Packers QB coach Tom Clements thanks Aaron Rodgers for returning to Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Tom Clements didn’t lose his deadpan delivery. When asked what brought him back to Green Bay, the retired quarterbacks coach gave a one-word answer. “Delta,” he said, referring to one of the airlines that flies to Austin Straubel International Airport.

In fact, the real answer was in two words: Aaron Rodgers.

When the Packers lost quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, who became the Chicago Bears’ offensive coordinator this offseason, Rodgers began his efforts to convince his former coach to retire and eventually put him in touch with the Chicago Bears. coach Matt LaFleur.

“Aaron contacted me after the season,” said Clements, whose first stint with the Packers was in 2006-16. “He had spoken to Matt, [who] I wanted to gauge my interest in returning.

“I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll talk about it,’ and then I talked with Matt a few times. We got together, talked, talked some more with Aaron and it just worked out.”

All the while, Rodgers hadn’t made public his decision whether or not to return to the Packers for the 2022 season. That didn’t happen until nearly three weeks later.

“That was my first question for him, ‘what are you thinking?'” Clements said Tuesday. “And we just talked about it and I felt good, pretty confident that he was coming back. He and the team had some great years and always [have] a good chance to fight for the Super Bowl.”

Clements said he knew why Rodgers returned.

“I know that’s what he wants: he wants another Super Bowl,” Clements said. “And that was one of the things that intrigued me as well.”

Clements last coached in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, then spent last season in semi-retirement. He had no intention of coming back.

“I didn’t want to come back,” the 68-year-old said. “It was because of my return to Green Bay, with Aaron, [and a] chance of winning a Super Bowl. These were the main considerations. »

Clements’ job will now be to help Rodgers adjust to life without his favorite receiver, Davante Adams, who was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. With or without Adams, Clements likes the way Rodgers has played since LaFleur took over three years ago.

“Looking from a distance, I thought he was playing a style more like when he was younger because he plays more under the center, passing plays,” Clements said. “In the last few years we were here, it was more of a not too under-center [offense], exclusively shotgun, more of a spread offense. And in the early years, we relied on the run game and the play-action pass and went into the shotgun more in third down situations like that, and that’s more the style that I ‘have seen. When you can run the ball it opens up a lot of things, and there have been a lot of explosive passes over the years outside of passing play, and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Clements was one of nine coaching staff members who were hired this offseason or promoted to new positions who spoke to reporters on Tuesday. The group also included special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who came to Green Bay after spending last season as the Raiders’ interim head coach.

While Bisaccia deflected questions about whether he should have gotten the full-time job in Las Vegas, he had his reasons for taking on one of the NFL’s worst special teams units last season.

“It’s the Green Bay Packers,” Bisaccia said. “For me, personally, the opportunity to be on one of the flagship teams in the National Football League that sets a standard and expects to play to that standard every day, and my enthusiasm and new energy after meeting and visiting Coach LaFleur, what he’s done here in a very short time, it’s unprecedented He’s all football, and being back with [defensive coordinator] Joe Barry, who I’ve been to two different places before, and again being part of a franchise that expects to win and the norm is to win everything, and being part of something like that for me is energizing. »

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