Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Whitt waits his turn, still under contract
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- On the day when the Green Bay Packers' coaches met with reporters for the final time, one coach was noticeably absent.
Quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo had other matters to attend to. He was interviewing for the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching job.
Near the spot in the hallway outside of the Packers’ locker room where McAdoo usually talks to reporters stood cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt. Like McAdoo, Whitt is a young, rising star in the coaching ranks.
In recent offseasons, both McAdoo and Whitt were wanted commodities. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins both wanted to talk to McAdoo about their offensive coordinator openings. The Oakland Raiders were interested in Whitt for their defensive coordinator job. But because both were under contract for the following seasons with the Packers, the team could deny them the opportunity to interview.
That could be one of the reasons McAdoo was willing to let his deal expire after this season. If he doesn't land the Browns job, he could be in line for an offensive coordinator spot, perhaps with the Miami Dolphins.
Whitt, however, said on Wednesday he is under contract for next season but hopes that if another opportunity arises coach Mike McCarthy would allow him to pursue it.
“I like working for Mike,” Whitt said. “And hopefully if any other opportunities come in the future, I’ll be able to take those opportunities.”
The 35-year-old Whitt has made it no secret that he aspires to be a head coach. The next logical step to that end would be to become a defensive coordinator. With Dom Capers expected to return next season, that likely won’t happen in Green Bay in the near future.
“I always go back to what my dad said: ‘The way you get your next job is do the best job with the one you have,’” Whitt said.
Meanwhile, if McAdoo does leave, the Packers have a natural replacement in running backs coach Alex Van Pelt, a former NFL quarterback and quarterbacks coach with the Buffalo Bills.
"I really enjoy the experience the last two years of coaching running backs but I work for Coach Mike and whatever Coach Mike asks me to do I’m going to do with everything I got," Van Pelt said. "Not to speculate, but he asks obviously if he wants me to clean the bathrooms, I’ll do that."