Will the Green Bay Packers special teams coach be fired?
The San Francisco 49ers are headed to the NFC Championship after knocking off the top seeded Green Bay Packers, with the home special team aiding the win.
It was a night to forget for the Cheeseheads as, once again, the San Francisco 49ers got the better of Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers in a playoff game.
And the 13-10 loss for a place in the championship title clash was made even worse by some spectacularly pitiful special teams play in the final moments. So much so, and following other fails this season, that some have called for the coach in charge of special teams, Maurice Drayton, to be kicked out of Lambeau Field.
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Time for Packers’ Drayton to go?
Aaron Rodgers - the quarterback with a less-than-special relationship with the president - held back his obvious anger at the complete ineptitude of the unit.
“Special teams obviously hurt us, taking points off the board and giving them points. In crucial, critical situations, we had obviously some issues.”
Others off the pitch were less than measured in their outcry.
“The NFL’s worst special teams unit turned in one of the worst special teams performances in NFL playoff history,” was NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero description, adding, “and appears to have had only 10 men on the field for the winning field goal.”
On the Packers’ radio network, commentator Larry McCarren almost lost it. “What a nightmare. What a meltdown.”
Green Bay’s head coach Matt LaFleur, however, knew exactly who was to blame, or at least who he was willing to put out on the public chopping block.
“Yeah, it’s extremely disappointing, especially when you look at what happened tonight,” LaFleur began.
“These are things I’ve got to do a better job obviously in being more involved to make sure that those types of things don’t happen, that we’re putting those guys in the right position and coaching them the right way.
“And ultimately, it all falls on me.”
Despite the Packers’ run to the conference title, many have been calling for weeks for a change in special teams leadership. Even the opposition head coach new the weakness heading into the game.
“We thought our special teams had an advantage in this game,” Kyle Shanahan said.
“And we thought they had an opportunity to possibly win us the game. To be able to say that and for it to actually come to fruition, those guys pulled it off. It was huge for those guys and huge for our team.”
What will become of Drayton? We’ll be keeping a close eye, but if you’ve got some NFL special teams experience, you may want to drop off your resume at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.