Packers elevate Tom Clements into offensive coordinator role

Maybe the only surprise about Tom Clements’ promotion with the Green Bay Packers is that it took so long.

But head coach Mike McCarthy did what many expected he would in elevating Clements to offensive coordinator from quarterbacks coach, putting him into the position vacated by Joe Philbin, who left to become the coach of the Miami Dolphins.

McCarthy took care of business after the Packers’ staff returned from coaching the NFC squad in the Pro Bowl. Clements has been an offensive coordinator before, serving in that role for two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He’s been longing to become a coordinator again, and now he gets the chance without having to move. The Packers denied a bid by the Chicago Bears to interview him for their coordinator job two years ago.

"Tom has been an integral part of our success and our staff, making it an obvious decision to promote him to offensive coordinator," McCarthy said in a statement released by the team. "He has earned this opportunity and we look forward to continued offensive success in 2012."

Clements interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies at Tampa Bay and in the college ranks with Penn State. He’s got a solid reputation and is credited for helping develop Aaron Rodgers after the departure of Brett Favre. In that vein, he is also credited with working with Packers backup Matt Flynn, who should be a targeted free agent.

"I'm happy that it's happened and I'm happy for Joe that he's a head coach, and I'm glad I was able to step into his place," Clements said in the team’s release. "I've been a coordinator before, only for a few years. I've always wanted to get back to doing that and I'm thankful that it's here in Green Bay."

McCarthy will remain the play caller for the Packers.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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