ESPN Wisconsin

Rodgers continues to back Clements

Jan 31, 2012 -- 10:35pm

GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers doesn’t know what coach Mike McCarthy has planned for the Green Bay Packers vacant offensive coordinator position, but he’s hoping quarterbacks coach Tom Clements gets the job – before the Pittsburgh Steelers come calling.

Speaking on his weekly radio show on ESPN Milwaukee and ESPN Madison, the Packers quarterback once again voiced his support of Clements, as he has done throughout the year on his show. But he stopped short of saying that he has asked or would lobby McCarthy to promote Clements to take over for Joe Philbin, who left to become the new Miami Dolphins head coach almost two weeks ago. When offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski left to become Boston College’s head coach at the end of the 2006 season, McCarthy promoted from within and chose Philbin, who had been the team’s offensive line coach.

For what it’s worth, Clements did call the plays for McCarthy and the NFC offense in the Pro Bowl.

“I don’t want to speak for coach (McCarthy), so I’m not sure exactly if a decision has been made yet. I think (McCarthy) would probably figure something out here pretty soon,” Rodgers said. “He’s hired from within before, so I’m not sure if he’s going to do that again. I’m not sure if he did that how that would change Tom’s job description as far as, is he still going to work with the quarterbacks or not? (I’m) hoping we’ll be able to keep Tom on, and if we promote him great, if not keep him in Green Bay as my (quarterbacks) coach.”

According to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Clements, a former Steelers quarterbacks coach and Pennsylvania native, is among the frontrunners to replace departed offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. The Steelers interviewed ex-Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley on Tuesday.

Asked if he would lobby McCarthy on Clements’ behalf, Rodgers replied: “I think I’ve done it enough during the year on this show, talked about how important Tom is to me and our team and what an incredible coach he is. I’m also trying to get the message out that Tom and I are close friends and I want what’s best for him and his family. If that’s moving back to Pennsylvania – he was interested in the Penn State job – if that’s kind of the way he wants to go, then I wish him the best and it’s not going to change our friendship. He’s an incredible coach. He’s probably in his last decade or so of coaching and I wish him nothing but the best. And hopefully it’s in Green Bay with myself.”

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