The emotion and heartbreak following the sudden death of Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, was on full display as Packers head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media Wednesday afternoon.
McCarthy got choked up while trying to answer several questions about a tragedy that has visibly shaken the Packers family to its very roots.
“It gives everyone a punch in the heart of reality,” McCarthy said, attempting to hold off tears the best he could.
This was no act, mind you—the Packers typically unyiedling head coach is clearly feeling the weight of a tragedy that is hitting home in a big way.
And as you’d expect, emotion is going to play some kind of factor in the Packers Divisional Round matchup with the New York Giants on Sunday.
Asked if tragedy could result in a more focused team, McCarthy thought it could.
“I think it can,” McCarthy said. “It would be premature for me to comment on it, but the energy was outstanding today, the focus was outstanding.”
McCarthy continued, “It hits you hard how blessed we are to have this opportunity professionally.”
McCarthy was unsure if Philbin would be with the Packers on Sunday. He said he’ll return “when he’s ready.” Philbin was with his family on Wednesday away from the Packers practice facility.