Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Packers give Aaron Rodgers a new coach
By Kevin Seifert
We've had two coaching developments Wednesday afternoon in the NFC North. We'll start with the Green Bay Packers' apparent shift of assistant Ben McAdoo from tight ends coach to quarterbacks coach, a move first reported by Jason La Canfora of NFL.com.
It was obvious that Packers coach Mike McCarthy had something in mind for McAdoo when he blocked requests from the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to interview him for their offensive coordinator jobs. McAdoo will fill the role once held by the highly regarded Tom Clements, whom McCarthy recently promoted to offensive coordinator to replace the departed Joe Philbin.
While McAdoo is obviously considered an up-and-comer in several corners of the NFL, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared skeptical earlier this week on his ESPN 540 radio show about the possibility of installing a coach with no experience at the position. Here's what Rodgers had to say about reports that McAdoo was a candidate for the job:
"I think that's an interesting conversation I hope I'm in the loop for, because going into my eighth season it'll be interesting to see what direction [McCarthy] wants to go in -- if he wants to bring in a former quarterback with experience to kind of help me with my transition into the middle part of my career being more of an established player in the league now. I'm not sure what the dynamic would be with a coach who hasn't coached the position before, but Ben is a very talented coach and if they do make that decision I'm sure he'll make a very smooth transition."
McAdoo, 34, has coached with McCarthy when both were with the New Orleans Saints (2004) and the San Francisco 49ers (2005). He was one of McCarthy's first hires when he got the Packers job in 2006 and has been their tight ends coach ever since. No matter how good a coach he is, it's fair to ask if he has the expertise to speak the language of a veteran MVP quarterback. McAdoo will also have the important job of developing the Packers' next backup quarterback, assuming that Matt Flynn signs elsewhere as a free agent.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears rounded out their staff by hiring Tim Holt as their offensive line coach. Holt was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' assistant offensive line coach in 2011, and it's expected that new offensive coordinator Mike Tice will retain a daily presence with the offensive line, much as defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli does with the Bears' defensive line.