Packers Reportedly Promote Edgar Bennett

Edgar Bennett & Mike McCarthy

According to WDUZ The Fan 107.5 FM in Green Bay, the Green Bay Packers are reportedly promoting wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett to offensive coordinator.  Current offensive coordinator Tom Clements will promote to assistant head coach and take over the offensive play-calling duties as well.  ESPN’s Rob Demovsky tweeted that he has multiple sources saying the Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is still pondering staffing changes and play-calling duty changes, but that nothing has been finalized.

While this is sorted out, there has not been any speculation as to who might replace Bennett as wide receivers coach.  The move would come on the heels of a devastating loss for the Packers in the NFC championship game against the Seattle Seahawks, after which McCarthy was heavily criticized for his play calling throughout the game.  Second-guessing play calls is all too common today with the increased access that media and fans have to information about the teams and the inner workings during the actual game.  Just a week ago, Super Bowl XLIX saw the Seahawks elect not to give the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch on a second down play inside the five-yard line and instead attempted a pass that was intercepted.  The turnover sealed the win and championship for the New England Patriots and everyone is still debating and contriving conspiracy theories about why Seattle chose to throw.

One thing that stood out, however, that makes this apparent move by the Packers a bit less surprising is a comment that McCarthy made during his season-ending press conference.  When asked why linebacker Clay Matthews wasn’t on the field at the end of the last game in Seattle, here was his answer:

“I talked to Clay and he just said he needed a minute. Looking him in the eye and everything, I didn’t see any reason for concern there. But as far as, the doctors, especially being a play-caller, I don’t get every play by play of what every guy was looked at during the course of the game.”

Additionally, when asked why the Packers didn’t try to challenge Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman when he was obviously hampered by an arm injury, McCarthy again indicated that he wasn’t aware of the injury.

These two incidents bring to light something that the Packers seemed to be pondering as well:  should the head coach be more aware of what is going on in all phases during games?  According to this report about staffing and responsibility changes and if true, the answer is yes.

Since taking over as head coach of the Packers in 2006, McCarthy has called the offense.  He’s an offensive mind and so the removal of calling each play will lead to some interesting questions about how McCarthy will handle the transition as well as what this means for the Packers offense.  McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers have said many times that Rodgers has total autonomy at the line of scrimmage to change a play based on the defensive alignment across from them.  Judging by the Packers’ track record over the seven seasons that Rodgers has been the starter, he seems to have a good handle on that added responsibility.  Looking at what Peyton Manning has made a Hall of Fame career out of in both Indianapolis and in Denver, Rodgers is also one of a rare breed that almost takes on the role of coordinator while playing.

While these potential moves signal change, it would keep the continuity of the offense and the staff together.  Clements has not always been very forthright and available to the media so it’s hard to gauge what exactly we can expect with his calling the offense on Sundays.  The other question is what happens, if anything, to current assistant head coach and linebackers coach Winston Moss?  There doesn’t appear to be anything keeping the Packers from having two coaches carry the title of “assistant head coach”.  One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it could affect both Clements and Moss in terms of future interview opportunities.  There were reports that the Cleveland Browns were interested in Clements for their offensive coordinator position, however the Packers have long held onto the policy of not allowing other NFL teams to speak to their coaches about lateral job openings.  As far as Moss, he hasn’t drawn much interest around the league the past few years and one has to think that the play of the Packers linebackers, specifically on the inside, isn’t doing him any favors.

We will continue to monitor this for confirmation from the team, but this is the first shake up in Green Bay heading into the 2015 offseason and with the start of free agency just a month away, there will be more to come.



Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on

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25 thoughts on “Packers Reportedly Promote Edgar Bennett

  1. Great news. Not only does this address McCarthy’s at-times inept or uninspiring play-calling but it keeps Edgar Bennett and Tom Clements in Green Bay. Edgar Bennett is pure gold. Ted should do absolutely everything in his power to keep him around.

  2. When I read the headline I instantly grew 100x more excited for the upcoming season.

  3. This is great news. I’m a little puzzled why Bennett will be OC and Clements is calling plays – but MM, although a great offensive mind, was stretched too thin on game days. It was obvious.

    This is a super bowl team. Barring injury, I’m calling for GB as Super Bowl 50 champs right bloody now. A dominant season is on tap for us.

    We meed an ILB or 2 and a DT or 2 in free agency and the draft. Not superstars mind you, just solid players. A field stretching TE might be nice too, but not absolutely necessary.

    1. They certainly look like they’re capable of going all the way, and looking back, they should’ve. But a lot can change from one season to the other. Yes, not a lot of our guys are old enough to be regressing, but the Packers’ are yet to re-sign key players like Bulaga and Cobb. Then there’re offseason changes to nearly contending teams, like the Ravens, the Seahawks could be better, so could the Patriots… Not to mention a lot can happen during the season, particularly injuries. Just too early. I do share your optimism, Bearmeat, I think, right now, they’re contenders, but it isn’t even March.

      I’m also happy with this possibility of a different playcaller. As Jason aptly said, it’ll give McCarthy a better control of the overall scheme of things, something that’s sorely needed; he’ll finally be a head coach. MM will continue to have say in the offensive playcalling, no doubt, which will ease Clements’ transition. That is the biggest issue here, btw: he has never called a pro game. I also fully expect Rodgers to have more say on the final gameplan and more liberty in the huddle, which is also good. A fresh approach will be good, with someone closer to Rodgers calling the plays.

      MM’s forte is not playcalling. His forte is creating plays. We won’t be losing that. However, like said, we’ll have someone calling plays who’s never done it before. Though I think it’ll be the ideal situation, with a veteran, very intelligent player inside the helmet and a pro playcaller supervising it.

      If indeed this changes happen, I think it’s for the best. I expect some adaptation time, and hope McCarthy won’t regret it and undo the change too soon. But, if he doesn’t, I believe we’ll be a better coached team and will have better decision-making overall during games.

      This is McCarthy letting go. Bravo if it goes through. He’s losing some of the stubborness and getting more savvy.

      1. I disagree on the Seahawks and Pats getting better. The Seahawks are going to have to pay Wilson a TON of money and they’ve got several important pieces that they can’t afford. The Pats just won the super bowl and several players of theirs are going to get PAID super bowl winning money. We’re in much better cap shape. We’ve got plenty to sign both Bulaga and Cobb (and House) and clear room for Daniels next year.

        But yes, you are right that lots can happen. But we have the best roster and are in great shape age/cap wise. We are therefore the favorite. And we should be. 🙂

      1. Sure it’d be great – but I don’t think we NEED it. All things equal, we NEED another (2?) ILB and DT. Rodgers can be the next Bubba Franks and we will keep Cobb. Him running in the middle of the field (as well as Lacy out of the backfield) can’t replace JFin, but they can go a long way towards it.

        Why not an UDFA or a mid round pick on a H/W/S prospect? Unless there’s a sure fire guy there, I think the top draft resources would be better spent at ILB and DT.

        1. The reason I think we need it is the lack of it has made us easier to defend than it should be. When Finley was at his best and we were stronger up the middle we had the whole package, teams like the Shawks and 9rs couldnt handle us if we were on and they knew it. To me that will serve us well in postseason and takes us back to the to. p

          1. I get it (and agree with you) A seam splitting TE would be huge for the offense.

            Where I don’t agree with you is that the offense was more deadly in 2011 than it was this year. Sure, we probably scored more points and certainly had more yards in 2011, but we also HAD to score 35 a game to win in 2011 too. Having to “only” get 24 this year to win all but games 1, 4 and 12 makes the story MUCH different. With the run game and a superior OL, this year’s offense might not have been as sexy, but it was a whole helluva lot more dependable.

            The resources it takes to get a seam busting TE that will make an instant impact (and not just a H/W/S prospect that might blossom in 3 years) is HUGE. 1st or 2nd round pick or a massive FA. Best case. I just don’t think it’s worth that. I’d rather let RRod develop and get a project that will possibly be huge in a couple/three years for cheap in the mid/late rounds.

            For proof, just look at what Detroit did with Ebron this year. Best TE prospect since Gronk. And he did a whole lotta nothing. Amaro was better, but not much.

            Plus, teams like the Seahawks couldn’t stop us this year. As a matter of fact, the only time post September that I was frustrated with the offense was the Buffalo game (choke) and the 4th Quarter of the Seattle game (choke). The argument can fairly be made that we had the best offense in the league this year.

            1. You’ve convinced me with the Ebron point. I love R Rodgers and hope he plays bigger role. Just don’t want to count on that. Also think a big problem in red zone this year was not having a tall athletic TE.

              1. Well RRod is tall and can catch. Just not fast. Which should make less of a difference in close quarters… but I digress.

                I’d love a nice shiny toy to play with in between the numbers too Tundra. Just not sure it’s worth it when the team NEEDS a ILB or 2 and DT NOW.

              2. Couldn’t agree with you more. I have been saying for the last 4 years that we need 2 ILB, one a mean nasty sob and another fast hard hitter. From all the years I have watched football, I can not remember a single team that won without a solid middle D and certainly not one as bad as ours is,was. I do not know how the hell we won 8 game last year with the safety play and Hawk and Jones. And yes a DL are our first and only priorities for me. I also think Rodgers can be the TE I hope for. Cant wait til next year. This will be fun.

  4. Moss should be let go for keeping B. Jones and Hawk in the line up this year when everyone could see they were the reason for the weakness in the Packers middle. Being the coach he should have benched them and put back ups in to play they could not have been any worse. Heck I would have rather seen Bradford out there instead of Jones!

    As for MM giving up calling plays I think Clements and Rodgers will work well together and stay aggressive the whole game now!

  5. I’m glad that I assume correctly that HC job has many things involved which is disturbed by play calling duty. HC have to be aware of all little things about his team, as well as about opponent. He need to feel the pulse of the game and to act accordingly. He need to put the pressure on the referees and to know immediately if there is possibility for challenging the referees decisions. All those small, but very important things was taken away from mike McCarthy because of his play calling duty he was held so jealously. But I was sure that Mike McCarthy will learn fast and make necessary changes… This is very good news!

  6. Just saw this on NFL Network and ran over to see what people are saying. I don’t know if either Clements or Bennett has any experience calling plays at any level (I’m all but sure that the answer is no for Bennett), but that might be why Clements is calling plays. I think this is a change for the better, but we’ll have to see what happens. For all we know we’ve traded one pariah for another.

    My suspicion is that MM has spent a significant amount of time thinking about all that has transpired in the last four weeks (personally and professionally). For those who continue to beat on MM, this is an indication that some tigers can change their stripes…

    1. “some tigers can change..” why would we want him to? I mean, sure, he’s got faults, and everyone can (and should strive) to improve themselves throughout their life, but we act like he’s Marc frigging Trestman way too often!

      MM is an excellent game plan designer. He’s an innovative offensive mind and he knows how to lead and motivate men. He’s not the best playcaller in the world, but he’s a very, very good coach. Top 5 in the NFL.

      We’ve got it good. Just imagine if we were Browns fans! *shudder*

  7. I am aghast that MM did not know Sherman was hurt. It is not like Sherman was hurt just for the last few plays of the game. It was for quite a while. Isn’t there anyone on the staff who could whisper such news to the play caller so that he could call a play to possibly exploit such situations? Not sure giving up play calling duties would remedy that situation. I have no opinion on whether these are good changes or just changes, but I did not think MM would make these kinds of moves.

    Ian Rapoport is also reporting these changes. I read that Clements was OC and called plays for Buffalo in 2004-05 season, but had the play calling duties stripped from him in October of that season. Don’t know why or what he had to work with. The QB was J. P. Losman, not a world beater. I found a bunch of very positive articles on Clements as a QB coach, but only this (negative) article on Clements as a play caller:

  8. McCarthy has always been great a preparing his team all week. And then basically abandons his head coaching job to be offensive coordinator on Sundays. He really needs to be head coach on Sundays as well and manage ALL aspects of the team. True, his play calling has been too conservative at times and a better play caller would make a huge difference, but I think his absence as a head coach has been just as detrimental. I think if he was HC instead of OC in the Seattle game, he’d likely have had time to insist his ST coach look out a fake field goal, question who’s on or not on the field and why, and encourage all parts of his team to execute by paying attention to details where MC excels. While being OC, he doesn’t have time for any of that. As a result, the Packers have no head coach on Sundays and that has lost us games. That’s got to stop.

    1. Good assessment of what I also see as the problem. I see a lot of growth in Mc Carthy this year in other areas but not on game day

  9. What is the old saying about believing half of what you see…? Seems like a huge overhaul for a team that almost got there. If it is true, I got to hand it to McCarthy for not sitting still.

    If it is true, I do wonder about Tom Clements. His OC interviews are downright hostile. Why should that matter? A man needs to keep learning and a coach needs to keep teaching. I hope his attitude and/or ego don’t get in the way of building something better. I would hate to see this get in the way of Rodgers challenging the call.

  10. These proposed changes are interesting and could work out well. I expect/hope that the Packers have included feedback from A. Rodgers on the play calling changes. He will be the most impacted and his buy-in is the most important for the team. Regardless MM will have final say on plays sent in and Rodgers can still change the play at the LOS. The keys for 2015 will be forgetting the Seattle collapse, improving the D at ILB and DL, improved ST play, signing Cobb and Bulaga, and improvement at TE either with the current players or a draft pick or FA. Thanks, Since ’61

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