Report: Clements Interviews For Penn St. Job

Despite the scandal that has brought disgrace upon the school and football program, the Penn State job would be a "great opportunity" for the Packers' quarterbacks coach, Mike McCarthy and Matt Flynn said. Plus, injury news and more from a busy Friday.

Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements is interviewing on Friday to replace Joe Paterno at scandal-plagued Penn State.

The news of Clements' phone interview with the school was broken by USA Today's Jon Saraceno, though Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he has had "zero communication" with the school.

"I feel it's a great opportunity," McCarthy said after Friday's practice. "I think Penn State University is a great opportunity. I think Tom would be an outstanding candidate. I have three siblings that graduated from Penn State, so he would have the McCarthy vote as far as him being the next head coach there. The process of individuals being hired this time of year, I think the college administrators and the National Football League have been very practical and respectful of each other's schedule. So, I'm not concerned as far as the timing of it."

Clements, 58, has never been a head coach at any level. He was the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and 2005 before being named quarterbacks coach by McCarthy upon his hiring in 2006. Before that, he was quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh under Bill Cowher from 2001 through 2003, at Kansas City in 2000 and New Orleans in 1997 through 1999. He's coached Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Kordell Stewart and Elvis Grbac to Pro Bowl seasons.

"I think if it's something that he wants and something that he would like to do it would be a great opportunity," backup quarterback Matt Flynn said. "He definitely has the credentials, he has the background for it, as both a player and a coach. He's very knowledgeable and very intelligent when it comes to the game of football. He knows the ins and outs of defenses and offenses. I think if he wants it, he definitely deserves it and has proven that he's a good coach."

At Notre Dame under Lou Holtz, he was quarterbacks coach in 1992 through 1994 and receivers coach/assistant head coach in 1995.

A three-year starting quarterback at Notre Dame from 1972 through 1974, he led the Fighting Irish to a national championship in 1973 and was an All-American and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1974. He led Ottawa and Winnipeg to Grey Cup championships and was inducted into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 1994.

Backfield in motion

The Packers could be short-handed in the backfield, though McCarthy hopes either James Starks or Brandon Saine – both are listed as questionable – will be ready to go for Sunday's game at Kansas City.

"I feel about the same (as before the Detroit game, when he re-injured the ankle)," Starks said. "It's obviously getting better each day and I've got a little time before the game, so it should be getting better as the game comes along, so it'll probably be another game-day decision."

Starks took part in some individual work while Saine still hasn't gotten through the concussion protocol. Both will be game-time decisions. If neither can play, the Packers would be limited to just Ryan Grant and John Kuhn, though the tight ends can handle some of the lead-blocking duties of the fullbacks.

"It's definitely a responsibility (for the tight ends) and it's something that we're all capable of doing," tight end Ryan Taylor said. "It's something we do on different plays but not fully at fullback."

Packers injury report

Out: LB Desmond Bishop (calf); LT Chad Clifton (hamstring/back); WR Greg Jennings (knee); DE Ryan Pickett (concussion). Questionable: RB Brandon Saine (did not participate; concussion); G Josh Sitton (limited; knee); RB James Starks (limited; knee/ankle). Probable: LB A.J. Hawk (full; calf); LB Vic So'oto (full; back).

Pickett, to McCarthy's surprise, didn't get through the concussion protocol and was ruled out. Sitton was limited all week, with McCarthy getting a yes-or-no on him by Saturday.

"Josh Sitton's at the point, how does he feel?" McCarthy said. "He's a veteran player. No one knows his body better than he does. So, we'll see how he feels tomorrow. Being on the turf (in the Don Hutson Center) three days is probably not the ideal situation to come back off an injury. But if he can press through these last three days, then I think he'd be ready to go."

Said Sitton: "I'm ready to go."

Chiefs injury report

Doubtful: S Jon McGraw (limited; ankle). Probable: CB Javier Arenas (full; illness); WR Jon Baldwin (full; illness); QB Kyle Orton (full; right index finger).

Coach Romeo Crennel confirmed that Orton will be the starter against the Packers.

Four-point stance

-- Rodgers was named the Sporting News athlete of the year. To read the story, click here.

-- McCarthy said tight end Andrew Quarless should have knee surgery in the next week or so. "History would tell you that he would go into camp restricted. He'd probably go into training camp and probably wouldn't pass his physical at the start of training camp. That's what history would tell you. That's usually the way we go. Just kind of break them in and through individuals at some point he would be released."

-- Suspended Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly received an additional six-year prison sentence on Friday morning for codeine possession, according to The Associated Press, but the term is to run at the same time as a previous six-year sentence. Jolly, 28, was sentenced in a Harris County, Texas, court for two counts related to possession of codeine, a controlled substance, on Oct. 1.

-- McCarthy, on receiver Tori Gurley, who turned down a promotion to the Vikings' 53-man roster to stay on Green Bay's practice squad: "Tori's done a great job. He's a young up-and-coming player. He does a really good job with the opponent part of it and he's an inquisitive young man, and that's what you like to see. So, he's really taken advantage of his opportunity in the receiver room and the quarterback room. I was very pleased that Tori decided to stay with us."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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