Aaron Rodgers is no Jim Murphy.
The last time Packers interim coach Joe Philbin was calling plays, he had a slightly different grade of quarterback.
Via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Philbin admitted this week that the last time he called plays was 1996, when he was the offensive coordinator at Northeastern University.
Murphy (who went on to spend two seasons with the Patriots and a year with the Barcelona Dragons) was his quarterback then, a slightly different challenge than handling one of the league’s top passers.
“It’s been a while,” Philbin said. “Been a while.”
Despite his long stint as the Packers offensive coordinator and three years as the Dolphins head coach, Philbin has never called plays in an NFL game. He has four games to figure it out, after the Packers fired head coach/play-caller Mike McCarthy Sunday.
While he may not have called plays during games, Philbin was involved in game-planning.
“I would sit with Mike and Aaron a lot and talk about the calls and first 15 [plays that are scripted] and those things,” Philbin said. “But yeah, obviously it’s going to be a little bit different. Sometimes, because I wasn’t calling the plays, I could kind of peek ahead a little bit so we could move forward a little bit. I think that will be the biggest difference. I’m not going to be looking at our next opponent until the game is over. I think that’s one of the big changes. And then obviously just sequencing the calls the right way and hopefully they work when we call ’em.”
Other than a 13-game stint with Tom Clements in 2015, McCarthy has been the only other play-caller Rodgers has known as a pro. Perhaps he could call Murphy for advice on what to expect.