The move is yet to be confirmed by the Packers, but according to Rob Demovsky, former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will return to Green Bay to take over the same position he filled from 2007-11. The Packers offense ranked in the top 10 in yards and scoring in each of his 5 seasons as coordinator.
Sources: Philbin expected to rejoin Packers https://t.co/l4v3IcKbd5
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) January 6, 2018
Philbin will be replacing Edgar Bennett, who spent 6 years coaching running backs and 4 years coaching wide receivers in Green Bay before being promoted to offensive coordinator prior to the 2015-16 season. In his first year as offensive coordinator, the Packers got off to a slow start, but finished strong as the Packers went on to run the table. With Aaron Rodgers out for most of this season, the Packers struggled, resulting in their lowest points scored total since the 2006 season, McCarthy’s first as head coach.
The common complaint during Bennett’s tenure was that the offense had become stale, predictable, and too reliant Aaron Rodgers calling audibles and catching the defense offside or with 12 men on the field. He also struggled to produce a consistent running game, with each of his two seasons resulting in the lowest rushing yard totals since 2012.
After a record breaking 2011 season for the Packers offense, Philbin was hired as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Things didn’t go according to plan, though. He had a 24-28 record in Miami before being fired part way through the 2015 season. The Dolphins were 1-3 at the time they relieved Philbin of his duties, and they finished the season 6-10.
It wasn’t all bad for Philbin in Miami, though. In 2014, the Dolphins offense ranked 11th in yards, and 14th in points scored. To find a Dolphins offense that ranked 11th or higher in yards, you have to go back to 2001. To find one that ranked higher in points scored, you have to go back to 1995, when Dan Marino was still their quarterback. So for one year, he had the Dolphins offense ticking, but he failed to deliver a playoff appearance in any of his three full seasons as head coach.
Philbin spent the 2016 season with the Indianapolis Colts as the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line coach. Things probably would have gone better for him and the Colts this year had Andrew Luck not missed the entire season with a shoulder injury.
I can understand the frustration from fans who wanted a new, outside voice in charge of the offense. On the surface, it looks like Mike McCarthy just hired a guy to help him run the exact same offense. That is, however, not the case in my opinion. With Philbin, the Packers are bringing in a strong offensive mind, who they believe will bring in fresh ideas and help to bring back a consistency that has been missing for a Packers offense that has gotten a bit too predictable over the years. I believe he’s up to the task. He’ll work well with Rodgers, and he’ll put all of his players in positions to succeed. Because of that, I would expect guys like Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery to have increased production next season.
What do you think of the hire? Will Philbin return this offense to the glory days, or will it be more of the same?