Well, here's a distraction that we didn't need heading into this weekend's Wild Card playoff game. According to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bears have asked the Green Bay Packers for permission to interview offensive coordinator Tom Clements for their vacant head coaching position.
Add another assistant to Phil Emery's list: Bears ask permission to interview Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements, per league source.— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) January 2, 2013
Haugh went on to say that the Bears asked to interview Clements for the offensive coordinator job in 2010, but were blocked by the Packers. Teams can block their assistants from interviewing for assistant coaching jobs if they are under contract, but cannot block assistants from interviewing for head coaching jobs. The Bears are being respectful by asking permission because the Packers are still active in the playoffs, but technically, they don't need it.
It goes without saying that losing our offensive coordinator twice in two years would be a massive loss. Clements groomed Aaron Rodgers as his quarterbacks coach, and has a great rapport with Rodgers. The Bears will almost certainly interview multiple candidates for the job -- especially since Clements obviously doesn't satisfy the Rooney Rule -- but Haugh says that Clements is 'held in high regard by the McCaskeys'.