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Edgar Bennett Lands With Familiar Jon Gruden, Raiders

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Edgar Bennett Lands With Familiar Jon Gruden, Raiders

While one new -- and familiar -- offensive coordinator arrives in Green Bay, another former -- also familiar -- offensive coordinator lands elsewhere.

Edgar Bennett will be the wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders in 2018 and beyond, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen who broke the news late Friday night.

Bennett was hired by Jon Gruden, who was just announced as the Raiders' head coach last weekend after a nine-year hiatus from coaching.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy had a clear goal of retaining Bennett after relieving him of his duties as the team's offensive coordinator, however, Bennett declined the option to return as a position coach. McCarthy wanted him to coach the receivers, which is the same job title Bennett held with the team from 2011-2014.

For those who are aware of Bennett's career in Green Bay, Gruden's pick-up shouldn't surprise many. Bennett was a running back for the Packers from 1992-1997, but for the first three years of his career, Gruden was on the Packers' coaching staff as an offensive assistant in 1992 and a receivers coach from 1993-1994.

As a player in Green Bay, Bennett amassed over 5,200 scrimmage yards and 31 touchdowns while splitting both fullback and running back duties in an offense spearheaded by quarterback Brett Favre.

As a coach, Bennett was consistent as a coach, commandeering the running backs for 10 seasons (2001-2010) and receivers for four (2011-2014) before earning a promotion to offensive coordinator in 2015 -- coincidentally the same season the Packers finished 23rd in total offense, however, a significant attributing factor to that was the loss of wide receiver Jordy Nelson in the preseason to a torn ACL.

While not officially, the Packers have hired Joe Philbin as the team's offensive coordinator to replace Bennett. Philbin was also the offensive coordinator for the Packers from 2007-2011. 

Once the Packers knew Bennett wasn't going to return to the team, they quickly hired Jim Hostler to coach the wide receivers. He was previously with the Indianapolis Colts and worked with McCarthy when the two were on the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers' coaching staffs in the mid-2000s.

Bennett had over 23 years of experience serving with the Packers, both as a player and a coach.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

GBPDAN1's picture

Loved watching Edgar running the ball late in the season at Lambeau. Madden coined him as a "Mudder". Good luck with your feature endeavour, Edger!

Houndog's picture

He was great to watch, no question why Madden loved him!
The play I remember the most was Bennett diving and stretching out for an amazing catch down the sidelines, real highlight film stuff.
Might have been in the NFC Championship game against Carolina.

Since '61's picture

Houndog. Bennett was great to watch and a good Packer. However, the play you are thinking of in the '96 NFC Championship game went to Dorsey Levens not Bennett. Levens made that great running catch down the sidelines in that game. Thanks, Since '61

Big Moe's picture

Just the whole game vs the bears in the Monday night monsoon, Edgar's ability to stay on his feat and make cuts of any kind was just a treat to watch! Best of luck.

croatpackfan's picture

Wish Bennett all the best with his new job.

But I think I can agree with Mike McCarthy that Bennett was not good OC...

Houndog's picture

Yeah, it was likely Bennet's play calling and decision to stick with Hundley that got him demoted.

Vrog's picture

Nice!

Tundraboy's picture

So it's Edgar's fault MM put him in a can't win role.? Edgar deserved better anyway.

Barnacle's picture

Best wishes Edgar. Too bad you wasted your previous several years working for an incompetent head coach.

Slim11's picture

I agree. MM needed a scapegoat for the awful 2017 offense when Rodgers went down. Edgar Bennett was that scapegoat. In some respects, Bennett was the same scapegoat Tom Clements was when his contract expired and wasn't going to be renewed.

MM couldn't take the blame so first it was Clements' failure and now it's Bennett's "failure." In Bennett's case, he was set up to fail because (1) Hundley was the QB (NO MATTER WHAT!) and (2) MM was the play caller.

I don't blame Bennett for leaving and going to Oakland. I wouldn't have been surprised by him going to Cleveland.

badaxed's picture

Without Favre and Rodgers McCarthy would be back bartending in Pittsburg. We found out what he can do when Hundley was his main man.

Barnacle's picture

Do you think Mash Potato Mike is smart enough or could move fast enough to be a bartender?

davy jones's picture

I don't think "comandeering" means what you think it means. That's twice now.

Houndog's picture

Happy to see you on the West coast Edgar!
If you get a chance step into the tight end's room and say hello to Jarod Cook for us, tell him we miss him.

Coldworld's picture

I think this is in part a result of a number of coaches with long tenures and nowhere to go than up or out after so many years with little significant change.

I am sad to lose Bennett from a packers perspective but happier with Philbin at OC.

It is interesting that both Bennett and Van Pelt went to teams with ex-Packer GMs and to positions that MM wanted them to return to (Bennett) or held here (van Pelt).

carlos's picture

Agree with you Coldworld. Hate to see Bennett leave, but can’t blame him after being demoted. I always wonder how much bitterness there is after coaches, front office people, scouts,etc have when passed over. Do they accept it as part of the business or does the human aspect take over.

4thand1's picture

These coaches go back and forth working with each other for decades. New coaches hire guys they worked with in the past. They get let go from one team only to sign somewhere else. They work there way up and down the coaching ladder. Coordinators seem to do better after getting fired from a head coaching stint.

Since '61's picture

4th - like many industries the NFL is an incestuous industry. People go back and forth and up and down, follow their mentors and ride coat tails. It's a small world and you work with those you know and trust. I wish Bennett well, he was a good Packer. Thanks, Since '61

badaxed's picture

Coaches are like tires. The rubber gets worn down . Put the same tire on a different car and expect to get a few more miles out of them. Have a yard sale and a new owner trys them for a while too. After a while the tire wears out (capers) and gets sent to the scrap heap

Lphill's picture

At least with most of the new coaches so far MM has some past relationships which overall is better for team chemistry , I don't think he ever worked with Pettine but that may work out for the better . I found it interesting that Rich Gannon turned the Raiders down I think there is bad blood.

The TKstinator's picture

(I’d rework that seventh paragraph, ZJ)

holmesmd's picture

Best wishes EB! You were a great Packer! I wish you the best!

Samson's picture

Edgar (as WR coach) has a better chance to stick with the Raiders and Gruden longer than 1 or two seasons. -- In GB under MM, he may very well have been job searching again after season 2018.

Like it or not, MM is under enormous pressure to win in season 2018. -- Also, no matter what positive changes Gute makes between now and September, 2018 --- MM is still only one critical injury away from losing his job in GB. --- AR is in his mid 30's and still takes too many hits.

Here's an idea. -- How about a competent veteran back-up QB on the GB roster in 2018.

4thand1's picture

Kaepernick

Tundraboy's picture

How about some OL depth.

Fordham Ram's picture

Edgar, thanks for the memories, bon voyage.

MITM's picture

Aaron Rodgers needs to be the offensive coordinator and nobody else.

nostradanus's picture

Good Luck E.B. you will always be a Packer in my book!
Best,
NostrDANus

lou's picture

A tough as nails running back and a class act off the field he was in a tough situation no cause of his own. As a RB and WR coach he was in his element, they made him the OC just to keep him, and his hands were tied with McCarthy running the offense. This happens in business environments as well, to keep outstanding technical people you need to make them managers to provide the pay increases they want and everyone realizes soon they are not manager material, no one wins. Best of luck to a great guy, I hope Gruden gave him a nice raise, his basic cost of living has tripled.

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