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Jermaine Whitehead Jersey
Mike McCarthy’s in-season firing is just one surprise of many in the last 12 months."Back on April 1st Jermaine Whitehead Jersey , the writers at APC shared laughs centered around April Fool’s Day jokes from twitter handles across NFL circles. While Tom Brady took the prize for his retirement tweet prank, it made plenty of us wonder about the unbelievable headlines seen by Green Bay Packers fans over the past year. While April Fool’s Day has since passed, here are several of APC’s own articles that probably would have been met with skepticism last April but became real storylines.Mike McCarthy fired as head coach of the Green Bay PackersMany fans may have pined in previous seasons for McCarthy to be fired after years of coming up short in the playoffs, but how many actually could have foreseen the Packers making a head coaching change in 2019? And how many would have seen the move coming prior to the end of the regular season? Suggesting either of those scenarios was probably considered to be more click-bait than anything of substance.Of course, the stories that have come out in recent weeks have suggested there was turmoil within the organization and lack of accountability for quite some time. But the road to the departure of the Packers’ Super Bowl winning coach was rather quick once Green Bay’s losing stretch began. The Packers began a change of organizational direction with a general manager transition in June 2018 and continued it with a coaching change not long after.Packers make free agent signings of Smith, Smith, Amos, & Turner officialMost people can agree that the Packers’ past several drafts failed to produce talent with longevity. Heading into the offseason, it seemed likely that Green Bay would make a splash in free agency, particularly to acquire a pass rusher. And they did with Za’Darius Smith. But then they kept going.In the team’s most active and expensive offseason, the Packers added four free agents on one day. They shattered all expectations by adding not one pass rusher but two, while also signing Adrian Amos and Billy Turner to fill other remaining holes. While all four deals could be justified, it was as uncharacteristic a second day of free agency that the franchise and its fans have ever witnessed. On the surface level, the four contracts totaled out to a staggering $184.1 million with $57.5 million guaranteed.By all accounts, the Packers had an “are you serious?” kind of day.Reliving the five best moments of Aaron Rodgers’ miracle comebackRodgers signed the largest contract in NFL history (at the time - see Russell Wilson) prior to the start of the season. He then came out in week one on Sunday Night Football and planted a spear in the hearts of the Chicago Bears - on one leg.All hopes for the 2018 season seemed to be dashed in the first half of the first game as Rodgers had to be carted off the field. Reported to have a knee injury, Rodgers’ return to the game and the season was in jeopardy as Packers fans watched the Bears take a 10-0 halftime lead and silence filled Lambeau Field.But then with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter, Rodgers re-took the field and led Green Bay to a wild comeback victory. With limited mobility, the Packers’ offense looked as sharp as it would all season with Rodgers firing quick throws and connecting for touchdowns with Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison Za’Darius Smith Jersey , and Randall Cobb. In fact, Cobb’s game-winning 75-yard score late in the fourth quarter took the team just 26 seconds.The emotional swings of Green Bay’s improbable win were as high as any game in recent memory, and almost losing Rodgers for the season again - in the first game - looked to be as bitter a joke as imaginable.Packers lose to Lions as Mason Crosby misses five field goalsThe special teams unit was a weekly issue for the Packers in 2018, but nothing compares to the struggles of Mason Crosby in Detroit. Crosby’s unfathomable four missed field goals and missed extra point single-handedly prevented the Packers from a win.For one of the NFL’s more consistent kickers, it was an almost unprecedented bad day for a placekicker. Crosby missed just seven field goals and two extra points all season. His “anomaly in life” accounted for nearly all of his misses on just one day. However, he righted the ship immediately the next week and returned to his usual self.At the end of the day, Packers fans could only sit back and watch in depressing, yet humorous, amazement over the awful luck that had transpired.The best thing for Ty Montgomery and the Packers is for the team to move onIt would not have been the most surprising headline had the Packers moved on from Ty Montgomery after the preseason due to the emergence of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Carries and snaps figured to be limited for the the three backs sharing the load. But how the split came to fruition was as abrupt and unpredictable as any fans have seen.While Green Bay’s decision to move Ha Ha Clinton-Dix before the trade deadline was a product of performance and criticism over time, the build up to a trade of Montgomery was less than 48 hours in the making. A costly fourth-quarter Montgomery fumble on a kickoff return doomed the Packers in Los Angeles, but that was only the beginning. With just over two minutes remaining in the game and Green Bay needing another miraculous drive to win, Montgomery was reportedly instructed to take a knee and reserve the two-minute warning. Instead, he defied orders and tried to be a hero. After the game, interviews with other players revealed a disgruntled Montgomery, a player wishing to be a bigger part of the offense. Fast forward to that next Tuesday and Montgomery was shipped to Baltimore for little in return. A highly unusual span of events led the Packers to avoid more negativity in the locker room and cut ties with a player that had never been in the news for the wrong reasons before. Half a decade ago in Washington D.C., Matt LaFleur forged a bond with a baby-faced mid-20’s tight ends coach with spiky blonde hair. This friendship would come to help define LaFleur in the eyes of the Green Bay Packers front office, catapulting him into the big chair at 1265 Lombardi. Oh, and his friend? He’s preparing to take on the Cowboys in Los Angeles this weekend after taking the NFL by storm in his first two seasons as the Rams head coach. Sean McVay’s vertiginous success gives LaFleur heat. Mike and Kyle Shanahan solidify the 39-year-old Michigan native’s pedigree. Gary Kubiak provides some gravitas. All of these men shaped the new Packers head coach, leading to the central question in his hiring: is LaFleur a prot茅g茅 of the men under whom he’s coached Billy Turner Jersey , or simply a product of them? Clearly Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst believe he’s the former. Now, he gets the chance to prove it. LaFleur’s deep roots in coaching under some of the most respected coaches in the NFL presented quite a tantalizing option for the Packers as a Mike McCarthy replacement. Even before his stop in our nation’s capital where he met Sean McVay, LaFleur began building the branches of his coaching tree resume. That seedling starts in Houston under Gary Kubiak, a disciple of Mike Shanahan, who is himself part of the prestigious Bill Walsh tree. If this all sounds confusing already, buckle up. Kubiak became a punchline in Houston, but had been a Super Bowl-winning coordinator in Denver under Mike Shanahan and eventually earned another ring as head coach in Denver with Peyton Manning. His zone-run offense propelled Arian Foster to stardom and laid the groundwork for another friendship essential to LaFleur’s rise: Mike’s son Kyle Shanahan. The Shanahans brought LaFleur to Washington in 2010, where he met McVay and assisted in the construction of the famous Robert Griffin III rookie season and early mentoring of Kirk Cousins. Kyle then brings LaFleur to Atlanta, where they set the world ablaze with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in 2016.McVay’s surprising hire in 2017 brings LaFleur to LA as offensive coordinator, which ultimately earns him a job with Mike Vrabel, part of the Bill Belichick tree (though we aren’t sure if that tree is bearing much fruit). For a 39-year-old coach, that resume speaks volumes. Shanahan and McVay are widely considered the two brightest offensive minds in the NFL and each think highly of LaFleur, having hired him. Technically the Shanahans have hired him multiple times if you count father and son. But being in the kitchen when the food is made doesn’t mean one is a great chef. LaFleur has never been a head coach at any level of football and his one season in Tennessee produced middling results. In one crucial way, LaFleur is the Packers version of the Trading Places experiment, only (hopefully) without the racism. He was in a difficult situation last year with the Titans, dealing with an injured quarterback, a shaky offensive line, and a dearth of quality pass catchers. With the Packers, he’ll have the football equivalent to the limo Adrian Amos Jersey , butler, and the brownstone in the tony neighborhood with the offensive talent as his disposal. McVay reportedly pushed for LaFleur with the Packers and based on the reaction of former players like Dan Orlovsky, Aaron Rodgers will be pleased with him as a coach. With all the intrigue swirling around Josh McDaniels, Murphy and Gutekunst snapped up LaFleur, a coach who hasn’t done things like lead a team before or call plays in high-leverage moments. McDaniels has called played in a Super Bowl. LaFleur hasn’t. But Kyle and Mike Shanahan have. Gary Kubiak has. And while Sean McVay hasn’t, he spearheaded the greatest single-season offensive turn-around in NFL history with Jared Goff. If LaFleur is truly a protege of these men, imagine what he could do with Aaron Rodgers.Such success is hardly a guarantee. For every McVay, there are half a dozen Marty Mornhinwegs. How many teams thought they were hiring Bill Belichick Jr. and wound up with Charlie Weis or Romeo Crennel instead? It’s like the stock market: past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results and the NFL proves every year just how bad it is at picking futures. But with his resume, if a team can’t justify taking a gamble on a young, ideologically progressive coach with legitimate bona fides in prestige systems, who is worth that risk? When the Packers hired Mike McCarthy, part of his appeal was his roots in the West Coast system. He was a Mike Holmgren discipline, descended from the Walsh tree, though a different branch than Shanahan et al. Ted Thompson and Brian Gutekunst come from the Ron Wolf tree (which is really the Al Davis tree). Green Bay values pedigree and continuity. Former NFL QB Trent Dilfer called LaFleur “Mike McCarthy before McCarthy stopped grinding.” The Packers would be lucky to recreate the success of the early McCarthy years. Although they may be from different branches of the coaching tree, Green Bay is banking on LaFleur not falling too far.