Category Archives: Joe Philbin

11

June

Which Packers Assistant is the next to Become a Head Coach?

Could Tom Clements be the next Packers assistant to become a head coach?

Could Tom Clements be the next Packers assistant to become a head coach?

John Schneider to Seattle. Reggie McKenzie to Oakland. John Dorsey to Kansas City.

A lot of talented executives have left the Packers front office for general manager jobs with other teams over the last three years.

Joe Philbin has been the only Packers assistant coach to land a head coaching gig in that time period. Philbin departed as offensive coordinator and took over as Miami’s head coach after the 2012 season.

There’s plenty of talent on the Packers coaching roster. Linebackers coach Winston Moss and safeties coach Darren Perry have been loosely linked to head coach openings in the past. Current offensive coordinator Tom Clements is also highly regarded for his role in the Packers’ offense and the development of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Edgar Bennett has received some publicity lately as a firey up-and-comer. Kevin Greene is also an intense guy that could catch the eye of a general manager who wants a motivator as a head coach.

It’s impossible to predict which way the wind will blow on the assistant coach open market. One season an assistant might be the next big thing and a cinch to become a head coach. Then his team falters, he doesn’t get offered a head coaching job, and we never hear from him again.

Even Dom Capers was whispered to be on some team’s head coach lists after the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Can you imagine anyone offering Capers a head coaching job now? Doubtful, but if the Packers make a drastic turnaround on defense, you never know.

I consider myself an obsessive NFL fan — not just a Packers fan — and even I never heard of Mike McCarthy when the Packers hired him. Now, he’s one of the most successful head coaches in franchise history.

If I had to guess, I’d guess that Tom Clements gets a shot at being a head coach before any other assistant. Guys that understand offense and the quarterback position will always have an advantage in today’s NFL. Based on what little I know about Clements, he also seems to have the demeanor to be a strategic and level-headed coach.

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20

March

Tebowmania in Titletown? Just Say No!

Broncos QB Tim Tebow

Tebowmania in Wisconsin? Let's hope not.

If you are following me on Twitter, you know I’m a Tim Tebow guy.  I love the intangibles he brings to a team and the unique skill set he has.  Nothing makes me happier than someone going against the grain and succeed in doing so all while driving his detractors absolutely nuts.  He’s a great story, really.

That said, Tim Tebow has absolutely no business being on the Green Bay Packers roster.  Adam Schefter has tweeted a couple times about the Packers being a possible destination for Tebow now that the Denver Broncos have signed Peyton Manning.  I would implore GM Ted Thompson, however, to not even sniff around the former Gator star.

Why, you ask?

First off is the baggage that comes with Tebow.  Normally when someone talks about “baggage” in regards to a professional athlete, they’re talking about a checkered past or other skeletons in a guy’s closet.  This isn’t the case with Tebow.  Instead his “baggage” is an army of millions of blindly devoted Tebowmaniacs.

Who are these “Tebowmaniacs?” These are people ranging from fans to actual paid members of the mainstream sports media (I’m looking at you, Skip Bayless).  These people would descend upon Green Bay as well as Packer sites all over the internet.  The media coverage would be so intense it would border on making the Favre fiasco in 2008 look like a walk in the park.

There is no way Aaron Rodgers, the reigning league MVP, would be supplanted by Tebow but that doesn’t mean some of the Tebowmaniacs won’t start a push for it.  We’re talking about fans that have a level of passion for the guy like teen girls have for Justin Bieber.

Thompson hates media circuses and he has firsthand experience after the Summer of Favre.  The fact that Schefter mentioned the Packers shows that Thompson is perhaps slightly intrigued by adding Tebow to the roster as either the backup behind Rodgers or perhaps the third string behind Graham Harrell.

There’s also the small fact that Tebow is lousy as an NFL quarterback right now.  Yes, he’s shown flashes of brilliance but he is way too inconsistent and too poor of a pocket passer to be able to firmly grasp Mike McCarthy’s offense as a backup.  Matt Flynn at least had the fundamentals in line and McCarthy, Tom Clements and Joe Philbin were able to mold him into a decent quarterback.

20

January

Miami Dolphins Hire Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin To Be Next Head Coach

The Miami Dolphins have hired Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their next head coach.

According to both Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Miami Dolphins will hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their next head coach. Terms of his contract are reportedly already agreed upon and a press conference is slated for Saturday.

Philbin, who has held the role of offensive coordinator since 2007 in Green Bay, beat out Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Miami secondary coach and assistant head coach Todd Bowles for the position. All three men went through two rounds of interviews with GM Jeff Ireland and owner Stephen Ross.

Some, including ESPN’s John Clayton, figured McCoy was the front runner after the final round of interviews were completed. Philbin was a favorite of Ross, and that might have trumped any hiring that Ireland wanted to make.

Philbin’s hiring completes what has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 27-year coaching veteran. While in the process of interviewing in both Kansas City and Miami, Philbin’s 21-year-old son Michael fell through the ice on the Fox River in Oshkosh and drowned. That tragedy also conincided with the Packers preparation for their Divisional Round game against the New York Giants, a contest in which the Packers lost 37-20 last Sunday. Philbin was present at the game and served in his full capacity despite Michael’s funeral being on the Friday before the game.

Now, Philbin will take over a franchise that has been through several coaches and quarterbacks over the better part of the last decade. The Dolphins finished 6-10 in 2011.

Philbin also becomes the first of what could be many Packers assistant coaches to move on from their time in Green Bay. It’s entirely possible that Philbin could take several assistants from Mike McCarthy’s staff with him to Miami, including quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. However, the Packers may also want to promote Clements to their offensive coordinator position that is now vacant with Philbin’s departure. Either way, buckle up—because we could see a good chunk of the Packers coaching staff in other locales next fall. The Oakland Raiders, who are now run by former Packers director of personnel Reggie McKenzie, have yet to make their own head coaching hire.

16

January

Packers vs. Giants: 5 Observations from Green Bay’s 37-20 Loss to New York

The Giants pointed their ship to the NFC Championship Game with a 37-20 win over the Packers. (Photo: Darron Cummings, GBPG)

The Green Bay Packers (15-2) picked an awful time to play their worst game of the 2011 season, and the New York Giants more than capitalized on it Sunday in knocking the defending champions out of the playoffs with a 37-20 win at Lambeau Field in the NFC Divisional Round.

Here are five observations from the game:

1. Capping a tough week

There was some this week, including Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who opined that the Packers could be more focused on Sunday in light of the terrible tragedy that struck that the Packers family early this week. But maybe those people underestimated how difficult the transition could be from a Friday funeral to a Sunday football game.

The Packers made their fair share of mental mistakes on the offensive side of the football—dropped passes, missed throws, back-breaking fumbles—that were very uncharacteristic of the Packers in 2011. Could that have partly been due to a week of grieving for the Philbin family and missing their offensive coordinator? Professional football players get paid a lot of money to separate the two, but these guys are human beings, not football robots.

2. Rusting the machine

Hindsight is 20/20, but you’d have to think Mike McCarthy will do some self-reflection on his decision to sit starters during the final week of the season. His team Sunday looked like one who hadn’t played a full game together in three weeks. The Packers offense, in particular, was never able to find the kind of rhythm that seemed so easy to achieve during the regular season.

Depending on who you ask, the Packers dropped five to eight passes on Sunday. Every single one of them was a momentum-killer. They also lost three fumbles—as many as they had all season—on their way to a season-high four turnovers. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the quarterback was far from his best on a night when the Packers needed him to be.

Would playing the starters in Week 17 have made a difference in any of those? Maybe, maybe not. But the Packers certainly looked like a rusty football team on Sunday. Execution all-around was in short supply.

3. More of the same

13

January

2012 NFC Divisional Playoffs: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants Preview: Moving On

After a very difficult and emotional week, the Green Bay Packers have a playoff game to play.

With the passing this week of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin’s son Michael, the Packers had a tough go during the lead up to  a game they must win or see their outstanding 15-1 season come to an end.

Throw in the unfortunate trash talk thrown in the direction of Lambeau Field by their opponents, the New York Giants, and the Packers have had one of the most unusual weeks before a playoff game in franchise history.

Last week, the Giants defeated the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 at home in an NFC Wild Card matchup.  The Giants played their best defense of the season with the only points for the Falcons coming from an Eli Manning intentional grounding penalty while he was in his own end zone.  The Giants gained a lot of confidence from that performance and led some of their players to guarantee victory against the team that finished the regular season with the best record in the league.

Let’s take a look at New York.

Key Giants Players

QB Eli Manning Manning is a very streaky quarterback.  When he’s hot, he’s incredibly tough to beat and especially so for a struggling Packers defense.  When Manning is off, however, he’s a gift that keeps on giving to opposing defenses.

It’s definitely been more of the good Manning than the bad this season and with a powerful pass rush on defense, Manning can relax and not feel like the weight of the entire team is on his shoulders.  He’s developed a rapport with his receivers and this was on display in the Packers’ 38-35 squeaker of a victory in New York earlier in the regular season.

WR Victor Cruz Perhaps no one else has come out of nowhere this season like Cruz has.  After playing in only three games last season thanks to a hamstring injury, Cruz exploded on the scene this season catching nine touchdowns for 1,536 yards, a Giants franchise record.

Throw in the talents of Mario Manningham, and the Giants have a spectacular one-two punch at receiver.  While they’re not quite there with the Packers receiving corps yet, the Giants can give any struggling secondary a fit and the Packers do fit into that category unfortunately.

11

January

McCarthy: Emotional but Healthy Packers Ready for Giants

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.

9

January

Son of Packers OC Joe Philbin Found Dead in Fox River -

Authorities in Oshkosh have found the body of 21-year-old Michael Philbin, the son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin who had been missing from the area since 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Philbin was visiting friends at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh but hadn’t been heard from or seen since late Saturday night.

Earlier this afternoon, a body matching his description was recovered from the Fox River. Multiple media outlets have reported that the body has indeed been identified as Philbin’s son and that Packers players have been notified.

Just like that, with the snap of a finger, football in the Packers family becomes a secondary issue.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy somberly addressed the media at around 3:00 p.m., an hour or so before confirmation of a positive identification had been made. McCarthy said the Packers organization has a “family first philosophy” that will be respected in this case. Media access to the Packers locker room wasn’t made available as standard after McCarthy’s Monday press conference.

If Philbin has to miss Sunday’s game with the New York Giants—and no one would even think to blame him if he did—McCarthy also said the Packers have a contingency plan in place to deal with his absence. Philbin was in Oshkosh Monday.

Philbin has been with the Packers organization since 2003, when he was hired as an offensive line assistant. He was promoted to offensive line coach in 2006 and later in ’07 to offensive coordinator. Philbin had been in Miami and Kansas City over the last week interviewing for head coaching positions.

Philbin and his wife, Diane, have five other children.

The Packers play the New York Giants at 3:30 on Sunday.

We at AllGreenBayPackers.com—and I speak for everyone involved—would like to wish the Philbin family our dearest condolences during this time of crisis.