|The Bears are reportedly interested in rival Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements. (US Presswire)|
The history between the Midwestern foes has been so passionate and intense over the past 93 years that the author of an NFL rivalry thread on city-data.com refers to the series simply as “The Rivalry.”
There could be a new wrinkle in the contentious series if Tom Clements becomes the 17th head coach in Bears' team history. Clements, the Packers' offensive coordinator, interviewed with Bears GM Phil Emery on Thursday, according to ESPN.com.
Clements, a former quarterback at Notre Dame, is in his first season in the role after spending the prior six seasons as the team's quarterbacks coach. Clements led the Irish to the 1973 national championship and earned a law degree from Notre Dame in 1986.
A plethora of quarterbacks, most notably Aaron Rodgers, have flourished under Clements. Rodgers is the first quarterback in NFL history to have two seasons with at least 500 pass attempts and seven interceptions or fewer.
"Tom is a great man and a great friend, and he's been a big part of my success," Rodgers told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I've learned a lot from him and under his guidance. We hope he's still here next year."
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In 2007, Brett Favre posted then career-highs in completion percentage (66.5) and QB rating (95.7) in his second season under Clements.
A host of lesser-known quarterbacks have also achieved success working with Clements. In 2001, Kordell Stewart threw for a career-high 3,109 yards when Clements was the Steelers QB coach. A year earlier, former Chiefs QB Elvis Grbac passed for career-highs in yards (4,169) and touchdowns (28) under Clements.
Only one head coach in Bears' history has previously worked for the Packers. In 1999, the Bears hired Dick Jauron after the dismissal of Dave Wannstedt. Jauron served as the secondary coach in Green Bay from 1986-1994, but had been the defensive coordinator with the Jaguars when he received the Bears' head coaching spot. Jauron coached the Bears from 1999 to 2003.
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