In the same weekend that the Green Bay Packers fired their longest-tenured defensive assistant coach, Joe Whitt, they find themselves needing to replace their longest-tenured coach overall. James Campen had been coaching the offensive line in some capacity in Green Bay since 2004, before Mike McCarthy’s arrival as the head coach. Now, he is moving on to a new opportunity.
Campen has agreed to become the associate head coach/offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns, taking that position under new head coach Freddie Kitchens. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky first reported the news. That first title is a step up for Campen, who spent 2018 as the Packers’ offensive run game coordinator and o-line coach after coaching just the offensive line since 2007.
According to Ryan Wood of Packersnews.com, Campen was under contract with the Packers for 2019, which means that the Packers had to agree to allow him to interview elsewhere for non-head coaching positions. The fact that they did so suggests that new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur wants to make his own hire rather than retaining Campen, who was widely expected to be a candidate to remain in Green Bay.
In addition to landing Campen, the Browns have hired an intriguing offensive coordinator candidate as well. Todd Monken accepted that position in Cleveland on Sunday, one day after he interviewed for the same job in Green Bay under LaFleur. That now sets up an intriguing and exciting offensive staff for the Browns, as Kitchens had great success with rookie Baker Mayfield down the stretch in 2018 and Monken led the high-flying Buccaneers’ passing game in recent years.
For now, the Packers’ attention for offensive coordinator will likely shift to Nathaniel Hackett or another as-yet-unknown candidate. In the meantime, LaFleur will also need to bring aboard a new offensive line coach as well.