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.

4

January

Joe Philbin and Tom Clements Drawing Interest For Head Coaching Jobs

Packers QB coach Tom Clements is drawing interest from Penn State University.

Success in the NFL breeds opportunity, and two offensive coaches for the Green Bay Packers are drawing interest for head coaching jobs around the football landscape.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will interview for the Kansas City Chiefs head coaching position on Wednesday night.

Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who earlier interviewed for Penn State’s coaching vacancy, will get a second interview in person sometime this week, according to the Pittsburgh Press-Gazette.

Philbin has been the Packers offensive coordinator since 2007, when he was promoted from offensive line coach to coordinator after Jeff Jagodzinski left to be Boston College’s head coach. Philbin started in Green Bay as an offensive line assistant in 2003.

Clements, a 15-year NFL coaching veteran, has been the Packers quarterbacks coach since 2006. He is credited for helping groom both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn during his time in Green Bay.

It’s no coincidence that the success of the Packers, who won 15 games this season after capturing a win in Super Bowl XLV last season, has coincided with interest in their assistant coaches, especially on offense. The Packers offense set numerous franchise records this season on their way to becoming the NFL’s top ranked scoring offense in 2011 and second-highest scoring offense in NFL history.

It was reported earlier this season that Philbin was drawing interest from Tulane Universtity, his alma mater, for their head coaching vacancy. Philbin denied those rumors and Tulane later hired New Orleans Saints receivers coach Curtis Jackson.

While an interview with the Chiefs is an encouraging sign for Philbin’s vertical movement in the coaching profession, it’s unlikely he’ll land the job. While residing over the offensive coordinator position in Green Bay for five seasons, Philbin has yet to be the full-time play caller for the Packers offense. Head coach Mike McCarthy, a former offensive coordinator, calls the Packers’ offensive plays. The Chiefs are also widely assumed to be retaining Romeo Crennel as the head coach after he helped lead the Chiefs to a 2-1 record, including a win over the Packers, after taking over for Todd Haley.

Losing Clements appears to be more imminent. Penn State has dwindled their candidates list, and Clements looks to be one of the front-runners. The Norte Dame alum has shown a mutual interest in the job as a Pennsylvania native.