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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Tom Clements has not lost his deadpan delivery. When asked what brought him back to Green Bay, the eleven-time retired quarterbacks coach gave an answer in one word. “Delta,” he said, referring to one of the airlines serving Austin Straubel International Airport.
In fact, the correct answer was two words: Aaron Rodgers.
When the Packers lost quarterback coach Luke Getsy, who became the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator this offseason, Rodgers began his efforts to talk his old coach out of retirement and eventually connected him with coach Matt LaFleur.
“It was after the season that Aaron contacted me,” said Clements, whose first trip with the Packers was 2006-16. “I had talked to Matt, [who] would measure my interest in coming back.
“I said, ‘Yeah, I wanted to talk about it,’ and then talked to Matt a few times. We got together, talked, talked a little bit more with Aaron, and it just worked out.”
All the while, Rodgers had not announced his decision on whether or not he would return to the Packers for the 2022 season. It only came almost three weeks later.
“That was my first question to him, ‘What are you thinking?'” Clements said Tuesday. “And we just talked about it and I felt good, pretty sure he would come back. The team and he’s had some great years and still [have] a good chance to fight for the Super Bowl. “
Clements said he knows why Rodgers came back.
“I know that’s what he wants: he wants another Super Bowl,” Clements said. “And that was one of the things that also fascinated me.”
Clements last coached the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, then spent last season on the semifinals. He had no plans to return.
“I did not have the itch to come back,” the 68-year-old said. “It was because of coming back to Green Bay with Aaron, [and a] chance to win a Super Bowl. That was the primary consideration. “
Clement’s job now will be to help Rodgers adjust to life without his favorite recipient, 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.
“When I looked at it from afar, I thought he was playing a style more like when he was younger because he plays more below the middle, play-action passes,” Clements said. “In recent years, when we were here, it was more of a not-too-much-under-center [offense], exclusively shotgun, more of a proliferation offense. And in the early years, we relied on the running game and play-action passes and got more into the shotgun in third-down situations like that, and that’s more the style I saw. “When you can drive the ball, it opens up a lot of things, and there have been a lot of explosive passes over the years from the play-action-pass game, and hopefully we can continue with that.”
Clements was one of nine members of the coaching staff who were either 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 interim head coach of the Raiders.
While Bisaccia declined to question whether he should have gotten the full-time job in Las Vegas, he had his reasons for taking over one of last season’s worst specialty teams in the NFL.
“It’s the Green Bay Packers,” Bisaccia said. “For me personally, the opportunity to be on one of the national football league teams that sets a standard and has an expectation of playing to that standard every day, along with my enthusiasm and my new energy after meeting and visiting coach LaFleur. , what he has done here in a very short time, it is unprecedented. [defensive coordinator] Joe Barry, who I have been with before in two different places, and again to be part of a franchise that expects to win, and the standard is to win it all, and to be a part of such a thing for me is energizing . “