Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Joe Philbin has dealt with plenty of pain and heartache over the past several years. Weeks before he was hired in 2011, his 21-year-old son drowned in a lake in Wisconsin. Now, his 93-year-old father passed away last week but Philbin, who has shown remarkable strength in the past with these types of situation, is ready to move forward while always remembering to honor the memory of his father.
“First and foremost, we’ve got a great organization here and an outstanding coaching staff. It’s great to be back. It’s great to be on the practice field. When you get into coaching, you have two families. You have your family and you have your football family. I’m very fortunate. We’ve got a great organization here and it’s great to be back. This has never been a one-man operation, either on the coaching side or the playing side. We’re built as a team and everybody stepped up and did a fantastic job. I actually haven’t really been to a practice yet this week to be quite frank with you. We’re going to practice here in about 45 minutes and I’m excited about being back out on the field with the team. The guys have done great. I’ve had a chance to catch up on the practice film. The attitude was good. Our weight room workout today, according to Darren (Krein) and Dave Puloka, was as good as we had. So the attitude was good. I thought the energy was good.”
Following the victory over the San Diego Chargers, Philbin was presented with the game ball from owner Stephen Ross and he called it a special moment and one that he’ll never forget.
“It was special. Most of us in life have had somebody that they look up to and admire in some form or fashion, and I was lucky to have two great parents. Now, I only have one that’s still with us here, but it was very meaningful, very special and one to remember.”
Cameron Wake said that the death of Philbin’s father put things into perspective for him and others but also remembers that they have a job to do. However, that’s not stopping them from taking a good look at the situation and taking note of their own personal lives as well.
“I think, whenever something like this happens and from time to time, every team or every player kind of goes through a situation like this where it puts everything into perspective. We play a game and something that we love to do, but at the end of the day, out of this locker room, outside this locker room is real life and obviously everybody that’s in this locker room or across the league has had someone who, in whatever capacity, sacrificed or did whatever they had to do to make sure that we, as a group, we as a whole, were successful at what we do and that opportunity to be right here where we are. So I know speaking to Coach Philbin, his father was one of those guys who sacrificed so that he can be in the situation that he’s in and I mean, obviously to lose a guy like that, it definitely puts things in perspective.”
According to Philbin, these past two weeks have been good for his recovery and good for his grieving process.
“It’s kind of been a re-confirmation of everything that I knew, that I was brought up by, two great parents, I had five great siblings. I’m fortunate that I have a tremendous and children and nieces and nephews. I’m really really lucky, lucky to have dad for 93 years. It’s been kind of something you always know, but it’s been refreshing in a lot of ways just to re-confirm, like I said, a lot of things that I already knew. We had a great celebration for his life. Now, it’s time to get back to work.”