John Schneider to Seattle. Reggie McKenzie to Oakland. John Dorsey to Kansas City.
A lot of talented executives have left the Packers front office for general manager jobs with other teams over the last three years.
Joe Philbin has been the only Packers assistant coach to land a head coaching gig in that time period. Philbin departed as offensive coordinator and took over as Miami’s head coach after the 2012 season.
There’s plenty of talent on the Packers coaching roster. Linebackers coach Winston Moss and safeties coach Darren Perry have been loosely linked to head coach openings in the past. Current offensive coordinator Tom Clements is also highly regarded for his role in the Packers’ offense and the development of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Edgar Bennett has received some publicity lately as a firey up-and-comer. Kevin Greene is also an intense guy that could catch the eye of a general manager who wants a motivator as a head coach.
It’s impossible to predict which way the wind will blow on the assistant coach open market. One season an assistant might be the next big thing and a cinch to become a head coach. Then his team falters, he doesn’t get offered a head coaching job, and we never hear from him again.
Even Dom Capers was whispered to be on some team’s head coach lists after the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Can you imagine anyone offering Capers a head coaching job now? Doubtful, but if the Packers make a drastic turnaround on defense, you never know.
I consider myself an obsessive NFL fan — not just a Packers fan — and even I never heard of Mike McCarthy when the Packers hired him. Now, he’s one of the most successful head coaches in franchise history.
If I had to guess, I’d guess that Tom Clements gets a shot at being a head coach before any other assistant. Guys that understand offense and the quarterback position will always have an advantage in today’s NFL. Based on what little I know about Clements, he also seems to have the demeanor to be a strategic and level-headed coach.