Packers coaches have plenty of ties to Pittsburgh, Steelers

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IRVING, Texas -- They wear green and gold now but almost half of the Green Bay Packers' coaching staff has black-and-gold roots.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, a Greenfield native, has assembled a staff with a distinct Western Pennsylvania flavor. Three of his assistants were born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. Two others played for the Steelers and one coached for them.

The Green Bay staff with local ties:

• Tom Clements, from McKees Rocks and Bishop Canevin High School, coaches the quarterbacks.

• Ben McAdoo, from Homer Center High School and IUP, coaches the tight ends

• Scott McCurley, from Mohawk High School and Pitt, is a defensive quality control assistant.

• Former Steelers linebacker Kevin Greene coaches the outside linebackers.

• Former Steelers defensive back and coach Darren Perry coaches the safeties.

• Former Steelers defensive coordinator Dom Capers coaches in the same capacity for the Packers.

Clements used to attend Steelers games with his dad at Forbes Field and Pitt Stadium. When he was growing up in the 1960s, the Steelers were not a winning NFL franchise. But, by the time Clements was starting at quarterback at Notre Dame in 1972, the Steelers were on the rise.

The last Steelers game Clements attended as a spectator was the 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium.

"That was the Immaculate Reception game," Clements said. "I was in the end zone. Franco was running right at me. I didn't see him catch it. I just saw the collision, and, all of a sudden, you saw him running. No one knew what happened.

"I always enjoyed watching them play. In the '70s, they were my team."

McCurley, who played linebacker at Pitt from 1999-2002, was watching Super Bowl XL -- Steelers vs. Seattle in Detroit -- at a friend's home in Pittsburgh while he was fielding phone calls from the Packers about joining their coaching staff.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a huge fan," said McCurley, who holds the distinction of making the last interception and last field-goal block in Pitt Stadium.

"The Steelers were a big part of me when I was growing up. My whole family is still Steelers fans. I can't say I wasn't rooting for the Steelers to win that one. I'm a proud Western Pa. guy. It will always be a part of me."

McAdoo, of Homer City and IUP, is a former graduate assistant coach at Pitt. He got his start in pro football when Pittsburgh native, IUP graduate and former Steelers defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, then the coach for the New Orleans Saints, hired him as a quality control assistant.

McAdoo grew up rooting for the Steelers, too.

"Football is important back where I grew up," McAdoo said. "It's instilled in you at a very young age. Being able to compete and enjoy the game and learn about the game, it's something I feel privileged and honored to have experienced."

Greene and Perry did not grow up around Pittsburgh, but they learned about the club's tradition during their playing careers. Perry played for the Steelers from 1992-98 and coached the Steelers' defensive backs from 2003-06 under Bill Cowher.

Greene played for the Steelers from 1993-95, and, along with Perry, helped the Steelers reach Super Bowl XXX against the Dallas Cowboys. Super Bowl XXX is the only Super Bowl the Steelers have lost.

"We don't want to be the only Steelers team to lose a Super Bowl," Perry said. "We have to find a way to win this thing on Sunday."

Added Greene: "I have a lot of bad memories [from Super Bowl XXX]. I'm hoping our victory on Sunday will erase some of those lingering issues I have of this game."

Ray Fittipaldo: or 412-263-1230. First Published February 3, 2011 5:00 AM


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