Coach keeps it simple

Good move by McCarthy to promote from within on his staff

Mike McCarthy did the right thing and did what he had to do in naming Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator this afternoon. As the Packers finished the 2006 season strong, why mess with a good thing?

By hiring Philbin, the Packers offense can make a seamless transition into next season under a coach they know. Moving former NFL centers James Campen and Jerry Fontenot up the ladder also validate the progress that the offense made throughout the season. McCarthy's promotion of linebackers coach Winston Moss, an up-and-comer among assistant coaches in the NFL, will help solidify the defense.

All in all, not a bad way to start off the week by McCarthy.

"It just makes for an easy transition," offensive lineman Daryn Colledge said. "We'll be able to come back into work and it will be good for everyone. We're used to the system, we'll be running the same offense. For everyone it just makes it easier to do your job."

What more can be said? Last season, the Packers used all off-season and most of the early part of the season to get a grip on the new zone-blocking scheme. If McCarthy would have brought in a new face, the scheme may have changed a little, and the players and other coaches would have to get used to a new philosophy and coaching style.

The players and other coaches on the staff this past season know what the 45-year-old Philbin is all about. He was a holdover from Mike Sherman's staff and has worked with the team's offensive linemen and tight ends in the past five seasons. In fact, knowing the tight ends and how they are used in the offense is an advantage to being offensive coordinator in McCarthy's offensive scheme. That experience probably gave him the edge over quarterbacks coach Tom Clements for the job, along with his ability to teach younger offensive linemen.

"All of our coaches on the offensive staff have an area of responsibility, and Joe is very heavily involved in the run (game) and (pass) protection part of it," McCarthy said. "I thought he was exemplary in his performance in those areas from a game planning (standpoint). I think he's an outstanding teacher. He has a very good rapport with his players, so really observing Joe this past year was a major factor in promoting him to offensive coordinator."

This past season was not only a learning experience for many of the young players on the team, but also for the coaching staff. The staff had to grow as a group. Jagodzinski received a dream offer to coach Boston College, the same school that he served as offensive coordinator prior to entering the NFL. With Philbin taking over for Jagodzinski, the staff can continue to grow and move forward. McCarthy will continue to call the plays, and Philbin can continue to work with the same players and coaches, and receive a much bigger paycheck with his new title.

"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."


Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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