PHOENIX – Joe Philbin says those who know Mike Sherman from his days as the Green Bay Packers head coach and general manager wouldn’t recognize him now, as the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator.
Sherman was Philbin’s English teacher and football coach at Worchester (Mass.) Academy and brought Philbin to the NFL from the University of Iowa. When Philbin was hired as the Dolphins head coach in January 2012, he wound up hiring Sherman as his offensive coordinator.
“It’s been great,” Philbin said Tuesday morning at the AFC coaches breakfast at the annual NFL Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore hotel. “As you know, Mike’s probably the hardest working coach I’ve been around in 30 years of being in the profession. He pours his heart and soul into everything he does. So that hasn’t changed about him.
“(But) it’s allowed him to be (different). He has a great rapport with the players and now that he’s not necessarily the head coach and the GM and making every decision, he’s able to relate to those guys really, really well. And the other thing, he’s got is a phenomenal sense of humor, which I think with all the responsibilities that he had at that time didn’t really come out.”
Having known each other for so long, Philbin said it works well that he can talk to Sherman about the challenges of being a head coach, and that they share a good dialogue on a variety of topics.
“Hopefully if you ask him, he’s enjoying it, and he’s a great resource as well,” Philbin said. “I’ll just go in his office, shut the door, (and say), ‘Do you think we should cut off 10 minutes of practice here? It seems like the team is a little tired. What do you think?’ And he’ll say, ‘Yeah,’ or he’ll come and say something to me and he’ll shut the door and say, ‘Look, maybe give the staff an hour off or let them get out of the building.’ It’s a good give-and-take.”
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