Joe Philbin: Winston Moss Was Fired by Packers for More Than Aaron Rodgers Tweet

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2018

Green Bay Packers associate head coach Winston Moss during NFL football Family Night practice Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Mike Roemer/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers interim head coach Joe Philbin said Wednesday the decision to fire associate head coach Winston Moss was about more than his Tuesday post on Twitter about quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Moss, who also served as the team's outside linebackers coach, commented about the Packers' leadership before he later announced his termination:

Winston Moss @Insanecane99

Ponder this... what Championship teams have are great leadership! Period! It’s not the offensive guru trend, it’s not the safe trend. Find somebody that is going to hold #12 and everybody in this building to a #LombardiStandard! Period! #losingsucks!

Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com provided comments from Philbin about the assistant's departure:

"It's never about one thing. Again, I think it's important, as I said to the team, we've got to be professional, accountable, respectful and punctual. Those are the four things that we've got to do the next four weeks. And if we do all those things, we'll be in good shape. It wasn't about—again, you're talking to a guy who's never tweeted in his life, doesn't even know what Twitter is—so again, it's not about a tweet or anything like that. I just think the fit right now isn't where it needs to be."

Moss joined the Packers staff in 2006, the same year the organization hired Mike McCarthy to become its new head coach after the firing of Mike Sherman.

The former NFL linebacker was promoted to associate head coach in 2007 and remained in that role for nearly 12 years before his firing Tuesday. His exit came just two days after Green Bay fired McCarthy following a 4-7-1 start to the 2018 season.

One of the key reasons for McCarthy's departure was an unsettled relationship with Rodgers.

Last week, Kalyn Kahler of Sports Illustrated reported the quarterback would often change McCarthy's play calls at the line, with organizational sources saying the situation "devolved into a competition over who can call the better play, and both want the credit when things go right."

Philbin, who was previously on the Packers staff from 2003 through 2011, added the latest change to the staff was about getting everyone aligned on the same path for the final month of the season, per Demovsky.

The team's offensive coordinator for five seasons, starting in 2007, Philbin returned in that role for the current campaign. He said Wednesday:

"I think it's important obviously that everybody's on the same page, that we're all moving forward in the same direction. As you know, Winston's an excellent football coach. I've known him a long time. Respect him; outstanding family man. So it wasn't an easy decision, but I just didn't feel like the fit right now was where it needs to be."

Philbin, Rodgers and the rest of the Packers return to action Sunday for a Week 14 clash with the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field. It's a virtual must-win situation for Green Bay if it's going to keep its minuscule playoff hopes alive.