Joe Philbin Pro Bowl Diary - Part I


*The Green Bay Packers entire coaching staff is in Hawaii this week to coach the NFC squad in the Pro Bowl. Including Head Coach Mike McCarthy, only four members of the coaching staff have coached at the Pro Bowl before.

Among those new to the experience is offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, and he will chronicle some of the happenings in Honolulu in this diary. Here is the first installment:*

We had a long travel day getting out here. We drove from Green Bay about 5 in the morning on Saturday to Chicago, left Chicago about 10:00, and got out to L.A. about 2:00. We were supposed to leave at 4, but there was a mechanical problem or something, so we probably didn't leave L.A. until about 8:00 West Coast time, and I think we got into the airport here in Hawaii about 1 in the morning on Sunday. It was a long day, but it was well worth it. We were a haul going through the airports - my wife and five of my six children (ages 6 to 17) - but we didn't lose anybody.

We went sightseeing a little Sunday. We went to Diamond Head, which is one of the big landmarks on Oahu. It's a climb to take up to the top of this crater, and it's got real nice views of the whole island, so that was a lot of fun.

I saw a couple of the highlights of the Super Bowl, but really didn't watch much of the game at all. I think the Giants are a great example of a team that doesn't have a ton of superstars, but a bunch of guys that played hard and believed in one another, and they accomplished an awful lot. You like to see stories like that in sports, teams that really utilize teamwork. There's only one of their guys over here for the Pro Bowl right now, so that's a real testament to the character their team has.

On Monday we went to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona. We also went on the USS Missouri where they signed the treaty to end World War II, and we went on a submarine. We spent most of the day at Pearl Harbor, which is great from a historical perspective. It's a very meaningful place, and it was a lot of fun.

Some of the Pearl Harbor stuff got a little long for the kids, but they really liked the first day when we went climbing. There are other kids from the coaching staff families that they've seen and are starting to hang around, so they're enjoying it. Maybe they're just enjoying not being in school, but they're having a good time.

Tuesday was our first practice, and I don't know if I got a chance to speak to each guy individually, but I just walked around and shook a bunch of hands. It was the first time meeting a lot of those guys. It seems like a real good group of men. It was fast-paced in terms of getting them caught up in some of the things we're going to be doing on Sunday.

The fun part is you're getting guys from 15, 16 different teams. Football is not that complicated, but sometimes the language is, and you have to work through some of that stuff. What they think is a '6 route' we may call a 'hook route.' There's some of that you have to correlate between the systems. We're just working through some of that stuff, but overall they did a pretty good job for Day 1.

{sportsad300}We did a lot of normal down-and-distance, some of the base stuff we're going to be doing. We exposed them to a lot of it. You kind of keep the volume down in terms of your game plan, you keep it as tight as you possibly can, but it was a good first day. We did some things against the defense, which was good. They need to learn how to line up and play their calls, and we're trying to get our guys on the same page as well.

We haven't hung around with the other coaches or our players too much yet, because a lot of guys came in at different times. The weather has been good, but not really beach weather yet. The sun is starting to burn some clouds off, so I'm sure we'll have a good time and everybody will have a chance to get poolside at the hotel.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the development of this team in a short week. These guys are extremely talented guys. I'm looking forward to working with them and seeing how far we can come along in the next four practices and hopefully get ready to play a good game on Sunday. Getting to know them on the field, off the field, that should be fun as well.

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