ESPN Wisconsin

Coaching carousel confuses even McCarthy

Feb 24, 2012 -- 10:34pm

INDIANAPOLIS – Mike McCarthy gets a little irritated when the subject of blocking assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator jobs elsewhere comes up. But the Green Bay Packers coach was at least able to joke a bit about all the shifting around he did on his offensive staff a few weeks ago.

After the 2010 season, when wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson left to join Dallas’ staff, McCarthy shifted running backs coach Edgar Bennett to wide receivers and moved assistant offensive line coach Jerry Fontenot to running backs. And when offensive coordinator Joe Philbin left in January to become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, McCarthy promoted quarterbacks coach Tom Clements to offensive coordinator, shifted tight ends coach Ben McAdoo to quarterbacks, moved Fontenot to tight ends and hired Alex Van Pelt, the former Buffalo and Tampa Bay quarterbacks coach, to running backs.

“We had a staff meeting the other day and for six years, the O-Line coach went first and talked about his players. And Ben McAdoo is standing next to the O-Line coach and I start talking about the tight ends,” McCarthy said. “He looked at me and I had to remember he was coaching the quarterbacks. It’s a little bit of an adjustment.

“But it’s really part of the planning. We look at the coaching staff a lot like we look at our roster. We want to have young coaches in places they’re able to develop and grow within the coaching staff. We’ve done that. I am excited about Jerry Fontenot. I had the opportunity to coach him and watch him develop from an assistant line coach to running backs last year to tight ends. Edgar Bennett did a great job of moving from the running backs to wide receivers last year.

“We’ve been preparing Ben McAdoo for this opportunity and Alex Van Pelt, bringing another quarterback coach with that type of experience to our staff I think is an excellent fit. I think he’ll give our running backs a different perspective, a different viewpoint in the way he’ll coach those guys. Alex has been an excellent addition to our staff.”

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