Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that he had thought about giving up play calling before. After the Packers coughed up the lead and fell to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game, McCarthy could no longer hide from the fact that he needed to get more involved in all aspects of his football team.
To pull that off, McCarthy needed to give up the job that he loved, the job that required so much of his time and attention.
McCarthy and the Packers announced a number of staff moves on Thursday, first and foremost, the promotion of Tom Clements to Associate Head Coach/Offense, with play calling duties.
McCarthy also elevated Ron Zook to Special Teams Coordinator, replacing the fired Shawn Slocum.
McCarthy also named Edgar Bennett the teams offensive coordinator, made Alex Van Pelt the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. He hired Mike Solari / Assistant Offensive line coach, Jerry Montgomery / Defensive Front assistant and Jason Simmons / Assistant Special Teams coach.
McCarthy will now have time to directly involve himself in all phases of the game. He’s one of the best play-callers in the game and it wasn’t easy to give up those duties.
McCarthy will still be involved in the offense and will have overall veto power on play calls. But he’ll spend time in defensive and special teams meeting rooms and focus much more of his attention in those areas.
Special teams became a weakness down the stretch and is a big reason why the Packers didn’t advance to the Super Bowl. Ron Zook takes over as Special Teams Coordinator, but you can bet the head coach will put some serious time into helping that unit improve.
In all, McCarthy said, “It’s going to make us better. I’ve very confident in that.”