Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Joe Philbin coached Aaron Rodgers for seven years in Green Bay so one would assume that he would have some inside type information on him. That would be beneficial for the Dolphins’ defense this coming Sunday when the Green Bay Packers come rolling into town. Even if he has some information on Rodgers, Philbin wasn’t leaking it to the public.
“It’s a good offensive football team. Just like as I talk to our team, our offensive unit, there’s more than one player that makes that offense go. He’s obviously a very good player, but we have to execute our game plan. Really, we’re talking about us, first and foremost, is you only control so much. We don’t control the plays they’re going to call or the route they’re going to call, so we want our guys to understand our plan and how we plan to stop the Green Packer offense. He’s a big part of their offense, but really it’s more about us and what we can do as a defensive football team to slow down a team that’s averaged, what 40 points a game the last two weeks. Certainly, it’s going to be a challenge.”
Rodgers, who experienced a free fall in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft before being selected by the Green Bay Packers, sat behind Brett Favre for several years before getting his shot and quickly became one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. Did Philbin ever know that he would ascend to this level?
“I think the first time that we had an opportunity to coach in the Pro Bowl over in Hawaii. I know it’s not the same type of football practices or the same game, but he hadn’t even played a game yet, started a game, if I’m not mistaken. We were just kind of watching guys throw on both sides, both teams, and I was kind of thinking to myself, ‘Geez, the guy we’ve got that is a backup at that point in time can certainly throw the ball with the same type of velocity and so forth as these guys.’ So that was kind of the first time. Then it just was a gradual thing. He just got in there and started. He played really well really from the beginning, but obviously he developed over time. It wasn’t like (it was immediate). He’s really playing well. I think he has 12 touchdowns and one interception. That’s a pretty good ratio. He’s a fine player.”
Philbin described his relationship with Rodgers as one that was very professional and called Rodgers a quality human being and someone who’s very dedicated to his profession. On Sunday, Philbin will hope to get the upper hand over his former student.