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Philbin back to play-calling after 'about 20 years'

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Joe Philbin hasn't been a head coach for three seasons. It's been more than two decades since he's called plays in a meaningful game.

"Trying to think. Might have been about 20 years, maybe," Philbin said Wednesday when asked when the last time he's called plays, via the Associated Press. "I think it was at Northeastern if I'm not mistaken."

Philbin was the offensive coordinator of the Northeastern Huskies in 1995-96.

(Does simple math) Yup, 22 years.

The 57-year-old coach has been a pro assistant or coach since 2003, but outside of a few preseason games here and there over the years, Philbin hasn't overseen picking out the plays.

When he took over the interim gig in Green Bay this year from Mike McCarthy, the job came not only with head coaching title but also play-calling duties. The change will adjust Philbin's entire routine.

"Sometimes, because I wasn't calling the plays, I could kind of peek ahead a little bit so we could move forward a little bit," Philbin said. "I think that will be the biggest difference. I'm not going to be looking at our next opponent until the game is over.

"And then obviously just sequencing the calls the right way and hopefully they work when we call 'em."

The play-calling relationship between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and McCarthy has been a big talking point in recent weeks. Stories leaked that sometimes Rodgers would get frustrated with McCarthy's calls, and the QB is famous for changing plays. There have also been times when the Packers offense looked its best in recent seasons when it was in hurry-up, with Rodgers calling the plays.

Given that he's breaking in an offensive coordinator who hasn't called plays since the Clinton administration, if ever there was a chance for Rodgers to have heavier input into the play-calling, that time is now. It feels like the Packers are essentially allowing the quarterback to be his own OC for four weeks.

The changes in Green Bay could be fascinating to watch. If somehow McCarthy's firing frees a disappointing offense, Rodgers will get all the praise.

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