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Coaches

Jerry Fontenot
Tight Ends

Biography

Jerry Fontenot begins his ninth season with the Packers and his third as tight ends coach in 2014. He was moved to his new post on Feb. 13, 2012, as part of a staff shuffling on the offensive side of the ball that followed the departure of former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who was named head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

The tight-ends assignment was another in the line of many that have highlighted the early portion of Fontenot’s coaching career, one that started with an internship in the summer of 2006.

Upon assuming the title of tight ends coach, Fontenot was entrusted with several new responsibilities, one of which was overseeing the continued development of talented TE Jermichael Finley. In 2012, Finley started a career-high 14 games on his way to setting the franchise record for receptions by a tight end with 61, also finishing with 667 yards and two touchdowns.

In 2013, Finley started fast in the beginning of the season, regaining the form that made him a dominant player at times earlier in his career. The sixth-year pro posted 25 catches for 300 yards (12.0 avg.) and three TDs in the season’s first six-plus games, before suffering a season-ending neck injury vs. Cleveland in Week 7.

In the wake of Finley’s injury, Fontenot was charged with continuing the reacclimation of Andrew Quarless into the lineup. Quarless returned to the playing field in 2013 after having missed the entire 2012 season following a significant knee injury suffered in December 2011. The fourth-year veteran became the starter in Finley’s absence, starting eight of the final 10 games and setting career highs in every major receiving category, finishing with 32 catches for 312 yards (9.8 avg.) and two TDs.

Before being assigned to the tight ends, Fontenot received his first position-group appointment on Feb. 25, 2011, when Head Coach Mike McCarthy placed him in command of the team’s running backs.

In what was a prolific offensive season that saw the Packers score the second-most points in NFL history at the time (560), the running backs played a key role in providing a balance to what was the most productive yardage offense in franchise annals (6,482 yards). Primary contributions from the backfield came from veteran Ryan Grant and second-year man James Starks, who became the first pair of Green Bay backs to eclipse the 550-yard mark in the same season since Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levens did so in 1996.

Grant returned from a season-ending ankle injury that shelved him for almost all of 2010 and got more comfortable as the season wore on, particularly in the last four games, when he carried 42 times for 243 yards (5.8 avg.) and two TDs. Starks started strong on the heels of what was a productive 2010 postseason, posting 503 yards on 109 carries (4.6 avg.) in the first nine games.

Fontenot also helped guide the success of John Kuhn, the veteran fullback who was voted to start the Pro Bowl for the NFC at season’s end in 2011, the first time he’d been named to the all-star team. Additionally, Kuhn earned second-team All-Pro honors from The Associated Press and led the team’s backs with six total touchdowns (four rushing, two receiving), becoming the first Packer to score both a rushing and receiving TD in four consecutive seasons since Ahman Green did so from 2001-04.

Fontenot originally joined the Packers in the summer of 2006 as a coaching intern and remained with the team that season as an offensive assistant, working with the offensive line. He was promoted to assistant offensive line coach by McCarthy on Jan. 15, 2007, and spent the next four seasons in that role.

During his five seasons working with the offensive line, Fontenot contributed to the development of several linemen. In 2010, veteran LT Chad Clifton earned Pro Bowl recognition for the second time in his career as he started all 16 contests. Rookie Bryan Bulaga started 12 games at RT after veteran Mark Tauscher was lost for the season due to a shoulder injury, and went on to earn All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly/PFWA. RG Josh Sitton was named the 2010 Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association and was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.

In 2009, Sitton started every game at RG in just his second season, while rookie T.J. Lang played three different positions at times and started games at both tackle spots when needed. From 2006-08, the ’06 draft trio of Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz and Tony Moll combined for 103 starts.

A starting center for the New Orleans Saints during McCarthy’s five-year tenure there as offensive coordinator, Fontenot made an indelible impression on McCarthy with his leadership, intelligence, and the respect he commanded in the locker room, qualities he displayed in his first foray into coaching.

Not far removed from his playing days, which concluded after 16 seasons in 2004, Fontenot quickly showed he could relate well to players, prompting McCarthy to retain Fontenot in a full-time capacity in 2007 with the promotion of Philbin to offensive coordinator and James Campen to offensive line coach.

A longtime center, Fontenot played 239 NFL games with the Bears, Saints and Bengals from 1989 through 2004, proving to be extremely durable as a player. Originally a third-round draft choice by Chicago in 1989, Fontenot began a starting streak of 106 games in 1991 with the Bears that continued through his first one-plus seasons with the Saints, whom he joined in 1997 as an unrestricted free agent.

That streak ended with a season-ending knee injury in October 1998. Returning at the start of the 1999 season, Fontenot then started 80 consecutive games for the Saints through the end of the 2003 season before finishing his career with the Bengals in 2004. Fontenot was named a USA Today All-Joe Team selection in 2002 for his excellence without fanfare and his enduring leadership qualities.

In all, Fontenot played on four playoff teams, three with the Bears (1990, ’91, ’94) and one with the Saints (2000). He spent his first year out of football in 2005 working in broadcasting in the Chicago area, handling various football assignments with both WGN and ESPN, before deciding to give coaching a try.

A standout at Texas A&M and a sociology major, Fontenot played every position on the offensive line in college and helped lead the Aggies to three consecutive Southwest Conference titles from 1985 through 1987. He earned all-conference honors three times and was an honorable mention All-American as a junior and senior.

Born Nov. 21, 1966, in Lafayette, La., Fontenot was a four-sport star at Lafayette High School, earning all-state honors twice in football, finishing as state runner-up twice in the discus, and winning a state championship in baseball.

He and his wife, Stephanie, have three daughters – Gabrielle, Madeleine and Camille.

Jerry Fontenot begins his ninth season with the Packers and his third as tight ends coach in 2014. He was moved to his new post on Feb. 13, 2012, as part of a staff shuffling on the offensive side of the ball that followed the departure of former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who was named head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

The tight-ends assignment was another in the line of many that have highlighted the early portion of Fontenot’s coaching career, one that started with an internship in the summer of 2006.

Upon assuming the title of tight ends coach, Fontenot was entrusted with several new responsibilities, one of which was overseeing the continued development of talented TE Jermichael Finley. In 2012, Finley started a career-high 14 games on his way to setting the franchise record for receptions by a tight end with 61, also finishing with 667 yards and two touchdowns.

In 2013, Finley started fast in the beginning of the season, regaining the form that made him a dominant player at times earlier in his career. The sixth-year pro posted 25 catches for 300 yards (12.0 avg.) and three TDs in the season’s first six-plus games, before suffering a season-ending neck injury vs. Cleveland in Week 7.

In the wake of Finley’s injury, Fontenot was charged with continuing the reacclimation of Andrew Quarless into the lineup. Quarless returned to the playing field in 2013 after having missed the entire 2012 season following a significant knee injury suffered in December 2011. The fourth-year veteran became the starter in Finley’s absence, starting eight of the final 10 games and setting career highs in every major receiving category, finishing with 32 catches for 312 yards (9.8 avg.) and two TDs.

Before being assigned to the tight ends, Fontenot received his first position-group appointment on Feb. 25, 2011, when Head Coach Mike McCarthy placed him in command of the team’s running backs.

In what was a prolific offensive season that saw the Packers score the second-most points in NFL history at the time (560), the running backs played a key role in providing a balance to what was the most productive yardage offense in franchise annals (6,482 yards). Primary contributions from the backfield came from veteran Ryan Grant and second-year man James Starks, who became the first pair of Green Bay backs to eclipse the 550-yard mark in the same season since Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levens did so in 1996.

Grant returned from a season-ending ankle injury that shelved him for almost all of 2010 and got more comfortable as the season wore on, particularly in the last four games, when he carried 42 times for 243 yards (5.8 avg.) and two TDs. Starks started strong on the heels of what was a productive 2010 postseason, posting 503 yards on 109 carries (4.6 avg.) in the first nine games.

Fontenot also helped guide the success of John Kuhn, the veteran fullback who was voted to start the Pro Bowl for the NFC at season’s end in 2011, the first time he’d been named to the all-star team. Additionally, Kuhn earned second-team All-Pro honors from The Associated Press and led the team’s backs with six total touchdowns (four rushing, two receiving), becoming the first Packer to score both a rushing and receiving TD in four consecutive seasons since Ahman Green did so from 2001-04.

Fontenot originally joined the Packers in the summer of 2006 as a coaching intern and remained with the team that season as an offensive assistant, working with the offensive line. He was promoted to assistant offensive line coach by McCarthy on Jan. 15, 2007, and spent the next four seasons in that role.

During his five seasons working with the offensive line, Fontenot contributed to the development of several linemen. In 2010, veteran LT Chad Clifton earned Pro Bowl recognition for the second time in his career as he started all 16 contests. Rookie Bryan Bulaga started 12 games at RT after veteran Mark Tauscher was lost for the season due to a shoulder injury, and went on to earn All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly/PFWA. RG Josh Sitton was named the 2010 Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association and was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.

In 2009, Sitton started every game at RG in just his second season, while rookie T.J. Lang played three different positions at times and started games at both tackle spots when needed. From 2006-08, the ’06 draft trio of Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz and Tony Moll combined for 103 starts.

A starting center for the New Orleans Saints during McCarthy’s five-year tenure there as offensive coordinator, Fontenot made an indelible impression on McCarthy with his leadership, intelligence, and the respect he commanded in the locker room, qualities he displayed in his first foray into coaching.

Not far removed from his playing days, which concluded after 16 seasons in 2004, Fontenot quickly showed he could relate well to players, prompting McCarthy to retain Fontenot in a full-time capacity in 2007 with the promotion of Philbin to offensive coordinator and James Campen to offensive line coach.

A longtime center, Fontenot played 239 NFL games with the Bears, Saints and Bengals from 1989 through 2004, proving to be extremely durable as a player. Originally a third-round draft choice by Chicago in 1989, Fontenot began a starting streak of 106 games in 1991 with the Bears that continued through his first one-plus seasons with the Saints, whom he joined in 1997 as an unrestricted free agent.

That streak ended with a season-ending knee injury in October 1998. Returning at the start of the 1999 season, Fontenot then started 80 consecutive games for the Saints through the end of the 2003 season before finishing his career with the Bengals in 2004. Fontenot was named a USA Today All-Joe Team selection in 2002 for his excellence without fanfare and his enduring leadership qualities.

In all, Fontenot played on four playoff teams, three with the Bears (1990, ’91, ’94) and one with the Saints (2000). He spent his first year out of football in 2005 working in broadcasting in the Chicago area, handling various football assignments with both WGN and ESPN, before deciding to give coaching a try.

A standout at Texas A&M and a sociology major, Fontenot played every position on the offensive line in college and helped lead the Aggies to three consecutive Southwest Conference titles from 1985 through 1987. He earned all-conference honors three times and was an honorable mention All-American as a junior and senior.

Born Nov. 21, 1966, in Lafayette, La., Fontenot was a four-sport star at Lafayette High School, earning all-state honors twice in football, finishing as state runner-up twice in the discus, and winning a state championship in baseball.

He and his wife, Stephanie, have three daughters – Gabrielle, Madeleine and Camille.

 

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