no doubt, played a part in his play-calling.

Still, Sherman has out-smarted himself at times this season, which may have cost the Packers a chance to win a few games. Against the Steelers last Sunday, the Packers chose to run the ball more often than pass against one of the league's top run defenses. The week before against Cincinnati, the Packers threw the ball often against one of the league's top pass defenses, instead of taking advantage of the Bengals' inferior run defense. Had the play-calling been more suiting to address the opponents weakness, the Packers could have had a better chance of winning.

Defensively, Jim Bates has done an excellent job of turning around the defense. Bates' scheme has put players in place to succeed and it is a reason why the Packers rank ninth overall in the league through the halfway point.

If special teams is unable to spark the Packers with some big plays during the second half of this season, coordinator John Bonamego will be looking for a new job next season if Sherman is retained.

Let's face it, Sherman and his staff is on probation in the next eight games. If the Packers go 1-7 in the second half of the season, Sherman probably will be replaced as head coach. If the Packers play hard, like they have in the first half of the season, and win more games in the second half of the season, Sherman probably will remain in Green Bay as head coach.

First, however, he'll have to tweak the play-calling to take advantage of the opponents' weak links.

Grade: C-

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

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