Packers interview another NFL retread candidate for special teams job
GREEN BAY - Unless coach Mike LaFleur has a card up his sleeve no one knows about, the Green Bay Packers are going to head into next season with a lot of question marks about their special teams.
After failing to land Miami Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi, considered by far the best available option on the market, the Packers appear likely to hire an NFL retread who was recently fired or demoted or a young assistant with no experience coordinating an entire unit.
LaFleur could try to pluck someone from the college ranks, but the schemes are more sophisticated in the pros and the lineups fluctuate greatly because of injury, so it would be a gamble.
The latest candidate to interview for the job is New York Giants assistant special teams coach Tom Quinn, according to an NFL source.
First-year coach Pat Shurmur fired Quinn when he got the job a year ago but brought him back as an assistant when his special teams coordinator, Thomas McGaughey, began cancer treatment.
Quinn was the Giants’ coordinator from 2007-17, serving under head coaches Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo.
Statistically, the Giants weren’t very good under Quinn, at least according to Rick Gosselin’s annual special team rankings, which look at all the major special teams numbers. Starting in ’17 and moving backward, Quinn’s units ranked 32nd, 18th, second, 25th, 28th, 10th, 15th, 30th, 26th, 26th and 11th.
Quinn is still listed as an assistant special teams coach on the Giants’ website.
The Packers’ other known interview was with Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Mike Mallory, who was the Jaguars' special teams coordinator from 2013-16. He was demoted to assistant after the Jaguars hired veteran coordinator Joe DeCamillis in 2017.
It’s likely LaFleur has interviewed more than Rizzi, Mallory and Quinn for the job that used to belong to recently fired Ron Zook. LaFleur has not said whether he intends to keep assistant Maurice Drayton, who joined the Packers last year.
It’s possible Drayton is a candidate for the coordinator’s job. He assisted on special teams with the Indianapolis Colts for two seasons and before that rose up the ranks at The Citadel to become assistant head coach/defensive coordinator.
At the same time LaFleur has been trying to recover from not signing Rizzi, two division competitors have filled their special teams coordinator positions. The Minnesota Vikings signed Rizzi’s assistant in Miami, Marwan Maalouf, and the Detroit Lions have hired veteran John Bonamego, who coached the Packers’ special teams from 2003-05.
LaFleur did announce three hires that had previously been reported, revealing their titles in a news release.
They are Kirk Olivadotti, inside linebackers coach; Justin Outten tight ends coach; and Adam Stenavich, offensive line coach.
Also, the Packers announced that recent front-office hire Milt Hendrickson will inherit Eliot Wolf's title of director-football operations.