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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 01/10/2012

Packers cope with a death in their ‘family’ (upated)


Police confirmed that the son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has died. (Mike Roemer / AP)
Updating with official confirmation from police; originally filed at 9:11 a.m.

The Green Bay Packers are dealing with a tragedy as they prepare to play the New York Giants in a playoff game Sunday.

Oshkosh, Wis., police confirmed that the body of Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, was pulled from the Fox River on Monday. An autophy to determine the cause of death of Michael Philbin, 21, will be conducted today. Foul play is not suspected.


Michael Philbin (AP)
Philbin, who was visiting friends in Oshkosh, had been reported missing Sunday night. He disappeared on an outing with friends around 2 a.m.

“The Packers family was saddened to learn of the passing of Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin,” General Manager Ted Thompson said Tuesday in a statement released by the team. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe, his wife, Diane, and the Philbin family as they cope with their loss. This is an emotional and difficult time for them, and we ask that everyone respect their privacy. All of us in the Packers family share in their grief.”

The Packers, in addition to grieving, must prepare to play a game. McCarthy calls his own plays and is deeply involved in the offensive game-planning, but Joe Philbin, who was in Oshkosh on Monday, obviously plays a key role. McCarthy indicated there were contingency plans if Philbin were unavailable. “We’re prepared to do whatever we need to do as a staff to make sure our football team is ready to go,” McCarthy said.

Last week, Joe Philbin interviewed for the head coaching jobs in Kansas City and Miami; the Chiefs announced the hiring of Romeo Crennel on Monday. Philbin came to Green Bay in 2003 as Mike Sherman’s assistant offensive line coach; Sherman was his English teacher and coach at Worchester Academy in Massachusetts. McCarthy kept him on staff when he replaced Sherman in 2005.

“When you’re in a situation as I am, with the number of children I have and the age of my children, to be able to hold a couple of jobs within the same city and two different staffs, I feel extremely fortunate,” Philbin told JasonWilde of ESPN Milwaukee in 2007. “This is the place I want to be. My family loves it here, and I love the organization. So I certainly consider myself lucky.”

Michael was the second of Joe and Diane Philbin’s six children and, by Monday evening, Packers players — and the Giants’ Justin Tuck — were reacting to the news out of Oshkosh on Twitter.

Please say a prayer for the Philbin family.Tue Jan 10 04:50:46 via web

Life throws the bad things at us to make the good things all the more worthwhile... #LIFEISTOOSHORTMon Jan 09 22:25:05 via web

As children we all have to someday say goodbye to our parents, but a parent should never have to say goodbye to their child.Mon Jan 09 23:02:28 via Twitter for Android

Our prayers go out to the Philbin family and Packer nation for their loss.Mon Jan 09 23:38:13 via Twitter for iPhone

By  |  12:54 PM ET, 01/10/2012

 
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