Packers dismiss coordinators Pettine, Mennenga

Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine(WSAW)
Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 4:28 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 5:34 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - More changes are coming to the Green Bay Packers coaching staff. The Packers are moving on from defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero was the first to report the Packers weren’t renewing Pettine’s contract, which expired this year.

Pettine was hired by Mike McCarthy in 2018 and he spent 3 years as the Packers’ defensive boss. His units ranked 15th, 15th and 9th.

Pettine’s defense played well enough down the stretch to give them their first season ranking in the top 10 in ten years. But remember Kenny Clark and the Smith brothers went in for a talk with their boss about getting back to simply attacking the quarterback more before the Eagles game late in the season.

The unit had its moments, but the first half of the NFC title game was fraught with lapses on that side of the ball. Head coach Matt LaFleur called Pettine’s decision to play man coverage on the final, fateful snap of the first half in the NFC Championship inexcusable and “definitely not the right call for the situation.”

That play is the single greatest reason the Packers aren’t in the Super Bowl next month.

LaFleur said, “You can’t do stuff like that against a good team and expect to win.”

Pettine’s defense allowed the Buccaneers to convert 9 of 14 third downs in the game, including several third-and-longs.

The Packers also confirmed they dismissed Mennenga after two seasons as special teams coordinator, as we’ve previously reported.

Mennenga’s special teams unit ranked 29th in the league in 2020. They allowed two punt returns for touchdowns and almost 24 yards per kick return. The return game was completely ineffective and had a few fumbles, as well. Mason Crosby was solid, but even he couldn’t prevent the blunders within the kicking game.

LaFleur and general manager Brian Gutekunst will hold news conferences at 9 o’clock Monday morning.

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