Per a tweet from Green Bay’s 107.5 the Fan Sports Radio, Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy will no longer call plays for the team’s offense. The decision comes in the wake of the Packers’ late collapse in Seattle during the NFC Championship Game. McCarthy admitted after the loss that he was unaware that Linebacker Clay Matthews was resting on the bench as the defense fell apart as he was busy thinking of plays for the offense.
Reportedly, the Packers will promote offensive coordinator Tom Clements to “associate head coach,” and he will now call the plays. Edgar Bennett, currently wide receivers coach, will be promoted to offensive coordinator.
Many Packer fans will welcome the news with open arms. McCarthy’s play calling has been the subject of ire among the fanbase for a number of years. It will permit him to concentrate on refining his successful offensive system. He may also be able to think more critically about the two other phases of the game, defense and special teams, which have often been an issue for his teams.
Given that quarterback Aaron Rodgers holds considerable leeway over audible decisions, it is hard to see a downside. Other than the possibility that Clements is not actually more suited to the task of calling plays (which is yet to be seen), the easiest potential issue to identify is that McCarthy is losing some power in the organization. He has been successfully coaching the Packers for nearly a decade, and earned a super bowl trophy. Taking control from successful coaches rarely comes without some cost.
On the other hand, McCarthy has spoken often about leadership, and it is clearly a topic dear to him. It is quite possible that this decision came from him after consideration of his role in the organization, and what is best for the team as a whole. I will be interested to hear more on the topic as the offseason progresses.