Philbin gets nod as offensive coordinator

Packers coach Mike McCarthy decided to stay in-house in his search for a new offensive coordinator by promoting offensive line coach Joe Philbin to replace Jeff Jagodzinski.

But McCarthy didn't stop there. The coach also promoted linebackers coach to Winston Moss to assistant head coach/defense, James Campen to offensive line coach and Jerry Fontenot to assistant offensive line coach.

Philbin, one of the few holdovers from coach Mike Sherman's staff, was considered the favorite all along because of his familiarity with the zone blocking scheme. He worked closely with Jagodzinski on installing the scheme, and was a natural to take over.

"To be in this city, two different jobs, and to last this long, and now get this thing, is great," Philbin reacted. "I love the city and the organization, and I do feel lucky."

Jagodzinski left for Boston College where he was named the new head coach on Dec. 19.

Philbin, 45, served previously as assistant offensive line coach (2003) and tight ends/assistant offensive line coach (2004-05). Prior to this past season, McCarthy appointed him in charge of the entire offensive line, an important role considering the team was implementing a zone-blocking scheme and would draft three rookies to start across the line.

"Consistency was something that quite frankly we did not have as a football team, particularly the first half of the season," McCarthy said. "This enables us to continue to build."

Philbin has coached 23 seasons overall and came to the Packers after four seasons (1999-2002) at the University of Iowa. His 19 seasons on collegiate staffs included time as an offensive coordinator at three schools: Allegheny College (1990-93), Northeastern University (1995-96) and Harvard (1997-98). He also coached at Tulane, Worcester Tech, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Ohio.

Philbin becomes the seventh individual to hold the title of Packers offensive coordinator.

"The three things I hope we accomplish here as long as I'm the coordinator are, number one, that we play fundamentally sound," Philbin said. "Number two, that we're tough, and number three, that we're smart.

"There are a lot of good schemes in football, a lot of ways to move the ball. But if you play fundamentally sound, and if your guys are tough and smart, you'll have a chance to win."

Moss, 41, was the linebackers coach in New Orleans during McCarthy's five seasons there as offensive coordinator from 2000 to 2004, and he was one of the first hires McCarthy made to his staff upon becoming Head Coach last year.

"I think the biggest thing is he's shown a lot of trust and a lot of confidence, and I appreciate that," Moss said. "Whatever he needs to bounce off of someone or get a second ear on, I'll be that person to help him out."

Last season, 24 of the 31 other NFL clubs listed assistant head coach/defense on their coaching staffs. In his new role, the former NFL player will serve as McCarthy's primary aide and will expand his interactions with the entire football team. Moss will continue on as linebackers coach.

Moss says he sees the promotion as one that could lead to being a coordinator and potentially a head coach someday, a career goal for him.

"This job description will grow," Moss said. "This is just a starting point. We'll work on specifically what we need as the offseason goes on."

Moss played 11 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL, then began his coaching career with the Seattle Seahawks in 1998.

Campen, a former center, also played in the NFL (1987-93), including his last five seasons in Green Bay. In 1992, he launched Brett Favre's current 237-game starting streak, an NFL record among quarterbacks.

An assistant offensive line coach each of the past three seasons (2004-06), the 42-year-old Campen, worked hands-on with one of the club's youngest and most-talented positions in '06. Rookies last year accounted for 38 of the Packers' 80 starts by offensive linemen, or 47.5 percent, and Green Bay ranked ninth among NFL clubs in total offense and third in sacks allowed per pass play.

Fontenot, 40, also contributed to the success of that young offensive line. A coaching intern this past summer, the club retained him for the duration of the season as an offensive line assistant. Fontenot's leadership and intelligence, and the respect he commanded in the locker room made an indelible impression on McCarthy.

Another former center, Fontenot played 239 NFL games over 16 seasons (1989-2004) with the Bears, Saints and Bengals.


Packer Report Top Stories