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Tag:Green Bay Packers
Posted on: January 14, 2012 10:53 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 11:04 pm
 

Joe Philbin will be at Packers game Sunday

By Will Brinson

There's no way anyone expected Joe Philbin to join the Packers at Lambeau Field for Sunday's divisional matchup against the Giants a week after his son's tragic death, but CBS Sports Lesley Visser reported on The NFL Today that Philbin would be with the team.

Vesser spoke with Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who told her that Philbin would be there "to participate."

"I just spoke with coach Mike McCarthy, and he said Joe Philbin will be here tomorrow, in Mike McCarthy's words, to participate," Visser reported Saturday.

The passing of Michael Philbin's been a primary storyline over the past week, because of Philbin's importance to Green Bay and the understanding that he could take as much time away from the team as needed, and would be unlikely to work on Sunday.

But Philbin will be at Lambeau and it's worth noting that the Packers are, for all intents and purposes, his family.

Athletes frequently seek out their sport when tragedy hits, because it's a way of taking one's mind off the things happening in one's personal life. There's no reason why Philbin, a coach, should be any different.

It's still stunning to find out that he'll be in the office on Sunday. Although it wouldn't be stunning at all to see an emotionally charged and inspired Packers team take the field against the Giants.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:18 am
Edited on: January 14, 2012 11:42 am
 

Sunbeam/DirecTV dispute costs Miami Fox affiliate

By Will Brinson

Miami-area subscribers to DirecTV wanting to watch all the NFL action might want to start calling their nearest sports bar and reserving a table, because a dispute between Sunbeam and DirecTV has resulted in the local Fox station getting yanked from the television sets of about 270,000 homes.

In Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, WSVN-Ch. 7, the local Fox channel, replaced the station's feed with the following message at midnight on Saturday:

“No need to call us. Service will be restored as soon as technical difficulties are resolved. Please check this channel periodically for status updates. Sorry for the interruption."

In addition, the Sunbeam dispute has caused the NBC affiliate in the Boston area to be blacked out. That's not nearly as bad for football, of course, but it's not exactly good news either.

The technical difficulties aren't technical, though. They're financial -- Sunbeam and DirecTV can't reach an agreement on the cost for retransmission fees.

"There is always one outlier, like Sunbeam, who has no problem committing an unthinkable abuse of the public trust in an effort to shake down an excessive financial arrangement for themselves," said Derek Chang, executive vice president of Programming for DIRECTV said in a statement released by DirecTV. "We have no problem compensating Sunbeam fairly, but we have to take a stand against runaway greed and a shameless attempt to extort a more than 300 percent fee increase that our customers risk having to absorb. Sunbeam has completely disregarded its obligations to the public, NFL fans and hundreds of thousands of our loyal customers."

It's possible that this dispute will be resolved by the time that the Packers and Giants start playing on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET. But there's little to no chance that these customers receive any Fox feed by the time the Saints and 49ers tee off on Saturday.

The smart, albeit incredibly frustrating, move is for anyone in the Miami area with DirecTV to bolt for their nearest watering hole.

Ed. Note: We previously had Boston losing Fox in here; apologies for that and thanks to Mac for pointing out it was NBC.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:32 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 8:43 am
 

Film Room: Packers vs. Giants divisional preview


Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

We can only hope this game is as entertaining as the December 4th shootout, which Green Bay won on a brilliant last minute field goal drive.

Since that day the Packers have looked mortal and the Giants have grown white hot. Can Round II produce a different outcome? Here’s the breakdown.


1. Slowing the Pack’s aerial attack
The Giants used a diverse array of coverages against the Packers in the last meeting and actually had Aaron Rodgers a bit out of sorts early on. Still, even though he wasn’t as sharp as usual, Rodgers threw for 369 yards and four scores (not a bad “off day”).

New York’s two-deep safety zone looks gave Green Bay the most trouble, but the only way a defense can get away with playing zone against this offense a second time is if it sprinkles those zones with disguises and man concepts.

You can’t outsmart the Packers; you can only hope to out-execute them. Generally, that means winning press-man battles on the outside. That’s what Kansas City was able to do, though they have better press corners than New York and didn’t have to deal with Greg Jennings (out at the time with a knee).

The Packers do a great job creating one-on-one matchups for Greg Jennings through play design. In example A (left), Jennings ran his route against rookie Prince Amukamara to the outside, while Donald Drive ran down the seam. This combination eliminated the possibility of free safety Antrel Rolle helping the overmatched Amukamara, who was flagged for pass interference. In example B (right), Jennings aligned in the slot, away from the tight end and running back. Because Jennings was running an outside route from this alignment, there was no way a safety or linebacker could help cornerback Aaron Ross on this play.

Interesting side note: the Packers usually create one-on-one matchups for Jennings by lining him up as the X-receiver in a 1 x 3 set (in other words, Jennings all alone on the left side, three receivers on the right side). However, they did not throw a single pass to Jennings from this formation against the Giants in Week 13.


Without Jennings, a good secondary has a shot at stymieing this receiving corps (for not only are a Jennings-less Pack without their No. 1 receiver, but suddenly No. 2 receiver Jordy Nelson must face a No. 1 corner, No. 3 receiver Donald Driver must face a No. 2 corner and so on). With Jennings, a good secondary still isn’t enough; a defense needs help from up front.

Pressuring Rodgers is difficult with his speed. (Getty Images)

2. Pressuring Rodgers
It’s easy to say New York’s key is having its four-man pass-rush get to Rodgers. But that only matters if the pass-rush pressure equates to sacks.

In the last meeting, Jason Pierre-Paul absolutely owned backup left tackle Marshall Newhouse. Rodgers was under duress all afternoon. But all that meant was he ran around more before completing his throws. Rodgers is so athletic, so strong-armed and so good at keeping his eyes downfield that pass-rush pressure does not disrupt his rhythm, it merely alters it.

The Giants dominated the line of scrimmage last game and finished with just two sacks. Unless they get six or seven sacks (unlikely, especially with Green Bay getting Chad Clifton back), their pass-rush won’t be a difference-making factor.

3. Matching up to Finley
The Giants have shown a perplexing willingness to defend elite tight ends with linebacker Jacquian Williams this season. Against the Saints in Week 12, Williams at times defended Jimmy Graham while safety Antrel Rolle defended Darren Sproles.

The next week, Williams guarded Jermichael Finley while Rolle guarded ... James Starks. (Seriously?!) Finley wound up beating Williams’ in man coverage for 24 yards on the game-winning field goal drive and finished the day with six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. (The damage would have been worse if he hadn’t dropped three balls.)

Will the Giants take this approach again, or will they go to their dime defense and treat Finley as a wide receiver (which they’ve also done at times against elite tight ends this season)? Going dime would allow Rolle to defend Finley, though it would also put vulnerable rookie Prince Amukamara on either Donald Driver or Jordy Nelson.

4. Giants offense
As you might surmise, the Packers offense has too many weapons for the Giants to defend. Hence, Eli Manning will be compelled to once again light up the scoreboard. As we’ve explored the past several weeks, Manning is razor sharp against the blitz. The belief here is that an attack-oriented defensive approach will not work against the eighth-year veteran.

But Green Bay isn’t built to play any other way – at least not out of their nickel package. Dom Capers’ scheme is predicated on creating one-on-one matchups for Clay Matthews by blitzing others and using Charles Woodson as a joker. This might yield yards, but it can also create interceptions (the Packers had 31 on the season, which was at least eight more than any other team).

Manning is a virtual lock for 300 yards, but if he can be coaxed into at least two picks, the Pack are a virtual lock to host the NFC Title game.

5. Unless…
The Giants control the game on the ground. This idea seemed absurd a few weeks ago, but lately New York’s front five has gelled and Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have rediscovered their ability to break tackles running downhill.

The Giants spent a lot of time in base personnel last game, though primarily for passing purposes (they ran the ball just 20 times). They wanted to limit Capers’ nickel blitzes and also throw against Packers backup inside linebackers Rob Francois and D.J. Smith (who were playing for the injured Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk).

With the Packers back to full strength and the Giants’ passing game having significantly improved in three-receiver sets, throwing from base personnel might not be as big a factor this time round. But the ground game might be a bigger factor – especially if the Giants don’t believe the return of defensive lineman Ryan Pickett can suddenly stabilize Green Bay’s wavering run defense.

It will be fascinating to see how Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride calls the game early on.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all the Divisional Round games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: January 12, 2012 11:39 am
 

Without Philbin, Packers feel his absence

Joe Philbin hasn't been at practice since his son died (AP).By Josh Katzowitz

As the Packers continue to ready themselves for their showdown with the Giants this weekend, they’re having to practice and prepare through the pain that offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is feeling after his son, Michael, drowned in the Fox River last Sunday morning in Oshkosh, Wis.

Philbin has not returned to the team since police positively identified the body, and it’s not clear if and when he’ll be available for the team’s playoff run. Until then, the Packers continue on with heavy hearts.

"Honestly, there's nothing anybody can really say that'll make the pain go away,” Packers guard T.J. Lang, said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Philbin wasn’t in Green Bay for Packers practice Wednesday, and afterward, an emotional Mike McCarthy told the assembled media, “The reality of this just gave everybody a punch in the heart to let you know the reality how fortunate to be where we are."

Without Philbin at the team facility during the week of preparation, McCarthy had delegated Philbin’s responsibilities to other assistant coaches. As the newspaper writes, “Philbin doesn't call plays on Sundays. The offense is in McCarthy's vision with a MVP front-runner serving as the triggerman. But Philbin is a behind-the-scenes force that keeps the unit in unison. He's the one leading offensive meetings at the start of each week, breaking down certain plays.”

And at the end of the week, when the team is finishing up its final practice, Philbin takes over the drill as the first-team offense goes against the scout-team defense. As the Journal Sentinel relates, "'It's a lively scene,' (Evan) Dietrich-Smith said. Players are jumping, yelling and trying to stump the starters. Philbin raises the urgency. It's one way he pushes Rodgers and the offense as a whole."

So, how do the Packers cope for now?

"When you step into our building, you have to find a way to focus on the task at hand and when you go home you deal with things there," said Lang, who also revealed that he’s been dealing with the emotions brought on by a sick father. "But I think we've always had a strong team. We're a very close team.

"Guys rally around each other when you're going through tough times."





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Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:57 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 5:08 pm
 

No foul play suspected in Michael Philbin's death

                                                            (AP)
By Ryan Wilson

On Monday, Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin lost his son, 21-year-old Michael Philbin, after his body was recovered from the Fox River in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday but the results aren't expected for at least a month. According to wire reports, Oshkosh Police Chief Scott Greuel said that they do not suspect foul play.

On Tuesday, Philbin spoke about his son, and he also thanked local authorities for their efforts. 

“We love Michael so much and will miss him dearly," Philbin said in a statement released by the team. "He loved his family, friends and life. His memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him. We are appreciative of the prayers and the support of our family, friends and the Packers family. We ask for continued respect and privacy for our family as we deal with our loss.

“Our family also wants to thank the Oshkosh Police Department, Winnebago County Dive/Rescue/Recovery Team and the Winnebago County Coroner’s office for their efforts and compassion during this difficult ordeal.”

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that "The Philbin family is obviously going through a tough time. As we always have, we're family-first in this organization. We're supporting Joe and his family the best we can, and we're holding out hope that this comes to a positive conclusion."

Green Bay faces the New York Giants in a playoff game this weekend. Players from both sides took to Twitter to support Philbin.

Packers tight end Jermichael Finley: "Life throws the bad things at us to make the good things all the more worthwhile."

Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang (who lost his father within the last week): "As children, we all have to someday say goodbye to our parents, but a parent should never have to say goodbye to their child."

Packers offensive lineman Josh Sitton
: "Please say a prayer for the Philbin family"

And Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck added: "Our prayers go out to the Philbin family and Packer nation for their loss."

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 6:46 pm
 

Report: Body of Joe Philbin's son positively ID'd

Michael Philbin hasn't been seen since Sunday morning.By Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (5:43 p.m. ET): ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde is reporting that the Packers players have been told that the body has been indentified as Michael Philbin.

Earlier in the day, here's what coach Mike McCarthy had to say: "The Philbin family is obviously going through a tough time. As we always have, we're family-first in this organization. We're supporting Joe and his family the best we can, and we're holding out hope that this comes to a positive conclusion."

According to WFRV out of Green Bay, Oshkosh police are not releasing the name of the body due to "family wishes." Foul play is not suspected, but the investigation of the incident is still under investigation.

From the Twitter account of Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, whose squad faces Green Bay this weekend: "Our prayers go out to the Philbin family and Packer nation for their loss."

UPDATED (5:03 p.m. ET):
According to the Northwestern.com, a body has been recovered from the river but no positive ID has been made yet.

Police said the body of a man between the ages of 20-25 was recovered in about 15 feet of water, 30 yards from the shore at about 3 p.m. Monday.

----------

Police in Oshkosh, Wis., are searching for a person who might have fallen through the ice and into the Fox River, and at the same time, police are asking for help from the public to locate the whereabouts of 21-year-old Michael T. Philbin, the son of Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.

As the Northwestern.com reports, divers began to search for the missing person early Sunday when a man reported he thought he heard somebody crying out for help from the river about 2:30 a.m.

Michael Philbin was last heard from early Sunday while he was on a trip to visit friends at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He spoke to somebody on his cell phone about 2 a.m., and he wasn’t reported missing until about 8 p.m. Sunday. Police do not suspect foul play.

The police, though, are treating the missing persons report and the possible drowning as two separate incidents.

Philbin is described as 5-foot-11 and 155 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with any information on Philbin is asked to call Oshkosh police at (920) 236-5700.

In the past week, Joe Philbin has interviewed for the head coaching jobs for the Chiefs and the Dolphins.

"The Packers organization is aware of the missing person report regarding Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin," the Packers said in a statement released Monday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Philbin family during this difficult time. We ask anyone with information about Michael to contact the Oshkosh Police Department."

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 10:27 am
 

Pierre-Paul guarantees Giants win over Packers

Pierre-Paul guaranteed a New York victory in Green Bay on Saturday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The New York Giants have a lot of confidence right now. That's totally understandable. But making guarantees about beating the defending-champion Packers, in Lambeau, already? That seems silly.

But it's not stopping Jason Pierre-Paul, who guaranteed a Giants win over the Packers on Sunday.

"We’re going to win," Pierre-Paul said, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. "One hundred percent we’re going to win ... because we’re the best."

Wild-Card Weekend Recap

The Giants are quite good. They might be the best team in the playoffs and it's great that JPP is confident. (Interestingly, the only quotes to make it onto the Giants official site are the follow-ups about how sure JPP is.) He should be, given the way the Giants dismantled Atlanta's offense on Sunday afternoon.

But the vibe we get from him is that the Packers aren't as pumped up about a rematch against the Giants. And that's simply not the case. There are plenty of guys on this roster who remember what happened back the last time the Giants won the Super Bowl.

"The team that kept us from our potential Super Bowl in 08 is back on OUR turf now," Jennings tweeted on Sunday. "Trust me,we haven't forgotten. Here. We ... GoPackGo! #BeGreat"

What's interesting to us is the heavy amount of comparisons to the 2007 season. Obviously, there are some similarities. But there are a lot of differences as well. For one, the Packers are better. (And maybe the Giants are better too.)

“We might be a better team than we were in ’07, but I think Green Bay is a better than they were in ’07, too," Tuck said per our Giants Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin.

The more logical comparison, then, is to the last time these teams played. Which, uh, was this year. That game was played in New York, but the Packers still managed to win 38-35.

Which is why, regardless of how confident Pierre-Paul is, he might want to consider scaling back any public declarations about the outcome of the game until victory is actually in hand.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 9:42 am
 

Wild-Card Weekend podcast review

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Well then. Wild-card weekend looked like it would lack the requisite drama of an NFL playoff weekend and then Tim Tebow happened. Oh no.

We break down the Broncos stunning win over the Steelers, wonder whether John Elway is screwed for 2012, debate whether the Steelers should be disappointed and discuss Tebow's chances against the Patriots (and the guy who drafted him, Josh McDaniels!).

Then we take a look at the other wild-card games, wondering if the Falcons need to make some changes and whether or not they lost the Julio Jones trade. We discuss if the Giants are capable of beating the Packers and then move to onto the Saints, who have to go outside. Can they win in San Francisco? Should they be favored? Did the Lions get hosed by the refs? Should they be excited about the future?

And finally we take a look at the Texans-Bengals game (it seems so long ago) and debate whether Houston's got a shot at upending the Ravens.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com