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Packers’ Tom Clements gets OK to talk to Bears

CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 23:  Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements Green Bay Packers looks while Packers take Chicago Bears NFC

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23: Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements of the Green Bay Packers looks on while the Packers take on the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tom Clements

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Updated: January 3, 2013 10:12AM



Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements confirmed that the Packers have granted the Bears permission to talk to him about their vacant coaching job.

‘‘The only thing I’ll say is they requested permission, permission was granted and that’s it,’’ Clements told reporters in Green Bay on Wednesday. ‘‘I won’t comment beyond that.’’

Clements, 59, is in his first season as the Packers’ offensive coordinator. He had been their quarterback coach for six seasons before being promoted after Joe Philbin was hired as the Miami Dolphins’ coach.

Clements never has been a coach and has limited experience as a coordinator and play-caller. Coach Mike McCarthy calls the plays for the Packers. Clements was the offensive coordinator for Mike Mularkey with the Buffalo Bills from 2004 to ’05. The Bills finished 25th in offense in 2004. They were 28th in 2005, when Mularkey took over play-calling responsibilities after five games.

Still, Clements always has been highly regarded. He interviewed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching job last season but lost out to Greg Schiano. The Bears wanted to interview him for their offensive coordinator position in 2010, but the Packers denied them that opportunity and they hired Mike Martz. Clements interviewed for the Notre Dame job in 2004 but lost out to Charlie Weis.

Though Clements does not call plays in Green Bay, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has credited Clements for much of his success.

‘‘I know he’s got the potential to be a head coach,’’ Rodgers told ESPN Milwaukee last year. ‘‘He’s got the makeup and teaching ability and understanding of personalities and how to balance everything.’’

With Clements as offensive coordinator, the Packers dropped from third to 13th in yards. But that isn’t considered a detriment to his candidacy. McCarthy, after all, was hired in 2006 after coordinating a San Francisco 49ers offense that ranked last in the NFL.

The real McCoy?

Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, a candidate for coaching positions with the Bears, Arizona Cardinals and Bills, received an endorsement from quarterback Peyton Manning.

‘‘He’s ready. He’s paid his dues,’’ Manning told Tom Kensler of the Denver Post. ‘‘Mike’s a good leader. He’s got some good coaches that have been mentors to him, different coaches that he’s worked with in the NFL that I think he’s incorporated some of their leadership philosophies and his own philosophy.’’

Cheta in the fold

The Bears signed defensive end Cheta Ozougwu to a reserve/future contract. The 6-2, 255-pound Ozougwu, a seventh-round draft pick by the Texans in 2011 out of Rice, played in two games for the Bears in 2012.



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