So I started this post on Wednesday afternoon (before the Seahawk-Cowboy game on Thursday). I see that Bob McGinn beat me to it in this morning’s JS Online — with actual reporting to accompany his statistical analysis.
Mike McCarthy said Derrick Frost will remain the Packers’ punter. So some stats.
Frost is ranked 26th in the NFL in average net punts. (Ed: There are five worse?) His net is 36.4. His gross average is 42. Jon Ryan, who has punted nine times more than Frost, is ranked 18th in net, at 37.3. His gross (45.9) makes him the 9th ranked punter in that category, Frost is 27th.
It’s hard to believe that there is not a better punter out there than Derrick Frost. But I think we can safely say at this point that this experiment has been an utter failure.
A few additional thoughts after reading the McGinn piece this morning. Mike Stock is an idiot and his thinking, as reflected in the comments he gave McGinn, reflect the kind of deep coaching insecurities that lead to failure. Stock was asked about Ryan’s claim that the Packers discouraged Ryan from working with an outside punting specialist.
“I don’t believe in those things, and I’ll tell you why. One voice is the most important thing when you’re coaching a team or a player. You can’t have two different voices, especially long distance.”
Let me make the obvious point. One voice is plainly not the most important thing when you’re coaching a team or a player. The Detroit Lions got rid of Mike Martz in order to have their “one voice” be Rod Marinelli’s. How’s that working out? The most important thing, of course, is results. And Derrick Frost , even with the benefit of having only one voice, sucks.
McGinn asked whether the specific skills of punting make consulting an outsider appropriate. “No,” said Stock.
“If you want to get into the discussion of, does this guy know more about punting than the other guy? Do you want to read my bio? I’m not promoting myself, but I know what I know and I know what I’ve done and I know the people I’ve worked with.”
Wow. Where to begin? Do you want to read my bio? This is a response you’d expect to hear from a 4th grader at recess being taunted by a classmate than a professional coach being asked legitimate questions by a reporter. Beyond questions about maturity, what does this tell us about Stock’s intellect? What does his bio have to do with the fact that the Packers’ punter is ranked 26th in the league? Or that the Packers dumped a guy who is in the top 10 in the NFL in gross? We know what he’s done and who he’s worth with — at least as it matters to the Packers. It’s not impressive.
“It’s a matter of, this is the guy who is coaching that position. And this is his philosophy and this is the team’s philosophy, and that’s the philosophy we’ll follow.”
More insecurity. Follow that logic to its natural conclusion and performance doesn’t matter. Frost could be averaging 8 yards a punt and, according to Stock, “it’s a matter of, this is the guy who is coaching that position.” The concerns with Ryan, as I understand them, had much more to do with technique than philosophy, and an outside consultant would have focused on technique.
Bottom line: My belief is that Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and Mike Stock cut Jon Ryan in favor of Derrick Frost for one reason: Devin Hester. It was a classic overreaction that has demonstrably hurt the team. And the concern now is that they are sticking with the decision — and defending the indefensible — out of a stubborn desire to be proven that it’s not the mistake it appears to be.
There is one reasons to stick with Frost at this point, I suppose. He is the holder for Mason Crosby and introducing a new holder at this point in the season could prove disastrous. But if that’s why they’re keeping him, they ought to be touting Frost’s holding skills in public or they’ll leave Packer fans scratching their heads.