Almost as soon as the news was announced that Tom Clements would not be returning to the Green Bay Packers as associate head coach the speculation began. Could Clements, a long-time offensive assistant in Green Bay, help the New York Giants?
So, let’s talk about it.
The question is logical. Clements has been on the Green Bay staff since 2006, moving from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator and then associate head coach. As such, he knows the system the Giants run. He also has several years of experience working with Ben McAdoo, who was a position coach with the Packers from 2006-2013.
At one time, you might have even wondered if Clements was on the path to a head-coaching job that McAdoo eventually followed. Position coach to offensive coordinator (2012) and eventually given play-calling duties by head coach Mike McCarthy in 2015.
Thing is, Clements’ time as Green Bay play-caller didn’t go very well. Here is SB Nation’s Acme Packing Company discussing Clements’ exit:
Clements joined the Packers in 2006, becoming one of the original members of McCarthy's coaching staff in Green Bay. Clements began as the team's quarterbacks, first instructing Brett Favre and later Aaron Rodgers with whom he built a strong relationship. In 2012, Clements replaced Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator.
Clements' big break came in 2015 when McCarthy promoted him to associate head coach and handed him offensive play-calling responsibilities. That year, the Packers struggled badly on offense, finishing near the bottom of the league in most categories for the first time since the pre-Mike Holmgren era. Accordingly, McCarthy reclaimed the play sheet and has called the offense since. After such a high-profile professional foible, it seemed unlikely Clements would return for the following season.
But Clements did, again as the associate head coach though with an unclear role. Alex Van Pelt has assumed the role of Rodgers' position coach and close confidant on the coaching staff while Edgar Bennett has served as the team's offensive coordinator over the last two seasons.
Thus, it seems like Clements’ star had waned with the Packers, that he was a coach without a clear job who seemed to be pushed aside in 2016.
Truth is, none of this really tells us anything about the kind of coach Clements is. Maybe he didn’t do a great job calling plays in 2015. Maybe he did, and there were other problems. Maybe his relationship with McCarthy soured. As for the Giants, we have no idea what Clements’ relationship with McAdoo is like.
The way thing ended for Clements in Green Bay, though, is enough to give you pause in considering whether or not he could help the Giants.
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