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Recent posts by Dan Arkush
As was the case with the internal maneuvers that were made in Mike McCarthy's staff last offseason, the Packers' head coach is quite confident the changes following offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's exit to become the Dolphins' new head coach will result in another seamless transition.
Last year, McCarthy shuffled the staff after highly respected WR coach Jimmy Robinson left for Dallas to become the Cowboys' assistant head coach/wide receivers by shifting Edgar Bennett from RB coach to WR coach and Jerry Fontenot from assistant offensive line coach to RB coach.
This offseason was even more turbulent, with newly hired Alex Van Pelt, who spent the past two years as Josh Freeman's QB coach in Tampa Bay, taking over as the RB coach for Fontenot, who took over as the TE coach. Plus, Ben McAdoo, the former TE coach, was elevated to QB coach after Tom Clements moved up to replace Philbin as the offensive coordinator.
As a result, McCarthy can be forgiven for occasionally losing track of his assistants' positioning on the Green Bay coaching merry-go-round.
"We had a staff meeting and for six years, the O-Line coach went first and talked about his players," McCarthy recently told PFW at the NFL Scouting Combine. "And Ben McAdoo is standing next to the O-line coach, and I start talking about the tight ends. He looked at me, and I had to remember he was coaching the quarterbacks. It's a little bit of an adjustment, but it's really part of the planning.
"We look at the coaching staff a lot like we look at our roster. We want to have young coaches in places they're able to develop and grow within the coaching staff. We've done that. I am excited about Jerry Fontenot. I had the opportunity to coach him and watch him develop from an assistant line coach to running backs last year to tight ends. Edgar Bennett did a great job of moving from the running backs to wide receivers last year. We've been preparing Ben McAdoo for this opportunity, and Alex Van Pelt, bringing another quarterback coach with that type of experience to our staff, I think is an excellent fit. I think he'll give our running backs a different perspective, a different viewpoint in the way he'll coach those guys."
At the end of the day, McCarthy has lost only two assistants the past two seasons — Robinson and Philbin. Seven of his assistants have been with him from the beginning in Green Bay: Clements, Bennett, McAdoo, O-line coach James Campen, assistant head coach/ILBs Winston Moss, special-teams coordinator Shawn Slocum and strength-and-conditioning coordinator Mark Lovat.
"The continuity is definitely a strength in the coaching fraternity," McCarthy said. "I think if you ask any coach, the ability to challenge yourself and have continuity and fight complacency is a lot better than bringing new guys up to speed every year. Our staff will have challenges just like any staff in the league. I definitely feel our coaching staff is a big strength of our program."