McCarthy: Emotional but Healthy Packers Ready for Giants

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You could hear it in his voice, you could see it in his face.

The emotion and heartbreak following the sudden death of Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, was on full display as Packers head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media Wednesday afternoon.

McCarthy got choked up while trying to answer several questions about a tragedy that has visibly shaken the Packers family to its very roots.

“It gives everyone a punch in the heart of reality,” McCarthy said, attempting to hold off tears the best he could.

This was no act, mind you—the Packers typically unyiedling head coach is clearly feeling the weight of a tragedy that is hitting home in a big way.

And as you’d expect, emotion is going to play some kind of factor in the Packers Divisional Round matchup with the New York Giants on Sunday.

Asked if tragedy could result in a more focused team, McCarthy thought it could.

“I think it can,” McCarthy said. “It would be premature for me to comment on it, but the energy was outstanding today, the focus was outstanding.”

McCarthy continued, “It hits you hard how blessed we are to have this opportunity professionally.”

McCarthy was unsure if Philbin would be with the Packers on Sunday. He said he’ll return “when he’s ready.” Philbin was with his family on Wednesday away from the Packers practice facility.

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess if Philbin will return. No one would blame him if he can’t go Sunday.

The Packers’ roster, at the very least, should be the healthiest its been all season Sunday against the Giants. No player missed practice Wednesday, and the limited participants—Randall Cobb (groin), Chad Clifton (hamstring) and Robert Francois (knee)—were all close to being full.

“I feel very good about the health of our football team,” McCarthy said.

Running back James Starks (ankle) returned, and Greg Jennings (knee) was a full participant. Both are expected to play.

The Packers face the Giants this Sunday at 3:30 CT from Lambeau Field.

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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  • Ron LC

    I really liked the way he explained that initially he thought he’d just add Philbin’s duties to his workload. Then, with a little pushing by his assistants he let them divide up Philbin’s duties. The assistants appently didn’t want MM to change his routine.

    I don’t make predictions because I’m a superstitous fanatic. I will say this, the GB Packers will be ready. 2007 doesn’t mean crap.

  • Mojo

    Yeah, I don’t know why everyone keeps bringing up 2007 either. That’s so just last year.

    • Chad Lundberg

      It’s only because the Giants were up against insurmountable odds, and Eli pulled off one of the most amazing underdog stories ever. If that’s not relevant then I don’t know what is.

      • Ron LC

        Can you say Brent Fahvree?

  • Chad Lundberg

    The emotion factor will either be a huge distraction or huge motivation. Hopefully, motivation.

    God bless Joe and his family.

  • ELo

    MM is a class act and represents the Packers very well.