20

January

Miami Dolphins Hire Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin To Be Next Head Coach

The Miami Dolphins have hired Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their next head coach.

According to both Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Miami Dolphins will hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their next head coach. Terms of his contract are reportedly already agreed upon and a press conference is slated for Saturday.

Philbin, who has held the role of offensive coordinator since 2007 in Green Bay, beat out Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Miami secondary coach and assistant head coach Todd Bowles for the position. All three men went through two rounds of interviews with GM Jeff Ireland and owner Stephen Ross.

Some, including ESPN’s John Clayton, figured McCoy was the front runner after the final round of interviews were completed. Philbin was a favorite of Ross, and that might have trumped any hiring that Ireland wanted to make.

Philbin’s hiring completes what has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 27-year coaching veteran. While in the process of interviewing in both Kansas City and Miami, Philbin’s 21-year-old son Michael fell through the ice on the Fox River in Oshkosh and drowned. That tragedy also conincided with the Packers preparation for their Divisional Round game against the New York Giants, a contest in which the Packers lost 37-20 last Sunday. Philbin was present at the game and served in his full capacity despite Michael’s funeral being on the Friday before the game.

Now, Philbin will take over a franchise that has been through several coaches and quarterbacks over the better part of the last decade. The Dolphins finished 6-10 in 2011.

Philbin also becomes the first of what could be many Packers assistant coaches to move on from their time in Green Bay. It’s entirely possible that Philbin could take several assistants from Mike McCarthy’s staff with him to Miami, including quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. However, the Packers may also want to promote Clements to their offensive coordinator position that is now vacant with Philbin’s departure. Either way, buckle up—because we could see a good chunk of the Packers coaching staff in other locales next fall. The Oakland Raiders, who are now run by former Packers director of personnel Reggie McKenzie, have yet to make their own head coaching hire.

6

January

Packers QB Coach Tom Clements Appears Safe, For Now

Packers QB coach Tom Clements reportedly lost out on the Penn State coaching job.

ESPN is reporting that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has agreed to become the next head coach at Penn State University, a development that would take Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements out of the running for a job he’s shown interest in.

Clements, a Pennsylvania native, had interviewed for the job on at least two different occasions, according to the Pittsburgh Press-Gazette. They reported that Penn State was welcoming Clements for a second interview sometime this week after a Skype interview towards the beginning of the process.

O’Brien interviewed on Thursday and the process of his hiring sped up from there.

The move would make Clements’ role as the Packers quarterbacks coach safe, for now. He still has the rest of the week to take on any potential interviews from other teams or programs.

A factor in Clements’ future in Green Bay could be the career progression of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who interviewed in Kansas City  on Wednesday and will in Miami sometime this weekend. Each interview will be for the respective team’s vacant head coaching position. While still a long shot, any potential hire of Philbin as a head coach could open the door for Clements to become the Packers’ next offensive coordinator.

Clements has experience in the position, as Dick Jauron hired him to be the Bills’ offensive coordinator in 2004. He served two years in Buffalo before becoming the Packers’ quarterbacks coach when head coach Mike McCarthy arrived in 2006. Clements has held that position ever since.

But with Clements’ value sky rocketing alongside the meteoric development of both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn under his watch, the Packers may need to promote the 58-year-old to keep him on the staff. Clements has earned the opportunity to advance back up the coaching ladder, if he so pleases.

For now, however, we know Clements will not be making the trip east to State College. Until we hear of any subsequent interviews or openings, his position with the Packers appears safe.

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.