Mike McCarthy pondering staff structure, handing off play calling

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mike McCarthy has always said if he felt the Green Bay Packers would be better served with someone else calling the offensive plays, then he would give up those duties.

For the first time since he was hired as the head coach in 2006, that has become a strong possibility.

According to multiple sources, McCarthy has spent the last several days looking at different possibilities with his offensive coaching staff structure that would include him handing off play-calling duties to one of his other coaches, likely offensive coordinator Tom Clements.

However, the sources said nothing has been finalized yet.

One source said McCarthy "has mentioned how hard it is to be involved with everything" while still calling plays.

Local radio station WDUZ reported Sunday that McCarthy had planned to promote receivers coach Edgar Bennett to offensive coordinator but that Clements would call plays and assume the title of associate head coach. Multiple sources said they could not confirm that exact structure.

Although McCarthy was not asked directly about giving up play-calling duties during his season wrap-up press conference last month, it did come up indirectly when he was asked why linebacker Clay Matthews was not on the field for a pair of fourth-quarter series in the NFC Championship Game loss at the Seattle Seahawks.

"As far as the doctors, especially being a playcaller, I don't get every play by play of what every guy was looked at during the course of the game," McCarthy said Jan. 28. "I really don't even get that until after a home game until I go back through the training room, and we have a list that we go through each guy he has seen. Just the way we're structured, unless it impacts the game as far as a player injury, I'm not really notified."

McCarthy was also heavily involved in the defense during the 2014 season. At the bye week, he went to defensive coordinator Dom Capers with the idea to move Matthews from outside linebacker to inside linebacker on early downs to help a run defense that was ranked dead last in the NFL at the time. The move helped turn around the defense, and the Packers won seven of their last eight regular-season games to finish 12-4.

Since the overtime loss to the Seahawks in the NFC title game, McCarthy has made one staff change. He fired special-teams coordinator Shawn Slocum Jan. 30. He has not named a replacement, but he retained assistant special-teams coach Ron Zook, who is the leading contender for the job. McCarthy also has an opening for an assistant offensive line coach after Steve Marshall left for a job with the New York Jets.

McCarthy has a 101-55-1 record (including playoffs) in his nine seasons as the Packers' head coach. He signed a contract extension in November that runs through the 2018 season.