The importance of a playbook can't be overestimated. The first thing The Turk does, before a team even cuts a player, is to tell that player to come and see the coach and "bring your playbook." The cost for losing a playbook is generally severe, and given the secrecy with which NFL teams hoard their schematic secrets, you'd assume that any playbook headed for the garbage can would go through a shredder first.
That's what you'd assume, and in at least one case in Green Bay, you would be wrong.
Jason Vogel, a deputy sheriff in Wisconsin's Brown County, noticed pieces of paper flying off the back of a recycling truck on Monday morning. "I was just running radar here on (Highway) 57 here -- Riverside Drive -- and noticed a Waste Management truck going southbound and a bunch of papers flying out of the back of his truck," Vogel told Green Bay television station WBAY.
The resulting mess extended "pretty much from Allouez Terrace to St. Joseph Street," Vogel continued. "I notified a sergeant and told him what I had and that we might need to notify some people."
The resulting cleanup took about an hour, and according to estimates, about two cubic yards of recyclables exited the truck. At that time, the team was informed.
Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey told the Associated Press that he wasn't concerned about any sensitive material getting into the wrong hands, and he did say that most material of this nature is generally shredded and recycled.
Then again, it's possible that the Packers wanted their 2010 special teams schemes to fall into the clutches of their on-field enemies, and perhaps those opponents would take a clue from how the Super Bowl champs did things. Despite their great season, the Pack weren't exactly stellar when it came to special teams — per Football Outsiders' metrics, they ranked 26th in overall efficiency, and were especially underwhelming in kick coverage and kick returns.
Perhaps that particular recycling project was more an exercise in frustration? Or perhaps someone in the Packers organization is getting a pretty decent-sized talking to this week about playbook removal procedures.