It was 13 years ago today that the Green Bay Packers got their new coach – Mike Sherman was announced as the franchise’s 13th head coach by then-general manager Ron Wolf.
This was after the failed one-year experiment that was Ray Rhodes.
Wolf was highly impressed with Sherman after interviewing him and making the announcement, saying, ”He just blew my socks off.” Sherman had been Mike Holmgren’s offensive coordinator in the first two years of Holmgren’s time in Seattle coaching the Seahawks. However, prior to that, Sherman coached in Green Bay as the team’s tight ends and assistant offensive line coach.
Sherman had a significant amount of success in Green Bay, winning three consecutive NFC North Division titles, 2002, 2003, and 2004 with Brett Favre as his quarterback. Under Sherman, the Packers had five straight winning seasons, and according to his Wikipedia page, “From 2000–04, he compiled a 53–27 record, and a .663 winning percentage, which was the second highest in Packers history, trailing that of Vince Lombardi‘s, who is one of the most successful coaches in the history of football. Additionally, Green Bay and the Philadelphia Eagles were the only two teams to make the playoffs for four consecutive seasons from 2001–04.”
While Sherman was successful as a coach, his downfall with the Packers began when he took over the general manager’s position from Wolf in 2002. He had some success in drafting players (Nick Barnett, Scott Wells and Cullen Jenkins) and had teams that were very successful in running the ball with Ahman Green, it was the team’s poor showing in 2005 that cost him his job. When Ted Thompson was hired as general manager in 2005, he fired Sherman at the end of that season after the Packers suffered their first losing season since 1991 under Lindy Infante.
In all, Sherman finished his stint with the Packers with a record of 57-39. He had a 2-4 records in the playoffs.
A couple of Sherman’s biggest failures occurred in the Playoffs. in 2002, his 12-4 team was beaten badly at home by Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons and then in 2003 and 2004, the Packers were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. In 2003, the Packers lost to the Eagles in overtime in the famous “fourth and 26″ game. In 2004, the highly-favored Packers lost to the Vikings at Lambeau Field – a game where the Vikings’ Randy Moss “mooned” the crowd.
Since leaving the Packers, Sherman has spent time with the Houston Texans and was head coach at Texas A&M for four years before joining on with Joe Philbin, the former Packers’ offensive coordinator and now head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Sherman is that team’s offensive coordinator.