According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the decision-makers in the Packers' front office signed off on letting their former coach return on Tuesday and Wednesday to talk to the coaching staff and players.
"He held it together as much as you can", third-year defensive tackle Kenny Clark said on Thursday. I was 100 percent, fully supportive of [it], and he did a fantastic job talking to the team.
Given everything McCarthy did for the organization over the past 13 years, it was a no-brainer in Philbin's mind to allow him that opportunity for closure with the football team.
The Packers, who have struggled to a 4-7-1 record so far this season, fired McCarthy on Sunday after a loss to the lowly Cardinals. His passion for the game, his love for the players was clearly evident.
"It was warranted and deserved", linebacker Clay Matthews said. I know we really enjoyed it. I'm sure it was emotional for him and everyone in the room. I'm sure he did from a closure standpoint.
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He told ESPN.com that he planned to "lay low and try to finish this professional chapter on the high road", and a source close to McCarthy said he was pondering whether to pursue a head-coaching job this offseason or take the year off and remain in Green Bay, where his family has deep roots.
Philbin said he has talked multiple times with McCarthy since the change was made Sunday night.
The Packers reached the playoffs eight consecutive seasons spanning 2009 through 2016, a streak at the time matched only by the New England Patriots. The return of Rodgers for this season failed to return the Packers to championship contention and, ultimately, cost McCarthy his job.
But the numbers show that the problems can't just be traced to McCarthy or the play of No. 12. "It was great that he had that opportunity".
"Unfortunately, that's a part of the business, not only for players but for coaches, for everyone".