Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sunday with no Packers football.

Surviving Sunday with no Packers Football

The Packers are no longer the Little Engine that Could.

The release of the 2011 Packers financial data confirmed what most of us already know: The Packers are freaking rich.

This is no longer a franchise clawing and scratching to compete financially with large markets like New York and Dallas. Football rakes in a lot of cash in Green Bay, just like it does in Chicago and New England.

As Packers fans, we like the feeling we get cheering for a “small-town” team. People love the underdog, and Green Bay’s market size always made it seem like an underdog. If you still think the Packers are “small town” or an underdog, you have much different standards for both than I do.

The Packers are one of the big boys now (and have been for a while). And that’s great. Packers fans should be proud.

Thanks to community support, good management and an excellent product, the Packers have grown, and grown, and grown…

They might be not be the underdog any more, but there’s more to cheer for than ever before.

Whether it’s businesses or individuals, we have a tendency to dislike and/or distrust people or large organizations that are freaking rich. No doubt, that dislike and distrust is warranted in many situations. But not always. It’s far too easy and completely unfair to simply dismiss a person or an organization because they have a lot of money.

I see no reason to feel this way about the Packers. Sure, they are not perfect. Nobody is. But they are a real success story, something to be genuinely proud of.

It’s always more fun to cheer for the little guy. But sometimes, little guys grow up. They win Super Bowls, renovate stadiums, sell more merchandise, raise ticket prices, generate additional revenue and keep on growing. It doesn’t mean we should feel guilty cheering for the grown-up version of the little guy.

After all, why would The Little Engine That Could keep plugging along if it didn’t one day hope to become the lead car on the train?

Packers News and Links

  • Mike at Packerpedia.com combs through the archives and gives us a nice profile on P Tim Masthay. It’s amazing how much better your special teams look with a good punter, explosive returner and a kicker who has finally come around. Yes, the coaching staff deserves some credit for the special teams improvement last season, but just those three positions being good to great makes a world of difference.


Joe Philbin and Tom Clements Drawing Interest For Head Coaching Jobs

Packers QB coach Tom Clements is drawing interest from Penn State University.

Success in the NFL breeds opportunity, and two offensive coaches for the Green Bay Packers are drawing interest for head coaching jobs around the football landscape.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will interview for the Kansas City Chiefs head coaching position on Wednesday night.

Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who earlier interviewed for Penn State’s coaching vacancy, will get a second interview in person sometime this week, according to the Pittsburgh Press-Gazette.

Philbin has been the Packers offensive coordinator since 2007, when he was promoted from offensive line coach to coordinator after Jeff Jagodzinski left to be Boston College’s head coach. Philbin started in Green Bay as an offensive line assistant in 2003.

Clements, a 15-year NFL coaching veteran, has been the Packers quarterbacks coach since 2006. He is credited for helping groom both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn during his time in Green Bay.

It’s no coincidence that the success of the Packers, who won 15 games this season after capturing a win in Super Bowl XLV last season, has coincided with interest in their assistant coaches, especially on offense. The Packers offense set numerous franchise records this season on their way to becoming the NFL’s top ranked scoring offense in 2011 and second-highest scoring offense in NFL history.

It was reported earlier this season that Philbin was drawing interest from Tulane Universtity, his alma mater, for their head coaching vacancy. Philbin denied those rumors and Tulane later hired New Orleans Saints receivers coach Curtis Jackson.

While an interview with the Chiefs is an encouraging sign for Philbin’s vertical movement in the coaching profession, it’s unlikely he’ll land the job. While residing over the offensive coordinator position in Green Bay for five seasons, Philbin has yet to be the full-time play caller for the Packers offense. Head coach Mike McCarthy, a former offensive coordinator, calls the Packers’ offensive plays. The Chiefs are also widely assumed to be retaining Romeo Crennel as the head coach after he helped lead the Chiefs to a 2-1 record, including a win over the Packers, after taking over for Todd Haley.

Losing Clements appears to be more imminent. Penn State has dwindled their candidates list, and Clements looks to be one of the front-runners. The Norte Dame alum has shown a mutual interest in the job as a Pennsylvania native.