Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy met with reporters today and talked about some of his new assistant coaching hires.
On Winston Moss going from inside linebackers coach to overall linebackers coach:
“I wouldn’t call Winston Moss’ job responsibility a switch. I would say it’s expanded. If you look back through the history of the 3-4 defense and the reality of us, you know, how much are we really in a true, traditional 3-4 base defense? There was always just one linebacker coach.
"I feel strongly that with our new structure with having all the linebackers, the inside linebackers, the outside linebackers and really a position that we attempted to develop last year, the elephant position with Mike Neal, kind of a dual role outside linebacker-defensive end and maybe some defensive tackles, all those players being in one room and hearing one common voice with Scott McCurley being the assistant. I feel very good about the way it’s structured. It’s something Dom Capers, he’s used this format in the past. I thought it was a very natural transition for us and I know our players will be excited about having everybody in one room, particularly playing for Winston Moss.”
On new special teams assistant Ron Zook:
“Ron Zook’s a heck of a football (coach), obviously very, very experienced. I interviewed some great guys, great coaches, excellent coaches for the position, but Ron has a personality, a level of experience, big-picture experience. I think he brings a different dimension to our special teams room. Also Jason Simmons will be involved in special teams.
"I wanted to put more of an emphasis on that area. One of our challenges every year with youth, some of the injuries we’ve had with younger players playing early, there’s a lot of one on one time that goes into special teams coaching. Everybody in the league goes through it. We just want to maximize that structure as far as to make sure our players are getting the one on one time and I thought Ron brought a whole different dimension to the room.”
On Alex Van Pelt moving from coaching the running backs to coaching the quarterbacks:
“Really, Alex Van Pelt going to running backs was really a damn good football coach that was out there. I’ve known Alex Van Pelt since he was 18, 19 years old, but part of him coming here was to give him an opportunity to coach the running backs because of the belief that I had in him as a person and as a coach. I think it definitely has broadened his horizons as far as coaching offense. I know he’s very appreciative of the two years coaching running backs. But he’s a quarterback coach. You’re talking about a very talented football coach, played the position, knows this offense. I learned the offense with Alex back in 1989, so we’ve learned the foundation together. This move was something that was kind of part of the future planning of our staff as individuals have an opportunity to move on.”
On new running backs coach Sam Gash:
“I’ve always liked Sam Gash. He’s an excellent fit for us. He’s played the position, he’s coached running backs. He did a very good job in the interview process. He’s worked with Alex Van Pelt in the past, I think his transition will be very easy to our offense.”