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LaFleur Picks Bisaccia to Cure Packers’ Special Teams

Year after year after year, Rich Bisaccia's special teams have been better, and usually much better, than what the Packers have fielded. Here are the numbers and his history of turnarounds.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur is "expected to hire" Rich Bisaccia as his special teams coordinator, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The hire could signal a dramatic turnaround to the team’s perennially awful kicking units.

Over the last eight seasons, the Packers finished last in Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings three times. Over that same span, they finished in the top half of the league just once – and barely, at that – when they ranked 16th in 2017.

If that’s not bad enough, over the last 16 years – dating to Mike McCarthy’s debut season in 2006 – the Packers finished 32nd four times, 31st once and 29th three times. That’s eight seasons in or near the league’s basement. During that same span, the Packers recorded exactly one top-10 finish, a seventh-place mark in 2007 in Year 2 under coordinator Mike Stock.

Over the last 16 seasons (the list is below), Green Bay’s special teams under its myriad of coordinators finished ahead of Bisaccia’s units just once. Once. Generally, the difference was measured in miles and not millimeters. On average, Bisaccia’s units have been 11.5 spots better than Green Bay.

During his four-year run with the Raiders, Bisaccia led special teams that ranked 11th in 2021, 16th in 2020, 25th in 2019 and 19th in 2018. That’s not great, obviously, with an average ranking of 17.8. Still, that’s infinitely better than Green Bay, with last-place finishes in 2021 and 2018 leading to an average finish of 29.8.

With a high-quality offense and a strong defense, the Packers don’t need to win games on special teams. They just can’t lose games. That was what 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan infamously said of his flawed units before his special teams crushed Green Bay’s in the divisional playoffs.

“We just would like to play even,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers, while acknowledging the offense’s poor performance, said after the game. “Make some plays, kind of have a wash in the special teams. That’d be good.”

One last note: When Bisaccia took over the Raiders in 2018 and Cowboys in 2013, he guided rapid turnarounds of 12 and 13 spots.

Gosselin’s Special Teams Rankings: 2005 through 2021

2021: Packers, 32; Raiders, 11

2020: Packers, 29; Raiders, 16.

2019: Packers, 26; Raiders, 25.

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2018; Packers, 32; Raiders, 19. (Note: Raiders were tied for seventh in 2017, a 12-spot decline.)

2017: Packers, 16; Cowboys, 5.

2016: Packers, 29; Cowboys, 11.

2015: Packers, 17; Cowboys, 4.

2014: Packers, 32; Cowboys, 13.

2013: Packers, 20; Cowboys, 4. (Note: Cowboys were 17th in 2012, a 13-spot improvement.)

2012: Packers, 12; Chargers, 6.

2011: Packers, 13; Chargers, 25. (Note: Chargers were 32nd in 2010, a seven-spot improvement.)

2010: Packers, 29; Buccaneers, 21.

2009: Packers, 31; Buccaneers, 2. (Note: Bisacci was the Buccaneers’ coordinator from 2002 through 2020. His units recorded four top-10 finished in those nine seasons. Their No. 2 finish in 2009 would be his best.)

2008: Packers, 26; Buccaneers, 9.

2007: Packers, 7; Buccaneers, 7.

2006: Packers, 32; Buccaneers, 21.

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