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McCarthy's Offensive Staff Features 'Packers People'


Looking forward to the day he would become head coach, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy began filling out a depth chart in 2000, featuring a list of football men to eventually constitute his coaching roster.

McCarthy put than plan into fruition on Tuesday as he announced six additions to his offensive staff: running backs coach Edgar Bennett, assistant offensive line coach James Campen, offensive quality control coach Ty Knott, tight ends coach Ben McAdoo, offensive line coach Joe Philbin and wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson.

"You want people who are experts at their position," McCarthy said. "They'll be a great asset to (offensive coordinator) Jeff Jagodzinski."

McCarthy said teaching ability and character played a major role in his selection of the offensive staff. The new staff is made up of "Packers people," possessing a special pride in the organization.

"There is something wrong with you," McCarthy said, "if your heart doesn't jump out of your chest as you embrace the Packers tradition."

Three of the coaches -- Bennett, Campen and Philbin -- served on the 2005 Packers staff. McCarthy initially visited with each on Friday and talked with several of their colleagues on the phone in the ensuing days.

"The three coaches that are here today were highly recommended," McCarthy said.

Philbin will move from tight ends coach where he served the last two years to offensive line coach. He has experience coaching that unit as well. He was an assistant offensive line coach with the Packers in 2003 and University of Iowa offensive line coach from 1999 to 2002. Philbin will help implement the zone blocking scheme he used at Iowa.

The players should pick up the system with ease as McCarthy praised the teaching abilities of Philbin.

"He's an outstanding coach," McCarthy said. "I really felt comfortable about the guy."

During his first year as a Packers coach, Bennett helped undrafted rookie Samkon Gado rush for 582 yards. He broke down film with the former practice squader during early morning sessions to bring him up to speed. On Friday Bennett asked McCarthy what he was looking for in a coach, and McCarthy said he sought someone who coached the way Bennett played.

When the Packers install a zone blocking scheme Jagodzinski used with the Atlanta Falcons, Bennett will teach his backs a new set of reads. He welcomes the change.

"I'm real excited to get an opportunity to learn the Alex Gibbs zone blocking system," Bennett said.

McAdoo drew comparisons to Bennett. The coach known for his work ethic makes the jump from San Francisco 49ers assistant offensive line/quality control coach.

"I would classify Ben and Edgar in very similar positions in their career," McCarthy said. "Those are two young coaches that have a very bright future."

Robinson almost received an opportunity with the 49ers as well. McCarthy, the 2005 49ers offensive coordinator, considered hiring him as wide receivers coach for that team last year.

"Robinson is one of the top receiver coaches in the National Football League," McCarthy said. "He brings great enthusiasm to the position."

With Tuesday's hirings, McCarthy only has one position left to fill -- quarterbacks coach. Media outlets have floated the name of former Buffalo Bills and University of Pittsburgh quarterback Alex Van Pelt for that job. He and McCarthy share a special bond as the cerebral quarterback is the first passer he developed.

"Alex Van Pelt is someone I'm very fond of," McCarthy said. "He has a mind like a sponge."

With the offensive staff nearly set, McCarthy can turn his attention to the defense. He said 2005 Packers defensive ends coach Bob Sanders but not 49ers assistant head coach/ linebackers coach Mike Singletary remain an option for the defensive coordinator role. NFL coaching rules prevent Singletary from moving on to the Packers to fill that position.

McCarthy will move full speed ahead as he turns his attention to the defensive side of the ball.

"I will be busy over the next three days," McCarthy said. "Hopefully over the weekend I'll have time to digest most of it."

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