ORDER, COUNTER-ORDER, DISORDER? A year ago, these pages were following the regime change in Green Bay, and suggesting that more recriminations were in order. Packer management brought in Ted Thompson as general manager, redefining then head coach and general manager Mike Sherman's portfolio as head coach and vice-president. Mr Thompson subsequently hired Miami's defensive coordinator Jim Bates as defensive coordinator. For all the troubles the Packers had this year, in many losses the margin of defeat was an interception return for a touchdown or a missed field goal. Some of the other troubles were recurrences of troubles in the 2004 season. At that time, a sportswriter asserted,
Coach Mike Sherman has won a ton of regular-season games but hasn’t even reached the NFC Championship Game in five years. His team failed even to compete Sunday, just as it didn’t against St. Louis in 2001 and against Atlanta in 2002. Last year, Sherman blew it himself in Philadelphia by not going for it on a fateful late fourth and 1.
(This column came in the aftermath of a blowout playoff loss, at home to Minnesota. For the second straight year, Minnesota put more than thirty points up on the Central Division champion, but that didn't save their coach.)

Today, Mr Sherman's portfolio has been further redefined by the Packers as job-seeker.
Sherman's winning percentage is the fourth best all-time among Packers coaches, behind Vince Lombardi (.746), Mike Holmgren (.670) and Curly Lambeau (.657).
Unfortunately, on Mr Sherman's tenure, the Packers underachieved in the playoffs, losing at home twice, something that hadn't happened in 70 or 80 years of title games and the later divisional playoffs.

During the 132 years that the New York Yacht Club held the America's Cup, legend had it that the display case that housed the Cup would be used to house the head of the skipper who lost it. Dennis Conner managed to keep his head, despite losing the Cup. The way coaches turn over, Mike Sherman might yet land on his feet. (Minnesota and Detroit are looking ...)

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