Players weigh in on play-calling change

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- While the commotion over Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy's decision last month to give up play-calling duties has all but subsided, one thing we haven't heard much of -- if at all -- is player reaction.

Most have scattered for the offseason and the player who will be most affected by it -- quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- has not spoken publicly on the matter.

But with a pair of offensive players -- receiver Randall Cobb and tackle Bryan Bulaga -- re-signing with the Packers this week, it offered the opportunity to get their perspective on perhaps the biggest philosophical change McCarthy has made since he took over in 2006.

Both Bulaga and Cobb said they were unsure how the change will work exactly and what impact, if any, it will have on the Packers.

"I'm not sure," Cobb said this week. "I think it'll be good to see."

The uncertainly surely stems from the fact that most, if not all, players have not had the chance to sit down with any of the coaches, including new play-caller Tom Clements (who was promoted to associate head coach) and new offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett (who was promoted from receivers coach to replace Clements).

Players aren't scheduled to gather in Green Bay until the middle of April for the start of the voluntary offseason program.

"It's really hard for me to talk about because we haven't been in there or had an offensive meeting or a team meeting to go over those types of things," Bulaga said. "But I think Coach Clements, he's been in the system so long with Aaron and Coach McCarthy, a lot of the same staff has been together. I don't know how much is going to change or what is going to change, I know that it's just hard for me to answer. I just don't know.

"I've been here five years and I'm so used to Coach McCarthy calling the plays and that's just how it is and so we're going to have to just see what the dynamics are. I know Coach McCarthy wouldn't do anything that would be a negative for the team. So, I'm sure, it's going to transition pretty smoothly and everything will go well."

McCarthy's biggest reason for making the switch was to focus on defensive and special-teams improvements. He said he "felt stretched" last season.

"Coach McCarthy being able to focus on other things and pretty much managing everybody, managing the team," Cobb said. "I look forward to Tom calling plays and seeing how that works out. I look forward to Coach Bennett having his opportunity to be an offensive coordinator.

"I really wonder how it's going to work out as far as meetings go. I think we'll get a better look at that when spring comes around and we're back in OTA's and we see how all the management meshes up."