The Packers turned back the clock this month by hiring Joe Philbin for a second stint as their offensive coordinator, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s first question to Philbin wasn’t about football.
McCarthy said at a Wednesday press conference that his first question was about whether Philbin was comfortable returning to Wisconsin after his son drowned in an Oshkosh river in 2012. Philbin said he was in that conversation and said so again after he was officially introduced as a member of the staff on Wednesday.
“It’s very, very emotional for all of us, but at the end of the day, we care and love a lot of people here, and a lot of people care about and love us,” Philbin said, via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Philbin’s familiarity with the job may have also helped make him feel comfortable returning to Green Bay after three-plus seasons as the Dolphins head coach and two years on the Colts staff. He described his role as the same as it was in his last stint with the Packers, specifically making McCarthy “look like the smartest play caller” in the league, while McCarthy said the team will be taking a “back to basics approach” on offense.
How that will differ from the Aaron Rodgers-centric approach of the last decade remains to be seen, but implementing it will certainly be easier if Rodgers is healthy for the entire year this time around.