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Packers Coaching Changes: New Staff Confirmed by Head Coach Mike McCarthy

The head coach acknowledged on Thursday that he will indeed be giving up playcalling duties to Tom Clements and that Ron Zook has been named special teams coordinator, among other changes.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy met with the media to confirm the changes that he has made to his coaching staff. Over the past week, reports had been surfacing that McCarthy was going to give up the primary playcalling duties, and he confirmed that these reports are indeed true.

On offense, the following changes have been made:

  • Former offensive coordinator Tom Clements was promoted to Assistant Head Coach/Offense, and will be the primary playcaller.
  • Former wide receivers coach (and Packers running back) Edgar Bennett was promoted to offensive coordinator.
  • Former quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt was promoted to quarterbacks and wide receivers coach.
  • Newcomer Mike Solari was also confirmed as the team's assistant offensive line coach.

McCarthy addressed the playcalling decision, saying that "These changes I'm excited about" and that he will "split his time evenly with offense, defense, and special teams." As for giving up the playcalling duties, McCarthy did say that it is "the biggest change for me personally" and though he says he'll miss calling the plays, he said "it's an opportunity for our guys to grow" and he thinks that the team will improve on offense.

As for the special teams, McCarthy also confirmed that Ron Zook has been promoted to special teams coordinator, replacing the released Shawn Slocum. McCarthy also said that Jason Simmons will be the assistant special teams coach, but that McCarthy himself would be the "third man in the room" from a coaching standpoint.

On defense, the only major change announced was the hiring of Jerry Montgomery. He was brought aboard from the University of Oklahoma, and will be the Packers' "defensive front assistant", McCarthy got a little more specific on Montgomery's job description, saying that he will be "primarily working hand-in-hand with Dom Capers." He also said that the team had been keeping an eye on Montgomery for "a few years" and are very excited to have him aboard.

Click here for a thorough transcript of McCarthy's comments from Thursday.