On Tuesday, long-time Packers assistant coach Winston Moss took to social media to offer criticism of the team. And the team fired him later that day.
On Wednesday, interim coach Joe Philbin explained that the firing didn’t flow exclusively from the tweet.
“It’s never about one thing,” Philbin said, via ESPN.com. “Again, I think it’s important, as I said to the team, we’ve got to be professional, accountable, respectful, and punctual. Those are the four things that we’ve got to do the next four weeks. And if we do all those things, we’ll be in good shape. It wasn’t about — again, you’re talking to a guy who’s never tweeted in his life, doesn’t even know what Twitter is — so again, it’s not about a tweet or anything like that. I just think the fit right now isn’t where it needs to be. . . .
“I think it’s important obviously that everybody’s on the same page, that we’re all moving forward in the same direction. As you know, Winston’s an excellent football coach. I’ve known him a long time. Respect him; outstanding family man. So it wasn’t an easy decision, but I just didn’t feel like the fit right now was where it needs to be.”
The right fit had been there for the past 13 years, with Moss arriving in 2006 with McCarthy and Moss not being fired at any point before then. But the tweet from Moss may have reflected the final straw for him, becoming in turn the final turn for them.
Indeed, Moss had the title of assistant head coach since 2007. But Philbin, not Moss, became the interim head coach — despite the struggles of the offense Philbin coordinates. And Philbin, not Moss, was getting the chance, slim as it may be, to coach his way into the permanent job.
It’s entirely possible that Moss simply didn’t believe Philbin was the answer, and/or that Moss fears the coaching search will turn on factors unrelated to the message articulated in his tweet: “What championship teams have are great leadership! Period! It’s not the offensive guru trend, it’s not the safe trend. Find somebody that is going to hold #12 and everybody in this building to a
Moss may sense, and possibly may know, that the coaching search will focus on finding someone who will be compatible with (and perhaps deferential to) #12, quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Moss seems to think that it will be more important to find someone who will hold Rodgers accountable.
And Moss possibly wanted the chance to be that guy, and he possibly wasn’t happy he didn’t get it. So he said what he said, believed what he said, and now will move on. Possibly joining McCarthy in whatever his next stop will be.