Clements takes over play-calling duties

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media about coaching changes Thursday.

On changes:

Offensively, Tom Clements has been promoted to associate head coach/offense. Edgar Bennett has been promoted to offensive coordinator. Van Pelt handling quarterbacks and receivers. It's a treat to have Mike Solari here, he'll be our assistant offensive line coach. I'm excited about what Jason Simmons brings to the table. Jerry Montgomery will primarily be working hand-in-hand with Dom Capers. I think you know me well enough. Big changes aren't something I do in hast. This is something I feel is my responsibility each and every year. These changes I'm excited about. Enjoyed my time the last two days being with defensive staff meetings. I will split my time equally with offense, defense and special teams. With my past responsibilities, I didn't do that.

On play-calling:

Tom Clements will be the play-caller. Really the biggest change for me personally, I felt the play-calling was something I could still do but the commitment you have to make Monday through Saturday. Tom taking responsibility on offense that I had in the past. Alex has a unique opportunity of working with quarterbacks and receivers. I don't think changes will be too big for players. We think these adjustments will continue to help us grow.

On why it's important to split time:

I think I have a lot more to offer. I enjoyed the last two days going through cut ups with offense. There's a vision you get each and every year. Now I'll be more directly involved with implementation with defense. Special teams needs to improve. It's an area of concern in the past. We have to continue to develop our young players and get more out of our veterans. The standard of play on special teams, our consistency of veteran players wasn't what it needed to be. That will be a focus of mine.

On giving up play-calling:

I'm going to miss it. I know that. But the way we're structured. The way our quarterbacks are in their development. The way we call the game is a lot different than three years ago. I feel good about where Aaron is, but also our veteran offensive linemen and receivers. We can make adjustments on the sideline. I feel good about mechanics. I think it'll make us all better. We haven't got into the game-day responsibilities, but as we get through spring and summer there will probably be another adjustment made.

On what role Seattle played:

The reason to do this is about winning championships. This is not the first time I've thought about this. I think this is the time to do it. I think our staff is ready. It's an opportunity for them to make an impact. I feel we'll be better offensively from that. I know I have a lot more to offer to our football team and they're going to get that. This decision is made over the long haul.

On how hard it'll be in September:

I'm excited about my new job responsibility. I know Tom is excited about his new responsibility. We kind of grinded through the job responsibilities. Felt like it was time to have it. We'll continue to get through the specifics of it. I can still call a play if I need to.

On Tom Clements:

I think you have to take a close look at Tom Clements. He called plays in the CFL. He's done it in the NFL. Aaron has an excellent working relationship with Tom and Alex Van Pelt. Edgar will now be apart of that with the offensive coordinator position. The fit with Aaron was of the highest priority.

On Alex Van Pelt's role:

It's really going to be seamless. We'll be a little more creative with how we practice. We spend a lot of time together with QBs and WRs. The way we game plan and meet. The changes we made last year. We felt we hit a home run there. We're not going to change a whole lot of that. These changes on our staff won't be changes for our players.

On Shawn Slocum:

We made the change on special teams with Shawn. It was a difficult decision on professional and personal level. We're about growth. Ron Zook is someone I had history with. Jason Simmons was an excellent contributor. I'm going to be the third guy in the room now.

On Jerry Montgomery:

Me being third guy in special teams room, it gives us a chance to get another defensive coach. Dom would like to have someone to work side by side with him. We had a number of candidates come through. Bob Stoops, called him Thursday. He was very gracious. He's someone we've been looking at for a couple of years. These are types of decisions and things we're looking at long term.

On Zook:

Ron and I and Jason, we'll sit down and we'll start the first page of the playbook and huddle. The culture, energy and mechanics, there will be changes like always. I feel like we're very creative with our program here. How do you get the coaching staff better? How do you improve the support staff? We have a big construction project going on right now. It's about growth. It's all about culture and energy.

On relinquishing duties, energized in new role:

Absolutely. In the defensive cut-ups the whole day. You're usually in and out. I'm excited about it. I don't know excited they are. Meetings will be a lot longer. It's going to make us better. I'm very confident. It's fun to call plays on Sundays. I enjoyed it more than anything. Nothing like Sundays. You can't get what NFL player or coach gets on Sunday. To go out there and compete against the coordinator. It's something I've taken a lot of pride in, success in. We'll be better for it.

On assistants getting radar:

I hope so. I think anytime you give someone the opportunity for more responsibility. It's also the best part for our program. We've won a lot of games around here. A big part of it is the development of young players.

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