Packers Hire Alex Van Pelt And Shuffle The Coaching Staff

Cross-training highlights staff re-structuring. I guess what Mike McCarthy is trying to prove with the Green Bay Packers is that it's all about bringing in the best coaches possible. And the hierarchy for position coaches isn't necessarily about their past experience. With the departure of Joe Philbin to Miami, and the promotion of Tom Clements to offensive coordinator, the rest of the coaching staff seems to be based on seniority more than anything else.

The news today is that they've hired former NFL QB Alex Van Pelt to join their coaching staff. According to the Press-Gazette, he was the QB coach for the Buccaneers in 2009 and 2010, and previously he was the offensive coordinator for the Bills. Recently Aaron Rodgers suggested that he'd like a new quarterbacks coach with NFL playing experience, so he fills that requirement. But he's been hired to coach the running backs, not the quarterbacks. He said his expertise would help the running backs as part of the passing game.

Instead Ben McAdoo is the new quarterbacks coach. I'm sure he's a very good coach, but it seems to be as much about giving him a promotion because they denied him the opportunity to interview for an offensive coordinator's job. And the quarterbacks coach seems to be the stepping stone towards bigger and better things, so it's good for his career too.

Former NFL offensive lineman Jerry Fontenot had been coaching the running backs, and now he'll be coaching the tight ends.

John Rushing will now be the offensive assistant/special teams coach, and Joel Hilgenberg will be the assistant offensive line coach, which may more of a change in title than duties.

The only two coaches with the same titles will be Edgar Bennett as receivers coach, which seemed like an odd choice last year but you can't argue with the results, and James Campen as offensive line coach.

After all the shuffling is done, the Packers have replaced Joe Philbin with Alex Van Pelt, which seems to be a strong replacement since Van Pelt is a former NFL quarterback and offensive coordinator. Their titles do matter, Rodgers should be working more with McAdoo than Van Pelt, but they aren't coaching in a bubble either. I'm sure they'll all be working together next season.

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