GREEN BAY – During his interview session with reporters in the days after the team’s season-ending playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene gave no indication whatsoever that he was contemplating quitting.
But that’s exactly what happened Friday, when the team announced that Greene had resigned in order to spend more time with his wife Tara and the couple’s two teenage children, son Gavin and daughter Gabrielle.
Greene and head coach Mike McCarthy were unavailable to reporters Friday beyond the news release sent out by the team’s PR department. There were no indications that Greene had been pushed out, although the details of assistant coaches’ contracts are difficult to come by. It’s unclear if Greene, 51, was under contract for the 2014 season.
Ex-Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, after being blocked from offensive coordinator interviews with Miami and Tampa Bay in February 2012, allowed his contract to expire after the season and was hired earlier this week as offensive coordinator of the New York Giants.
Here is a partial transcript of Greene’s media availability from Jan. 8:
(On being a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and possibly being elected during Super Bowl week) “It’d be cool. It’d be neat. I don’t want to get overly up about it or down about it. My focus right now is evaluating my young men and the season they’ve had [and] hat can I do to be a better coach for them moving forward. It’s be neat. It’d be really really cool. Forgive me if I’m not giving you the answer you’re looking for but it would be an honor obviously to be a part of that. But that’s not my sole focus right now. If it happens, I just have to work with that in and I’ll deal with it and it’s going to be great, and I hope it does. My focus is looking at my kids and seeing how I can be a better coach and help them be better players.”
(On the challenge of converting college defensive linemen into pro outside linebackers) “The biggest thing is what I call vision. If you just think of the job description of a defensive end in a three-point stance, and hand in the dirt and keying on one thing to actually standing up and expanding your tunnel vision mindset to now seeing the entire field, seeing all five eligibles and know exactly what all five eligibles mean to you and your responsibility. It really is a tremendous feat to go from down in the three, up in the two, increase the vision and anticipate plays based on what you see.”
(On defensive coordinator Dom Capers) “Dom, in my humble opinion, he’s as solid as they come as a coach. He’s a consistent coach. He is strong and stands tall and he doesn’t waver. He weathers the storm and what’s happened to him as far as the media and people outside the organization and whatnot. Dom clearly in my mind knows exactly what he’s doing. I have total faith and belief in Dom Capers.”
(On his accomplishments the past five years) “Individually, I’m really happy with the young men they have given me over the last five years and the fine men they put in my room and given me an opportunity to put my hands on and to develop and work with. I’m really happy with them, getting on the field, having fun, playing the game, laying it on the line for their brothers, being productive and doing some really fine things for their brothers and this organization. So I’m really happy with the young men they’ve given me. They’ve been really productive for the Packers.”
(On rookie Andy Mulumba) “Just a very raw athlete. A lot of tools, a lot of tremendous upside based on his skill-set. Fluid, good kid, big heart, wanted to learn, committed, coachable. Just saw a lot of great upside with this young man – and still do. We’ve had to count on Andy a lot this year coming in, starting games and doing some good things. He has really had a fairly successful year being a free agent and being productive for us.”
(On the OLBs’ up-and-down year) That’s the nature of my job is they give me guys to develop. That’s the nature of all of our jobs: You get them in your hands, you teach them some things, you love them up and you let them go hunt. And I know that’s being simple but that’s what we do. We coach these young men to get them out there and be productive. Mike Neal, his transition from a one- and three-technique interior defensive tackle to a stand-up, two-point stance outside ‘backer, and then having to see the entire field and having coverage and knowing exactly where you need to fit in the grand scheme of things in your coverage, all the checks and adjustments, he really has had a remarkable transition. Andy Mulumba, rookie, but good kid, wants to learn, wants to do it the right way, self-conscious about it, wants to be productive. So it doesn’t surprise me that they’ve had a level of success.
(On Nick Perry) Yeah, I think Nick can be as good as he wants to be. He’s very explosive, he’s physical against the run, he covers exactly where he needs to cover and he rushes the passer with a physical level and he’s got some finesse about him as a pass rusher. I think he’s tracking. He’s still a young kid in this position. I don’t think he’s really played a whole season [yet] because of injuries. That’s the nature of the game but he’s still a very young player at this position. I’m positive about the young man and I think he’s going to get better. He’s very explosive, he’s got some athleticism about him and some instincts. It’s just going to get better.
(On overcoming injuries) That’s my job and that’s what I do and I enjoy doing it and take it very serious. I know that whoever’s out there is going to lay their heart on the line for everybody. They’re going to do some good things and be productive. I’m tickled to death to see Andy really, really help us. The success that Mike Neal’s had and Nick Perry’s come on a couple games. It’s good to see those kids get out there and do some positive things.
(On there being any upside to Clay Matthews’ injury) Well, I know what you’re asking but I don’t think there’s ever an upside with an injury. The bottom line is, the more that these young men can have time on the grass, in their cleats, developing that vision and seeing things over and over and over again, the more they can do that, the better that they’re going to become, the quicker that they’re going to become playmakers within this defense, because they’ll get a vision and they’ll anticipate plays and they’ll play to their gut based on what they see and read and what their belly tells them. That’s when they become playmakers. That takes time. It just takes time. I’m positive. I’m positive about how far Mike Neal’s come and Andy Mulumba – you know, Eastern Michigan? I’m really upbeat and positive about the kids in my room.
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