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Question of the Day
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Two years away from the sideline was enough for Ron Zook - he wanted back in.
McCarthy gave him the job. Meet the new assistant special teams coach for Green Bay.
“No, I didn’t have to think about it at all,” Zook said Monday at Lambeau Field.
At Green Bay, he’ll assist special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum. No ego problems here, even if Zook was once the head coach of major college programs at Florida and Illinois.
“To me, I was able to get back in coaching for the reasons I got into coaching,” Zook said. “Because I love the game. You love the relationships you have with the players, the relationships you have with the coaches.”
The addition of Zook was part of a handful of offseason changes to McCarthy’s staff, necessitated in part by the departures of quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo to become offensive coordinator of the New York Giants; and outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene, who left to spend more time with family.
Alex Van Pelt, a former NFL backup quarterback, replaces McAdoo after coaching running backs for two seasons. Assistant head coach Winston Moss, who concentrated on inside linebackers last year, will be responsible for overseeing all four linebacker positions in coordinator Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme.
Like the rest of the team, the defense was mired by injuries, and playing without pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews for much of the year stung. Green Bay struggled against the run in the second half of the season and didn’t have enough playmakers.
“Our defense is going to change some. You don’t ever stay the same,” McCarthy said. “We obviously need to get better on defense, and I think these moves that we’ve made on defense will definitely put us on that path.”
Sam Gash replaces Van Pelt as the running backs coach. Gash, who had a 12-year NFL career at fullback, previously spent six seasons as the running backs coach for NFC Central rival Detroit until 2012.
Zook will enter his 35th year in the profession, with his most notable stops as head coach at Florida (2002-4) and Illinois (2005-11). He’s 122-57 overall as a college head coach, including a trip to the Rose Bowl in 2007.
But that 9-4 season with the Illini turned out to be the high point in Champaign. He was fired after a 6-6 season in 2011.
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