Category Archives: Tom Clements

17

August

Packers vs. Browns: A Closer Look at the Backup QB Position

Aaron Rodgers and Colt McCoy

Aaron Rodgers and Colt McCoy

Packers backup quarterback Graham Harrell replaced Aaron Rodgers on the team’s first possession in the second quarter, and he remained on the field well into the fourth quarter.

The Packers got an extensive look at Harrell during the game, but in almost three quarters of action, he was only able to muster up a meager three points for the offense. Harrell completed 12 of 24 passes for 100 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. And he drew a flag for intentional grounding in the endzone, resulting in a safety.

In completing fifty-percent of his passes, throwing two picks and recording a safety, it was a night to forget for the Packers’ backup quarterback.

But on the other sideline, Cleveland backup QB Colt McCoy looked like his usual steady self during his only possession of the night.

McCoy replaced starter Brandon Weeden in the middle of the third quarter and led the Browns on an impressive 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped off by a Brandon Jackson touchdown run. The former Texas star carved up the Packers’ reserves, completing four of six passes for 58 yards on the drive.

With the starting job occupied by Weeden, many have speculated about McCoy’s availability via trade. The most common suggestions to land McCoy? The Philadelphia Eagles with QB-guru Andy Reid, and the Packers.

General manager Ted Thompson certainly won’t speak on any specific personnel moves until something comes to fruition, but if the Browns offer McCoy for a late-round draft pick, Thompson may be tempted.

It’s clear that the Packers are one of the most talented teams in the NFL at full strength. However, if Rodgers were to get hurt and miss a few games, would the coaching staff be comfortable with Harrell leading the offense?

In Cleveland’s 35-10 preseason demolition of the Packers on Thursday Night, one backup quarterback looked like he could win a couple spot starts in the regular season. He was on the Browns’ sideline, and his name is Colt McCoy.

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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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27

April

What the Experts are Saying about Nick Perry, Packers First Round Draft Pick

New Packers OLB Nick Perry - NFL Draft Photo

Was Nick Perry a hit or miss with the draftniks?

The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is history.  As you probably know by now, the Green Bay Packers selected USC DE/OLB Nick Perry with the 28th overall pick.

If you’ve been surfing the web this morning, you’ve probably read some opinions on the Packers’ selection from members of the Green Bay front office as well as draft “experts” from many media outlets.

If you haven’t read them yet, or you just want to come to one place to see many of them, here they are below.

Packers GM Ted Thompson:

“He played with his hand on the ground, but we’re convinced he’s athletic enough to play standing up and do some of the things we do. He’s a very physical guy.”

“Tremendous physical specimen. He runs a 4.5 or something like that. At the end of the day, thought he’d make a nice addition to our outside linebacking group. Believe he’s athletic enough to stand up. He can rush the passer.”

“He’s very sharp,” Thompson said. “Very good person. Alonzo (Highsmith, a Green Bay area scout) was the group leader in his group at the combine and said he was very genuine, very good with other players, that sort of thing.” (29 Wonderlic)

Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers:

“We’re very excited about Nick Perry. Tested extremely well at the combine. He’s an explosive player. He had good production at a high-level of competition at USC. It’ll be a little bit of a transition, but that’s not new to our defense. He certainly has the size and power to convert that into rushing the passer. We think he’ll be able to make the transition for us.”

“”There will be a transition,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “He has played with his hand down more than he has standing up. But that’s not uncommon for us in this defense. The first thing we look for is a guy’s ability to rush the passer.”

“The number one priority is can you come off the edge and he ran in the 4.5s for a guy coming off the edge. We’re seen him be very physical on lineman. He has good hip flexbility. Some of it will be a learning process, but that’s not uncommon with these guys.”

20

March

Tebowmania in Titletown? Just Say No!

Broncos QB Tim Tebow

Tebowmania in Wisconsin? Let's hope not.

If you are following me on Twitter, you know I’m a Tim Tebow guy.  I love the intangibles he brings to a team and the unique skill set he has.  Nothing makes me happier than someone going against the grain and succeed in doing so all while driving his detractors absolutely nuts.  He’s a great story, really.

That said, Tim Tebow has absolutely no business being on the Green Bay Packers roster.  Adam Schefter has tweeted a couple times about the Packers being a possible destination for Tebow now that the Denver Broncos have signed Peyton Manning.  I would implore GM Ted Thompson, however, to not even sniff around the former Gator star.

Why, you ask?

First off is the baggage that comes with Tebow.  Normally when someone talks about “baggage” in regards to a professional athlete, they’re talking about a checkered past or other skeletons in a guy’s closet.  This isn’t the case with Tebow.  Instead his “baggage” is an army of millions of blindly devoted Tebowmaniacs.

Who are these “Tebowmaniacs?” These are people ranging from fans to actual paid members of the mainstream sports media (I’m looking at you, Skip Bayless).  These people would descend upon Green Bay as well as Packer sites all over the internet.  The media coverage would be so intense it would border on making the Favre fiasco in 2008 look like a walk in the park.

There is no way Aaron Rodgers, the reigning league MVP, would be supplanted by Tebow but that doesn’t mean some of the Tebowmaniacs won’t start a push for it.  We’re talking about fans that have a level of passion for the guy like teen girls have for Justin Bieber.

Thompson hates media circuses and he has firsthand experience after the Summer of Favre.  The fact that Schefter mentioned the Packers shows that Thompson is perhaps slightly intrigued by adding Tebow to the roster as either the backup behind Rodgers or perhaps the third string behind Graham Harrell.

There’s also the small fact that Tebow is lousy as an NFL quarterback right now.  Yes, he’s shown flashes of brilliance but he is way too inconsistent and too poor of a pocket passer to be able to firmly grasp Mike McCarthy’s offense as a backup.  Matt Flynn at least had the fundamentals in line and McCarthy, Tom Clements and Joe Philbin were able to mold him into a decent quarterback.

17

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: QB Kellen Moore, Boise State

QB Kellen Moore

Boise State QB Kellen Moore: Matt Flynn's replacement?

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Kellen Moore

Player information:

Kellen Moore QB, Boise State

6’0”, 197 lbs

Hometown: Prosser, WA

NFL Combine:

40 yard dash:  4.94

Vertical jump:  27”

Broad jump: 8’3”

20 yard shuttle: 4.56

3-cone drill: 7.41

News and Notes:

Finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 2010.  Holds the NCAA Division I record for career wins by quarterback with 50.  Played on a Boise State team that many thought deserved to have a shot at the national title despite playing in a weaker conference, which could be why some are projecting Moore to be drafted in the sixth or seventh round.  Finished his college career with a 69.8% completion rating throwing for 14,667 yards and 142 touchdowns to just 28 interceptions.  Named by Sporting News as the top player in the nation, ahead of likely number one overall pick Andrew Luck. Won one BCS bowl in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, beating TCU 17-10

What they’re saying about him:

Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com: “With such an impressive collegiate resume, Moore will get his shot at the next level, but, as he showed Tuesday in practice, he has an uphill battle because of his size and arm limitations. Moore has very good touch and anticipation on this passes, but, to little surprise, his lack of arm strength was exposed on several pro-style passes and scouts have been discouraged with his unorthodox mechanics. There is a place in the NFL for a brilliant offensive mind like Moore, but he hasn’t shown anything in practice to warrant a pick in the top five rounds.”

Wes Bunting, NationalFootballPost.com: “when discussing his potential in the NFL, in my mind it’s tough to give a high grade to a guy who is 5115 (5-feet and 11.5-inches) and doesn’t have the arm strength needed to make all the throws and drive the football down the field. Now to his credit he does do a nice job anticipating routes, staying in proper rhythm in the pass game and has a natural feel when the football needs to come out. Plus, his pocket awareness is very good as he’s subtle with his movements buying time in the pocket, maintains balance and transfers his weight well through the throw when he has time.

20

January

Miami Dolphins Hire Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin To Be Next Head Coach

The Miami Dolphins have hired Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their next head coach.

According to both Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Miami Dolphins will hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their next head coach. Terms of his contract are reportedly already agreed upon and a press conference is slated for Saturday.

Philbin, who has held the role of offensive coordinator since 2007 in Green Bay, beat out Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Miami secondary coach and assistant head coach Todd Bowles for the position. All three men went through two rounds of interviews with GM Jeff Ireland and owner Stephen Ross.

Some, including ESPN’s John Clayton, figured McCoy was the front runner after the final round of interviews were completed. Philbin was a favorite of Ross, and that might have trumped any hiring that Ireland wanted to make.

Philbin’s hiring completes what has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 27-year coaching veteran. While in the process of interviewing in both Kansas City and Miami, Philbin’s 21-year-old son Michael fell through the ice on the Fox River in Oshkosh and drowned. That tragedy also conincided with the Packers preparation for their Divisional Round game against the New York Giants, a contest in which the Packers lost 37-20 last Sunday. Philbin was present at the game and served in his full capacity despite Michael’s funeral being on the Friday before the game.

Now, Philbin will take over a franchise that has been through several coaches and quarterbacks over the better part of the last decade. The Dolphins finished 6-10 in 2011.

Philbin also becomes the first of what could be many Packers assistant coaches to move on from their time in Green Bay. It’s entirely possible that Philbin could take several assistants from Mike McCarthy’s staff with him to Miami, including quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. However, the Packers may also want to promote Clements to their offensive coordinator position that is now vacant with Philbin’s departure. Either way, buckle up—because we could see a good chunk of the Packers coaching staff in other locales next fall. The Oakland Raiders, who are now run by former Packers director of personnel Reggie McKenzie, have yet to make their own head coaching hire.

7

January

Legacies of Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson Coming Into Focus As Green Bay Packers Assistants Draw Interest Around The NFL

If someone were to ask either Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson or head coach Mike McCarthy about their legacies, both men would likely scoff at the question and say that they’d rather wait until retirement to reflect on that and instead say they are focused on the present.

They’re right.  Still, with the Packers coming off a regular season in which they won the most games and scored the most points in franchise history as well as making a push for a second consecutive world title, the legacies of both men are coming into focus.

There is no further proof of this than the interest both Thompson and McCarthy’s assistants are drawing around the NFL.  Before last season, I wrote an article wondering if McCarthy would soon be the next head coach to form a “coaching tree” like Bill Walsh and Mike Holmgren.  Both men had assistants go on to long and successful head coaching careers and with McCarthy’s development of Aaron Rodgers, it seemed like a distinct possibility.

Well, with the Packers in position to win a second straight Super Bowl with one of the most potent offenses in the league such a tree is indeed beginning to sprout.

The first example is offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.   Whenever an offense breaks all sorts of records, the offensive coordinator naturally is the one people begin to look at.  Philbin has drawn interest from the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams.

However, Philbin is working for an offensive minded coach in McCarthy who also is the play caller.  Given how much of a hand McCarthy has in the Packers offense, that could work against Philbin.

The more intriguing candidate on the Packers staff may be quarterback coach Tom Clements.  Rodgers often publicly has credited Clements as well as McCarthy for how he has become the best quarterback in the NFL.   Throw in the incredible play of Matt Flynn in Week 17 against the Lions and Clements could be a hot commodity in the offseason.

Let’s not ignore Thompson either.  His masterful building of the Packers has made the franchise a model for the rest of the league. Thompson and his team have proven you don’t need a lot of splashy free agent signings and can create a championship (and perhaps dynasty)-caliber team mainly through the draft.

6

January

Packers QB Coach Tom Clements Appears Safe, For Now

Packers QB coach Tom Clements reportedly lost out on the Penn State coaching job.

ESPN is reporting that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has agreed to become the next head coach at Penn State University, a development that would take Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements out of the running for a job he’s shown interest in.

Clements, a Pennsylvania native, had interviewed for the job on at least two different occasions, according to the Pittsburgh Press-Gazette. They reported that Penn State was welcoming Clements for a second interview sometime this week after a Skype interview towards the beginning of the process.

O’Brien interviewed on Thursday and the process of his hiring sped up from there.

The move would make Clements’ role as the Packers quarterbacks coach safe, for now. He still has the rest of the week to take on any potential interviews from other teams or programs.

A factor in Clements’ future in Green Bay could be the career progression of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who interviewed in Kansas City  on Wednesday and will in Miami sometime this weekend. Each interview will be for the respective team’s vacant head coaching position. While still a long shot, any potential hire of Philbin as a head coach could open the door for Clements to become the Packers’ next offensive coordinator.

Clements has experience in the position, as Dick Jauron hired him to be the Bills’ offensive coordinator in 2004. He served two years in Buffalo before becoming the Packers’ quarterbacks coach when head coach Mike McCarthy arrived in 2006. Clements has held that position ever since.

But with Clements’ value sky rocketing alongside the meteoric development of both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn under his watch, the Packers may need to promote the 58-year-old to keep him on the staff. Clements has earned the opportunity to advance back up the coaching ladder, if he so pleases.

For now, however, we know Clements will not be making the trip east to State College. Until we hear of any subsequent interviews or openings, his position with the Packers appears safe.

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.