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Packers' Rich Bisaccia will 'look in every nook and cranny' to improve special teams unit

Much of the Packers' offseason focused on the departures, notably the Davante Adams trade, losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling and cutting Za'Darius Smith, who proceeded to sign with rival Minnesota. But one big addition that has flown under the radar: new special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.

The Packers operated the worst special teams unit in the NFL last season, missing kicks, botching punts, missing blocking assignments, tackling poorly on returns. It was a gross display in Green Bay in the third phase of the game.

Enter Bisaccia, who has spent 20 years in the NFL, mainly operating as a special teams coach. It's a hire that could prove to be the most underrated move in the entire NFC North this offseason.

In his first meeting with the Green Bay media since being hired by coach Matt LaFleur, Bisaccia noted the overhaul of the unit would be pervasive.

"We're going to look in every nook and cranny to see what we can do to make ourselves better," Bisaccia said Tuesday via the team's official website. "There's not one specific thing."

The Packers' special teams unit struggled all season, coming to a head in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. A missed field goal and a blocked punt for a touchdown directly led to the early exit for the NFC's No. 1 seed.

If Green Bay had even an average special teams unit last season, it might have been the team representing the NFC during the L.A. Super Bowl.

The failures led to Maurice Drayton's firing after the season. But it wasn't a one-year issue with the Green Bay special teams' struggles. Shawn Mennenga lasted just two seasons as the coordinator. And Packers fans long skewered Ron Zook for a shaky unit during his run at the position.

Enter Bisaccia, who will now try to turn around the woeful unit. Veteran punter Pat O'Donnell replaces Corey Bojorquez and will also hold kicks. Kicker Mason Crosby is in line to return, but the Packers added JJ Molson and Dominik Eberle to the roster for competition. Bisaccia said he's confident Crosby can bounce back from a bad year.

Elsewhere, the Packers could decide to use a few more regulars on special teams to help their coverage and blocking groups.

"We have a one-play mentality," Bisaccia said. "We don't get three downs to get it right. We have one play to make a difference, and they have to understand the significance and the criticalness of that particular play, and I think if we can get that across, we'll play better."

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