After finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the Packers made multiple coaching changes including firing both coordinators and multiple other assistants. One of those changes in particular surprised star quarterback Aaron Rodgers: the firing of Alex Van Pelt, a decision Rodgers said the team made without consulting him.
Speaking with ESPN Radio's Golic & Wingo from Minnesota ahead of the Super Bowl, Rodgers said he found the firing "curious."
"Well, my quarterback coach didn't get retained," Rodgers said. "I thought that was an interesting change, really without consulting me. There's a close connection between quarterback and quarterback coach, and that was an interesting decision."
Van Pelt had been with Green Bay since 2012 and had been the quarterbacks coach since 2014, the season Rodgers won his second MVP award. Rodgers, who turned 34 in December, played just seven games this season as he broke his collarbone against the Vikings in Week 6. He was placed on injured reserve with a desgination to return and came back for a Week 15 game against the Panthers, but Green Bay lost and was eliminated from playoff contention, and Rodgers was again put on IR.
Backup Brett Hundley was inconsistent in replacing Rodgers. He threw for 1,836 yards and nine touchdowns in ten starts but threw 12 interceptions and won just three of those games.
Replacing Van Pelt is former Giants assistant Frank Cignetti Jr. Rodgers will also be operating with a new offensive coordinator this season, as Joe Philbin replaces Edgar Bennett. Philbin previously served in the same capacity with Green Bay from 2007-11, helping Green Bay to a Super Bowl XLV win over the Steelers in his final season.
Van Pelt was hired by the Bengals to be their quarterbacks coach.