Though I’m usually more than happy to acknowledge when the Packers players or coaches show an extra degree of class, I’m still mildly perturbed at one particular less classy decision in the offseason. Via Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Of all the rejections the Bears faced in hiring coordinators in the offseason, [Packers coach Mike] McCarthy denying the Bears permission to interview Tom Clements for the offensive coordinator position was the most egregious — because he was denying one of his position coaches an opportunity for a promotion.
“It was an awkward subject for McCarthy earlier this season, and he was no more thrilled when it came up again Thursday.
“‘I don’t know why I have to answer something like that right now,’ said McCarthy, apparently forgetting that he never wants to talk about it. ‘I am pro-career advancement with my staff. When a request is made of anybody on our staff, there’s conversations that take place. So Tom and I .?.?. talked about it, and a decision was made and we moved forward. I think Tom’s very happy in Green Bay.'”
Nonsense. If Clements was happy in Green Bay as quarterbacks coach and didn’t want the Bears job, McCarthy wouldn’t have had to deny him permission to interview.
David Haugh at the Chicago Tribune reflects upon the decision and the comment from McCarthy:
“The move reflected the changing times of the rivalry. After the 1958 season, Bears legend George Halas recommended Giants assistant Vince Lombardi to the Packers because he thought it would be good for the league.
“Compare that magnanimity with coach Mike McCarthy’s testy reaction Thursday when asked about the organization’s decision to prevent Clements from interviewing with the Bears.”
All I can say is that, even if it isn’t immediate, people everywhere usually have to face the consequences for their actions. These things often come back to bite people in the rear and I’m sure assistants around the league took note when McCarthy kept his Clements from advancing.