It has been an offseason of astounding change for the Green Bay Packers and it is still only early January. General manager Ted Thompson will have a different title and Brian Gutekunst now has the GM job. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers was fired after nine seasons with the organization and was recently replaced by Mike Pettine. And offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett was also relieved of his duties. But instead of promoting from within or bringing in a new face, the Packers turned to their recent past and brought back a coach more than familiar with head coach Mike Mccarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

No ordinary Joe

It’s safe to say that Joe Philbin worked his way up the ranks of the Green Bay Packers’ coaching staff. Roughly 15 years ago, he was hired by the organization as an assistant Offensive Line Coach. One season later, he gained the responsibility of handling the tight ends as well. In 2006 he took over as the team’s offensive line coach and was eventually named offensive coordinator in 2007. Philbin was around for the final season of the Brett Favre Era and the beginning of Rodgers’ reign as the starting quarterback. In ’07, the Packers reached the NFC Championship Game. A year late the team would suffer through a 6-10 showing. But the next three years would be impressive, to say the least.

From 2009-11, Rodgers would not only lead the team to the postseason each year (including a Super Bowl title in ’10) but throw a combined 103 touchdown passes and just 24 interceptions in 46 regular-season contests. In 2011, the team finished 15-1, Rodgers was the league’s Most Valuable Player and the Packers racked up 560 points – still the third-highest total in one season in NFL history.

It opened the door for a head-coaching position for Philbin, who took over the Miami Dolphins in 2012.

Taking his lumps

In three-plus seasons in South Florida, there was a 24-28 combined record and zero playoff appearances. Philbin was let go four games into the 2015 season but resurfaced with the Indianapolis Colts one year later.

For the past two seasons, he was assistant head coach/offensive line under Chuck Pagano. Now the 56-year-old teacher returns to the Green Bay Packers and the place where he began his NFL coaching career. His rapport with Rodgers was a key in the latter’s early days as a starter and it’s a very positive sign for a club looking to bounce back from a forgettable season.