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Mike McCarthy explains decision to give up play calling

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On the heels of some significant staff changes, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed a poorly-kept secret: He will no longer be calling the plays for Aaron Rodgers.

That responsibility will now fall to Tom Clements, the team's offensive coordinator since 2013 and quarterbacks coach from 2006 through 2012. He's now the team's assistant head coach/offense.

"I felt that the play calling was something that I could still be able to do," McCarthy told reporters Thursday, "but the commitment you have to make Monday through Saturday, I didn't think it fit, I didn't think it would work as good as I know it will work now with Tom who's basically taking the responsibilities on offense that I've had in the past."

Among the other shakeups: Former wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett has been named offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt will also take on the wide receivers.

McCarthy's moves come less than a month after his team was bounced from the conference title game amid some suspect situational coaching. Though McCarthy seems to be making the move for the right reasons -- getting members of his coaching tree promoted and hired elsewhere -- this could also be a response to the gigantic burden he has to shoulder week after week.

The Packers' offense is designed brilliantly, especially with McCarthy calling the plays, but allowing another disciple to take over could have its benefits.

Might McCarthy have had a better sense for the flow of the game against Seattle if he wasn't buried in a playsheet? Would he have had a clearer head?

McCarthy expressed a desire Thursday to be more universally involved with his team, which includes more time spent with defense and a troubled special teams unit that led to the hiring of a new coordinator, Ron Zook, and assistant, Jason Simmons. It's a strategy that worked wonders for Cowboys coach Jason Garrett in 2014 and could end up benefitting Green Bay in the long run.

At the least, we'll get to see what Rodgers is like with a new voice in his ear, though we can't imagine McCarthy pulling back altogether.

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