Packers coach won't talk about denying chance for QB coach

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy had no interest in answering a question about why the organization denied permission to quarterbacks coach Tom Clements to interview for the Bears’ offensive coordinator job in January.

Asked on a conference call with Chicago media this afternoon if that was a difficult decision, McCarthy wasn’t pleased.

“Let’s talk about the game,” McCarthy said before pausing. “I think the world of Tom Clements and I think he is an excellent coach but decisions are made for reasons.”

Asked if one of those reasons was the fact that Clements is considered a strong coach, McCarthy paused again for several seconds.

“He’s a very good coach,” McCarthy said. “I’m very glad he’s still here. He does a great job with our quarterbacks.”

It’s tricky business denying position coaches the opportunity for advancement throughout the league. In fact, one league executive said its taboo and a good way to lose the trust of members of the coaching staff who are one day hoping to climb the ladder.

“He denied this guy the ability to go to Chicago and coach Jay Cutler and look good and maybe advance some day and have a chance to become a head coach,” said the executive. “That’s the object everyone has in mind, right? But what’s (Clements) going to do?”

League rules stipulate that team must only grant permission to assistant coaches who have the opportunity to interview for a head-coaching position. That puts a challenge on position coaches to be able to strike when they’re coming out of contract. Otherwise, they’re at the mercy of their head coach and organization.

Clements has been lauded for his work with not only Aaron Rodgers, but former seventh-round pick Matt Flynn, who has developed nicely into a backup quarterback. It’s not the first chance Clements had to come to Chicago that didn’t materialize. Had Russ Grimm, a finalist for the job in 2004, been hired instead of Lovie Smith, his plan was to bring Clements with him as the offensive coordinator at that point.

Clements and former Denver Broncos quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates were the first two candidates the Bears approached after Ron Turner was fired. Eventually, the path led to Mike Martz and the team couldn’t be happier about the results he’s produced with Cutler.

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