Ax falls on six assistants

McCarthy releases six assistant coaches, two others

Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy began shaping his staff Friday by releasing six assistant coaches and two other staff members.

Released were secondary/safeties coach Joe Baker, offensive line coach Larry Beightol, special teams coordinator John Bonamego, linebackers coach Mark Duffner, offensive coordinator Tom Rossley and strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin. The team also released director of football administration Bruce Warwick and weight room assistant Vince Workman.

Both Rossley and Bonamego had little chance of returning to the Packers. Green Bay's offense, though riddled with injuries, slipped to 18th overall in the NFL last year. McCarthy, a former offensive coordinator, also had no prior working relationship with Rossley. Special teams under Bonomego have finished at or near the bottom of the league in recent years. He probably would not have returned to Green Bay, even if Mike Sherman had been retained as head coach of the Packers.

Meanwhile, McCarthy plans to meet with defensive coordinator Jim Bates, who was passed over for the Packers' head-coaching position, this weekend. The two were unable to meet on Friday, but McCarthy seems like he wants Bates to remain in Green Bay as coordinator, though, he has never worked with him in the past.

"I've competed against Jim," McCarthy told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "I have great respect for Jim. I respect the job he's done here the last year, like everyone else does. But I don't know him on a personal level. Obviously, the personal always factors into hiring people."

A few coaches on Sherman's staff from last season had already left Green Bay. On Jan. 4, Green Bay's former director of player development Turner Gill officially named Charlie Jackson as his defensive coordinator at the University of Buffalo. The school had hired Gill as its head coach Dec. 16, and Gill promoted Jackson from his role as the Packers' defensive quality control coach.

On Jan. 3, Packers wide receivers coach James Franklin left to become the offensive coordinator at Kansas State. And on Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings hired Green Bay quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell as their new offensive coordinator.

McCarthy said he will interview Atlanta's Jeff Jagodzinski this weekend as a candidate to fill the job.

Jagodzinski, who is Falcons' offensive line coach, was the Packers' tight ends coach when McCarthy was the team's quarterbacks coach in 1999. Jagodzinski remained as tight ends coach through 2003, when Sherman fired him. He coached the Falcons' tight ends in 2004 and took over their offensive line last year.

McCarthy told the Press-Gazette that he is looking for an offensive coordinator with a background in coaching the offensive line and who can be in charge of the team's running game.

McCarthy plans to interview the remaining coaches from Sherman's staff over the weekend and early next week.

Packer Report Top Stories