INDIANAPOLIS -- I have to admit being surprised Friday when the Green Bay Packers made Edgar Bennett their receivers coach. Bennett was a tailback in his playing days and has coached the position for the past six years.
My next thought: Bennett is a coach who has a chance to go places.
Already, Bennett has the good fortune to coach for a high-profile offense that just won Super Bowl XLV. That association, combined with a presumably successful transition to a new position, would make Bennett a hot offensive coordinator candidate in the next year or two.
I don't think that was the primary reason for the change, but coach Mike McCarthy said Bennett "jumped through the door" when he learned of the opportunity.
"Going back to his personal development, it definitely increases here," McCarthy said during a break at the NFL scouting combine. "I think Edgar Bennett is someone that will be looked at like a potential coordinator candidate in the future. It's like anything. You coach running backs, any position, it's easy to get into that box and stay in it. When you're not coaching the other parts of the offense, you know it but you don't know it.
"It's one thing to know the plays and know the adjustments. But when you're coaching every day, it's totally different. This a great opportunity for Edgar personally, but this isn't about personal opportunity. This is about what's best for our offense, and we're going to be better for it."
Bennett replaces receivers coach Jimmy Robinson, who left to take a similar job with the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Fontenot, who has spent the past four years as an assistant offensive line coach, will take over as running backs coach.
In reality, it's silly to presume that playing a position is a prerequisite to coaching it. McCarthy pointed out he was a tight end in college but wound up coaching quarterbacks in the NFL. If Bennett is as good of a coach as advertised, he'll have no trouble with the transition.
"I've seen that story written before," McCarthy said. "Edgar Bennett will do a hell of a job. It's a good opportunity for him. It will give him a chance to broaden his horizons and develop as a coach. This is an opportunity that he jumped through the door for. He wanted to do it."