Packers Make More Coaching Changes - Bennett and Van Pelt Out
The shakeup in Green Bay just won’t slow down. Two high ranking offensive staff members have been relieved of their duties today, albeit in different circumstances. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky and Chris Mortensen, the Packers have moved on from offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.
Bennett has slowly climbed the ranks in Green Bay over the course of nearly 25 years with the organization. He first joined the team as a player in 1992 and rejoined the franchise in the front office in 2001. He’s been the offensive coordinator since 2015.
Van Pelt, meanwhile, has been with the Packers since 2012 and took over his current role in 2014.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein, Bennett may not have been fired outright, while Van Pelt's contract expired and was not renewed. It's still possible that he could have a new job within the organization, possibly in the recently vacated post of wide receiver coach.
What this means for the Packers
In light of these changes, the makeover in Green Bay seems destined to be more than superficial. Firing Dom Capers was expected, if not an entirely foregone conclusion, but the subsequent coaching and front office changes have been anything but.
The Packers have now let go two of their longest serving assistant coaches (Mike Trgovac and Edgar Bennett) and two well-regarded other assistance (Van Pelt and Scott McCurley). It’s been quite some time since the Packers have made this many moves in short order. The Packers have also lost promising assistant Luke Getsy, who took a new job in the college ranks.
While Mike McCarthy serves as the team’s de facto offensive coordinator, calling his own plays except during stint in 2015 when Tom Clements held that duty, he clearly believes he needs more help on that side of the ball.
Edgar Bennett was a serious behind the scenes force with the Packers, largely ensuring that the trains ran on time and making McCarthy’s life easier. Perhaps the long time head coach is looking for a more active voice than Bennett, who we once wrote of as a possible head coaching candidate.
Meanwhile, it’s hard to read Van Pelt’s departure as anything other than a transparent attempt to get as much as possible out of Aaron Rodgers as he heads towards the stretch run of his career. Rodgers famously wants to be coached hard, and other than his 2014 MVP campaign, the rest of Van Pelt’s tutelage of Rodgers has not produced stellar results.
Clearly the Packers are leaving no stone unturned as they try to put the disappointing 2017 campaign behind them. It’s hard to say what effect new assistant coaches could have, but the Packers aren’t wasting an opportunity to see what that effect could be.