After a stellar 9-3 start to the season, the Green Bay Packers appear to have one of the most desirable coaching staffs in the NFL.
But it isn’t just the usual suspects at offensive and defensive coordinator who are getting looks for potential head coaching positions expected to open up later this year or in the offseason. According to a report from Peter Schrager, of Fox Sports, at least one Packers position coach has potentially set himself up for a big promotion with his performance in 2021.
“[The Packers] offenisve line coach, Adam Stenavich, is now getting head coaching buzz … because when you lose [David] Bakhtiari and you lose [Elgton] Jenkins and you lose Josh Myers — and oh yeah, Cory Linsley signed for the highest contract ever given to a center in the offseason — and you get better? That’s awesome,” Schrager said.
The NFL analyst offered up the news that front offices have their eyes on Stenavich during the Thursday, December 2 edition of the Bill Simmons podcast. He used the Packers’ most recent victory over the Los Angeles Rams as context for his comments
“Yosh Nijman and John Runyan Jr. and [Royce] Newman and Lucas Patrick, these are not famous offensive lineman and they absolutely manhandled Von Miller, Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald last week,” Schrager said.
Packers Success a Testament to Overcoming Obstacles
The play of the offensive line against the Rams is emblematic of what the entire roster has been able to accomplish this year despite offseason drama between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay front office, the benching of multiple starters, including Rodgers, due to the NFL’s virus protocol, and an array of injuries that have hampered nearly every level of the Packers’ lineup.
“Rodgers is locked in and he’s doing it again with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Randall Cobb got injured in the second half of last game, but Cobb’s been really good this year,” Schrager said. “They’ve got injuries, but they’re playing through it and they are finding ways.”
Now in their bye week, the Packers are 9-3 and sitting in second place in the NFC, just a half-game back of the Arizona Cardinals over whom Green Bay holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Cardinals play the Chicago Bears Sunday, a game they will be heavily favored win, but host the Rams December 13 on Monday Night Football the following week, which might offer an opportunity for the Packers to grab back the top spot in the conference. Green Bay will return to action against the Bears on Sunday, December 12.
Packers Offensive Coordinator Top-5 Candidate to Replace Bears Head Coach
That the Bears will be so entwined in the how the NFC leaderboard shakes out over the next couple of weeks is a bit of a cruel twist of irony for Chicago head coach Matt Nagy, at least if widespread rumors that his job is in jeopardy prove to be true.
Alex Shapiro, of NBC Sports Chicago, wrote in a November 22 column that should Nagy be replaced, Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett would be among the top five candidates to take his place.
“If you can’t beat ’em, hire one of ’em away. That could be the thought process with Hackett, who has overseen Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ dynamic offense since 2019,” Shapiro wrote. “While Davante Adams truly blossomed the year before Hackett arrived, he did run the show for Adams’ All-Pro season last year. He’s also shown flexibility by putting more of a focus on Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon and the run game this season.”
The Packers’ sideline could look decidedly different next season, the chances of which improve with each success. The real question will be whether whatever coaching staff remains can team up with the front office to convince Rodgers to stick around, because offensive coordinators and offensive line coaches can be replaced, but finding another MVP caliber quarterback? That one’s not so easy.