Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Aaron Rodgers: 'Been a rough couple days'
By Kevin Seifert
Those of you who listened Tuesday afternoon to "The Aaron Rodgers Show" on ESPN 540 in Milwaukee know that the Green Bay Packers have been deeply, deeply impacted by the death of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's 21-year-old son.
Speaking in low tones and a halting voice, Rodgers said, "It's been a rough couple days around the facility," and, "a lot of us have been really upset."
It's fair to wonder about the Packers' mental state when they begin practicing Wednesday for Sunday's divisional playoff game against the New York Giants. Rodgers expressed confidence but also acknowledged reality.
"We're all professionals," Rodgers said. "We have to be able to separate the on-the-field from the off-the-field stuff. And make sure when you're at work, you remain focused. But we're human as well, and the human element is that it's on your mind. You're thinking about it. You're thinking about Joe."
Rodgers said that "a lot of people" have visited the Philbin family home to express condolences and said he spoke with Philbin, as well.
"What do you say to someone who has lost their son in a tragic way like this?" Rodgers said. "At 28, there are no words I can say to comfort him. I wanted him to know how much I care about him and [his wife] Diane and the family and I'm praying for him.
"But I think once we get in here on Wednesday, it's going to be about beating the Giants and making sure we're doing everything we can do to play our best game."
The Packers are scheduled to practice at noon ET Wednesday then will conduct postpractice interviews with reporters.
Related: For a sense of why the Philbins' loss has hit so hard, make sure you read Andrew Brandt's column over at the National Football Post. Brandt is a former Packers executive.