Joe Philbin will boost offense

Aaron Rodgers will welcome his return

Mike Clemens
January 07, 2018 - 1:43 am

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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Green Bay, WI - It was October of 2012. Week 6 of the NFL season.

After winning the Super Bowl in 2010, and going 15 -1 in the regular season in 2011, the Packers offense was sputtering at the start of 2012, and carrying a won/loss record of 2 - 3. It could have been 1 - 4 after narrowly beating the New Orleans Saints 28-27.

I asked Aaron Rodgers what was wrong with the Packers no-huddle offense?

For one, Rodgers told me, the referees in some of the games were holding on to the ball too long after first downs, waiting for the chain crew to move the markers, which killed the Packers offensive rhythm.

Secondly, veteran center Jeff Saturday was struggling to get in sync with Rodgers. GM Ted Thompson had signed Saturday to fill the void at center after he chose not to re-sign Scott Wells, who left in free agency. Wells was offered a lucrative contract from the St. Louis Rams. It would take until December before Mike McCarthy would finally bench the 37-year-old Saturday in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith (whom Rodgers preferred.) Saturday left Green Bay following that season and signed a 1-day contract with Indianapolis, so he could retire as a Colt. 

The third thing Rodgers told me what they were missing was offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. "Nobody does a better job at in-game adjustments, or deciphering what the defense is giving us that day than Joe," according to Rodgers.  

Philbin had left the Packers to become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and endured some turbulent seasons there. Some of those moments were captured on HBO's "Hard Knocks." The Dolphins would become embroiled in a scandal involving left guard Richie Incognito for misconduct after teammate Jonathan Martin quit the team, claiming Incognito routinely bullied and harassed him. Philbin was later fired after posting an overall record of 24 - 28 in Miami. 

Most recently the 56-year-old Philbin has been serving as the offensive line and assistant head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. When the Colts fired their head coach Chuck Pagano on Monday, Philbin became available to return to Green Bay.

After 17 years as an assistant coach with the Packers, former running back Edgar Bennett was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, and is perusing other opportunities in the NFL. 

Philbin is expected to be named the Packers offensive coordinator, and resume his role of helping Mike McCarthy prepare a weekly offensive game plan, share his expertise on coaching offensive lineman, and making those critical in-game adjustments Aaron Rodgers discussed back in 2012. READ MORE 

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