Packers Morning Buzz: Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald dismisses talk of leaving for NFL job

Stu Courtney
Packers News
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Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald watches a replay of running back John Moten IV touchdown run during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at

The Packers have kicked off their coaching search in earnest with four confirmed interview requests: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Patriots defensive play caller Brian Flores, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak and New Orleans Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell.

They have already interviewed former head coaches Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano.

We'll start with Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald, possibly the only college coach the Packers wanted to interview, shooting down any notion he might take an NFL job after his Wildcats outscored Utah 28-0 in the third quarter to rally for a 31-20 victory Monday in the Holiday Bowl:

"Hashtag GoCats, man," Fitzgerald said when asked about his future, according to the Associated Press. "I'm not going anywhere. This is home forever. Listen, these are my guys. ... I'm a Wildcat for life. I'm so thankful for these guys. ... We're just getting started."

Fitzgerald looked to be having fun as the final seconds of the game ran out:

Tom Silverstein writes that it would appear the Packers are seeking a coach who could instill more discipline. They also figure to want a coach who can work with a star quarterback, so it's not surprising they've asked permission to interview McDaniels.

Tom writes:

Since McCarthy was fired, McDaniels has been the coach most likely to draw interest from the Packers because of his experience working with veteran quarterback Tom Brady. McDaniels has not been afraid to stand up to the future Hall of Famer and has coached under one of the great disciplinarians in all of sports, Bill Belichick.

Murphy and Gutekunst might feel they need someone who can deal with the big ego of Aaron Rodgers, the highest-paid player in the NFL. From the outside, it appeared he was fighting McCarthy’s authority over the offense and playing for his own statistics, refusing to take the chances that great quarterbacks take in favor of an interception record.

During his one brief head-coaching stint in Denver, McDaniels benched star receiver Brandon Marshall for disciplinary reasons before a game he needed to win to make the playoffs. After going 8-8 in 2009, he went 3-9 in ’10 before being fired.

You can read the whole column here:

Ryan Wood looks at the Packers' competition – the other NFL teams seeking a new head coach:

Here's the best way to stay up-to-the-minute with the Packers' coaching search:

Jim Owczarski looks at key dates and important things to know about the Packers' search:

Jim and Tom join Olivia Reiner to analyze the coaching search:

As they cleared out their lockers, Packers players weighed in on the coaching situation:

Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell would hate to lose defensive coordinator Mike Pettine:

One final appearance for Packers safety Josh Jones on "Clubhouse Live":

Albert Breer provides some coaching-search perspective for The MMQB, including his opinion that former Packers coach Mike McCarthy is in "a position of power":

Meanwhile, Conor Orr – also writing for The MMQB – says McCarthy is almost certain to land a job coaching a promising young quarterback:

And finally, the disappointing Minnesota Vikings are staying the course:


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