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Friday, January 8, 2010
Packers' Clements an intriguing option

By JEFF DICKERSON

Tom Clements
Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements has played a big role in the development of Aaron Rodgers, left.

CHICAGO -- Judging by the amount of e-mail received since Monday, it appears many Chicago Bears fans are unfamiliar with Tom Clements, a name David Haugh first brought up over a month ago on our ESPN 1000 radio show as a potential candidate for the Bears offensive coordinator job.

Since then, we've tried to give background information on Clements' impressive career on the air multiple times, but since the offensive coordinator opening is the hottest topic in town, let's do it again.


First of all, Clements is under contract with the Green Bay Packers (quarterbacks coach), and the Packers are probably in no rush to let a talented coach leave for the rival Bears. If Clements makes enough noise to get out of his deal, maybe Green Bay would allow it, but is there enough security in Chicago for somebody to make that move?

Mike Martz needs a job, so he would take it. Jeremy Bates is a college coach, so he would likely take it. But Clements works for a solid organization, and is held in high regard for his work with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. What if he comes here for one season, and then Lovie Smith gets fired? Where does that leave him? They are all questions any experienced coach ponders when contemplating a big career move.

Plus, there's also a chance the Packers go deep into the playoffs. Would the Bears wait for Clements? If the answer is yes, and if Clements and Green Bay give the green light, then he should be strongly considered for the job.

Clements has been the Packers quarterbacks coach since 2006, helping transform Rodgers into an elite passer the past two seasons. He also coached quarterbacks in Pittsburgh (2001-03), Kansas City (2000) and New Orleans (1997-99), so if the Bears are looking for an experienced hand to deal with Jay Cutler; this is the guy.

Clements also served as Buffalo's offensive coordinator in 2004-05, a vital element of his resume, since hiring a play-caller with experience should be a prerequisite for Smith.

Some may view Clements as a safe choice given some of the other candidates. I view him as an intelligent choice. But are the Packers on-board with the idea?