7:20pm: The Packers have decided to shake up their offensive staff, elevating Clements to associate head coach and moving Bennett to replace him at offensive coordinator, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports.
The most notable change from this reshuffling: Clements will accept the play-calling reins from McCarthy. These increased roles could make it easier for Packers assistants to receive head-coaching interviews, Rapoport tweeted Sunday after McCarthy questioned why his top staffers were never the “hot candidates,” in a January Rapoport account.
A former running back in Green Bay, Bennett coached the receivers the past four years after presiding over the running backs in the previous six seasons. The Packers have continued to produce top-flight receiving corps despite losses of key homegrown cogs Donald Driver (retirement), Greg Jennings (signed with the Vikings in 2013) and James Jones (UFA-Vikings in 2014).
4:36 pm: The Packers 2014 season was a successful one by most standards, as the club won 12 games and finished first in the NFC North. A devastating loss to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game looms over Green Bay, however, and the team is now reportedly considering changes to its coaching staff. Sources tell Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com that head coach Mike McCarthy is “looking at different possibilities” with regards to altering his staff’s responsibilities, with once such scenario entailing him relinquishing play-calling duties.
Radio station 104.5 The Fan in Green Bay reported (Twitter link) that offensive coordinator Tom Clements is set to be promoted to associate head coach and will be handed the job of calling plays, while current receivers coach Edgar Bennett would shift to OC. Demovsky couldn’t confirm that exact structural change, and added that nothing has been finalized yet. Still, sources tell the ESPN scribe that McCarthy has privately noted the difficulty of managing the day-to-day operations of the team while also tending to play-calling, so the staff changes shouldn’t come as a surprise.
McCarthy, the Packers’ HC since 2006, has called the offensive plays for the duration of his reign in Green Bay. The offensive unit has been consistently above-average, finishing no lower than 11th in DVOA since 2007, including two No. 1 finishes (2011 and 2014). Clements has been on the Packers’ coaching staff since 2006, as well, acting as the QB coach from ’06-’12, then taking over as OC in 2013 following the departure of Joe Philbin. He was the play-caller for the Bills from 2004-05.
Sam Robinson contributed to this report.