Now is not the time to fire any assistants's Matt Tevsh explains why it is important for Mike McCarthy to stick with the assistant coaches he has in order for the team to continue to progress.

With former offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski on his way to Boston College to coach the Eagles, do not expect to see any other coaches on the Packers' staff to be replaced any time soon. After Mike McCarthy's first season as head coach in Green Bay, there is no need for any such changes.

In his season-ending press conference on Wednesday, McCarthy addressed how he will select a new offensive coordinator, but gave no indication that any assistant's job is in jeopardy.

"I don't anticipate any changes," he said. "Once again, it's no different evaluating players, no different than evaluating practice schedules. We will look at everything. There will be a lot of conversation the next four days about everything we've done as a coaching staff and all we do which is in the best interest of the Green Bay Packers."

Two coaches who came under some fire from fans and media this past season were defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer. Sanders, in his first season as a coordinator encountered substitution problems, communication issues, and an inability to stick to a primary pass coverage on game days before tying things together in the final month of the season. A slow start to the season by the Packers' secondary reflected poorly on Schottenheimer.

Because the Packers' defense played well over the final four games of the season is not the sole reason Sanders and Schottenheimer should keep their jobs. It made them look better, but the situation runs deeper.

Firing Sanders now would make McCarthy look like a hypocrite. Both coaches have made plenty of mistakes in their first year in new roles and had difficulty making in-game adjustments. If anything, Sanders showed more progress in finding what works for his defense than McCarthy did with his offense as the primary play-caller. The defense re-found their man-to-man identity in the final month and executed it well while the Packers' offense still is looking for an identity.

The sentiment from many of the defensive players is that they enjoy playing for Sanders, a coach much different in his outward approach than previous defensive coordinator Jim Bates. Giving those players a new defensive coordinator again (for the fifth straight season) would only encourage more mistakes. Yes, Sanders has to be graded below average for his performance over the entire season, but he has learned from his mistakes and deserves the chance to improve. If the defense regresses next year under his leadership, then there is more cause for concern.

Schottenheimer may not be the best secondary coach in the NFL, but considering who the Packers had in the secondary this season, he has been unfairly criticized. Players like Al Harris and Charles Woodson are true professionals who do not need to be coached up. Their failures can only be self-induced. They have been around long enough and played against the best, so they know what they are doing. As for the ultimate demise of former first-round pick, cornerback Ahmad Carroll, it was clear based on his release that no coach, Schottenheimer or other, would be able to correct his faults in Green Bay.

At safety, the Packers had their problems for much of the season with Nick Collins and Marquand Manuel, but the issue seemed to be communication and coordination related, areas attributed more to Sanders duties. Their technique, an area more reflective of Schottenheimer, improved as the season progressed.

Schottenheimer's true value as an assistant should be judged over the next year or two with the development of some of the younger performers in the secondary. Not only a guy like Collins, but also cornerback Patrick Dendy, safeties Atari Bigby, Tyrone Culver, and Marviel Underwood, and anyone else the Packers may bring in this off-season.

Can the Packers find a better secondary coach than Schottenheimer? Maybe, but with the players they plan on having back, a veteran coach is best suited for the job.

A change at the secondary coaching position should not be high on McCarthy's priority list. He, instead, seems to be stressing uniformity, and with the changes the Packers have undergone over the past year, firing any assistants is not the answer to building something bigger.

As for the other remaining staff, no one has been so bad or has done anything publicly to warrant a dismissal. McCarthy will meet with each this week and consider all factors in his evaluation.

"It's an ongoing process," said McCarthy. "The latest information you're able to gather is your exit interviews with your players, feedback from your players. So you're always gathering information and with that, you have your pros and your cons, identify their strengths, and things you need to work on, and how I can better utilize their talents."

Matt Tevsh

Matt Tevsh is a regular contributor to and Packer Report. E-mail him at

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