Jagodzinski gets OC job

McCarthy hires ex-Packers assistant to be offensive coordinator

Former Packers tight ends coach Jeff Jagodzinski will be returning to Green Bay as offensive coordinator under new head coach Mike McCarthy. Jagodzinski was in Green Bay on Friday and Saturday to interview with McCarthy, and the Packers made it official today.

A Milwaukee-area native and former fullback at UW-Whitewater, Jagodzinski told Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora Saturday that he was leaving to join the Packers.

"It's a pretty exciting hire for them," Mora told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Saturday night. "I hate to lose him. I think he's an excellent football coach."

Jagodzinski, 42, served as the Falcons' tight ends coach in 2004 and their offensive line coach in '05. Mora added Jagodzinski to his first staff in Atlanta after he was fired by Mike Sherman shortly after the divisional playoff loss in Philadelphia.

During each of Jagodzinski's two years in Atlanta, the Falcons led the NFL in both rushing yards per game and rushing yards per carry. In part behind timely blocks from the coach's tight ends, Atlanta in 2004 set a franchise record with 2,672 rushing yards, a springboard to the team's berth in the NFC Championship game. Last season, with Jagodzinski as line coach, the Falcons' zone-blocking schemes led the way for RB Warrick Dunn's career-high 1,416 rushing yards, a Pro Bowl effort.

Alge Crumpler, the coach's primary pupil as tight ends coach in 2004, went to the Pro Bowl that season after establishing career highs in receptions (48), receiving yards (774) and touchdowns (6). Crumpler's 16.1-yard per-catch average led all NFL tight ends.

Jagodzinski (jay-gah-ZIN-skee) during his time in Atlanta worked with offensive line consultant Alex Gibbs, the architect of some of the best offensive lines in NFL history, including the 1997-98 Super Bowl champion Broncos. Jagodzinski had coached for 19 years at the pro and college levels before he worked with Gibbs. The new Packers coordinator has 21 overall seasons of coaching experience.

McCarthy interviewed just one candidate, Jagodzinski, for the coordinator's position. McCarthy is expected to meet with Jim Bates to determine his interest in remaining with the Packers as defensive coordinator. Bates took the weekend off to decide if he wants to remain in Green Bay or pursue other coordinator positions in the NFL.

Jagodzinski had a year remaining on his contract with the Falcons, but Mora was happy to see him offered a position to be a coordinator.

"I would have loved him to stay," Mora told the Journal Sentinel. "I wish we could have persuaded him to stay. But I guess financially we couldn't do it."

After coaching running backs at Whitewater under Bob Berezowitz, in 1985, Jagodzinski coached offensive lines at Northern Illinois under Jerry Pettibone (1986), Louisiana State under Mike Archer (1987-'88), East Carolina under both Bill Lewis and Steve Logan (1989-'96) and Boston College under Tom O'Brien (1997-'98).

Jagodzinski's only experience as a coordinator were the two seasons at Boston College, where he called the plays in a West Coast system for teams that finished 4-7 each year.

"In my mind he's very capable and very ready," Mora said. "I know Mike's going to call the plays. I don't know if you're ever fully prepared until you get in there and do it. I think (Jagodzinski) will do a tremendous job."

Only the fifth individual to hold the title of Packers offensive coordinator, Jagodzinski joins Paul Roach (1975-76), Lindy Infante (1988-91), Sherman Lewis (1992-99) and Tom Rossley (2000-05). Bob Schnelker (1969-71), John Polonchek (1972-74), Lew Carpenter (1975-79) and Tom Coughlin (1986-87) served as passing game coordinators on Green Bay staffs that didn't necessarily carry an offensive coordinator.

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