With the firing of Mike McCarthy in Green Bay on Sunday, the attention for the Packers now turns to who will be the next leader of the franchise. The last time the Packers went through a coaching search, they went with a highly-regarded coordinator looking for his first shot to run the team.
After 13 years of Mike McCarthy, only one thing is clear: That the Packers need a new voice at head coach. If you're looking for insight and analysis on who that coach will be, you've come to the wrong place. This piece is here to eliminate 10 potential coaching targets that, for various reasons, will not become the new head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
Heck, some of these guys don't even have actual coaching experience, so right away, we have a valid reason for removing their candidacy. Without further ado, here is the list of potential Green Bay Packers head coaching candidates that won't get the gig for 2019.
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#1: Mike Sherman and #2: Mike Holmgren
Nostalgia is in right now, if you pay attention to fashion, music, or entertainment. What's old is new, and what's even recently old is even newer, especially for Hollywood blockbusters. However, the NFL doesn't work that way, at least in terms of re-hiring old coaches to the same organization.
In the case of Mike Sherman, he's currently busy coaching the Montreal Allouettes. After his time with the Packers, he finally landed back in professional football. However, he's eliminated from candidacy based on his six-year run with the Packers yielding just two playoff victories in the early 2000's. Interestingly enough, he was Joe Philbin's offensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013 in Miami when Philbin ran the show there. So he's also eliminated based on the fact that the Packers probably won't ditch Philbin in the interim role for the coach who served as his offensive coordinator in two underwhelming seasons in Miami.
In the case of Mike Holmgren, well, the Packers just fired one Super Bowl-winning head coach with games to spare in the 2018 season, so what chance does he have of getting the gig? Also, he's up for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, if that's any indication of how long he's been away.
#3: Bret Bielema
Believe it or not, Bret Bielema is currently working in the NFL, with the New England Patriots, of all teams. He's a special consultant to the head coach, whatever that means, after his failed gig with Arkansas and his abrupt departure from Wisconsin in college football didn't quite pan out. Bielema with the Packers would be pretty hilarious, but also completely unlikely. Speaking of Patriots coaches...
#4: Bill Belichick
Well, obviously, Belichick would probably do wonders in Green Bay. And the Packers would love to have him. But there's no way that he's leaving the Patriots to set up shop with a new team this late in his career. While he has failed to settle the Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady debate, fans can only imagine what Rodgers would do in Belichick's system, given what Tom Brady has done all of his career.
#5: Brett Favre
He's never been a coach in the NFL. He's famously feuded with Aaron Rodgers. His personality is on the aloof side. His career was defined by winging it and taking chances nobody else would.
Would Favre as a head coach be interesting? Hell yeah it would. Imagine the Tim Tebow circus, but times a billion. Imagine Brett telling Aaron Rodgers what to do, and Rodgers changing the play in the huddle to spite him. How awkward would that be? Nothing would drive a giant (cheese) wedge between the Packers and Rodgers like hiring Favre as head coach would, and yet, there probably are still some fans who would gladly welcome ol' #4 back to Lambeau Field, apparently forgetful of his tenure in Purple.
And yet, some books have him at 100-1 odds to be the next head coach. Unreal.
#6: Lance Leipold
After dominating Division III at Wisconsin-Whitewater, Leipold is now doing big things with the University of Buffalo, despite a heart-breaking loss in the MAC Championship. If you thought, though, that DIII to FBS was a leap, imagine what the leap from the MAC to the NFL would require. It's not that he can't coach, or that he wouldn't do a good job with the Packers even (we will never know). But, it's that leap that makes this conversation moot, especially with no NFL coaching experience. On the other hand, he'd get a chance to work with Jake Kumerow, another former Warhawk. ... OK, we're stretching.
7: Kyle Chandler
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose! Yes, it would be quite the stunt to pull in an actor from a popular TV show (Friday Night Lights) to coach the Green Bay Packers. Not saying it couldn't happen, but... Billy Bob Thornton has the same odds to become the Packers' new head coach. Which is to say, none.
8: Joe Thomas and 9: Jim Leonhard
Joe Thomas and Jim Leonhard have both retired from the NFL in the past few seasons, and while Thomas has dabbled more on the media side of post-football life, Leonhard has already ascended to the role of defensive coordinator with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Thomas, who still returns to Wisconsin frequently, has no coaching experience. That's probably all you need to eliminate him as a candidate. However, his weather forecasting abilities would be a huge boon for planning during the week, and when the Packers suffer their usual injuries up front, he can shed the headset and go take a few snaps to get the Green Bay offense across the finish line.
Leonhard, meanwhile, is sometimes mentioned as a candidate by fans for a role with the Packers, especially this time last year when #FireCapers was at its apex and some fans clamored for a recognizable name to assume the position. While Leonhard has plenty of NFL ties, it'd be a stretch to go from secondary coach for the Badgers to head coach of the Packers in four years. But hey, who knows what'll happen in another four years.
#10: Aaron Rodgers
Well, if he's going to call his own plays anyways, why not make Rodgers a player-coach? It hasn't happened since the 1970's, but as we mentioned early on, what's old is new again. And with Rodgers creeping towards retirement age from the NFL, wouldn't that be a way to keep him around long-term?
It's a joke, it's a joke! While some assume Rodgers is calling the shots anyways, formally making that happen would be... well, it probably wouldn't end well. And yet, whoever the new head coach of the Packers ends up being, item one on the agenda will be getting on the same page as Rodgers. So, in a way, hiring Rodgers as head coach and player would solve the first task for the new head coach automatically.