Packers officially announce changes at defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator

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Zach Kruse
·2 min read
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The Green Bay Packers are drastically changing the leadership structure under Matt LaFleur following the 2020 season.

The team announced the dismissal of special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on Friday, five days after LaFleur’s team lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field.

The Packers thanked both coaches and spent well wishes to the families of both men.

Mennenga is out after two disappointing seasons running the special teams. Hired by LaFleur in 2019, he led the Packers to a pair of below-average years for the third phase. According to Rick Gosselin’s highly-respected special teams rankings, the Packers finished 26th in 2019 and 29th in 2020.

The Packers didn’t announce the move, but it’s expected that Maurice Drayton, Mennenga’s assistant the last two years, will be promoted to special teams coordinator.

On defense, LaFleur is moving on after Pettine’s contract expired following the 2020 season. Despite some overall improvement and especially some late improvement this season, Pettine’s defenses never took big steps and were routinely out-witted by veteran quarterbacks despite loads of draft capital and cap space continuously poured into his side of the ball. LaFleur didn’t hire Pettine, but he did retain him after both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

The Packers will begin the search for a new defensive coordinator.

Under LaFleur, Pettine and Mennenga, the Packers won 26 regular-season games, two NFC North titles and two divisional round playoff games. They were bested in the NFC Championship Game each of the last two seasons.

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