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Interim Green Bay Packers coach says assistant fired for more than just tweet

Green Bay Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss during the Green Bay Packers rookie orientation in May 2017. Mark Hoffman/Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers interim head coach Joe Philbin said Wednesday that longtime assistant coach Winston Moss was fired for more than his critical tweet suggesting quarterback Aaron Rogers be held accountable by the team's next coach.

"It's never about one thing," said Philbin, who took over after Mike McCarthy was fired Sunday. "Again, I think it's important, as I said to the team, we've got to be professional, accountable, respectful and punctual. Those are the four things that we've got to do the next four weeks. And if we do all those things, we'll be in good shape. It wasn't about -- again, you're talking to a guy who's never tweeted in his life, doesn't even know what Twitter is -- so again, it's not about a tweet or anything like that. I just think the fit right now isn't where it needs to be."

Moss, a longtime assistant coach under McCarthy with Green Bay whose official title was associate head coach/linebackers coach, was fired Tuesday in the aftermath of the tweet.

"Ponder this... what Championship teams have are great leadership! Period! It's not the offensive guru trend, it's not the safe trend. Find somebody that is going to hold #12 and everybody in this building to a #LombardiStandard! Period! #losingsucks!" Moss wrote.

Philbin, who had been the team's offensive coordinator before McCarthy was fired, refused to comment further on the tweet and noted defensive assistant Scott McCurley will take over Moss' duties as outside linebackers coach. He did not say if anyone will take over Moss' title of associate head coach.

"I think it's important obviously that everybody's on the same page, that we're all moving forward in the same direction," Philbin said. "As you know, Winston's an excellent football coach. I've known him a long time. Respect him; outstanding family man. So it wasn't an easy decision, but I just didn't feel like the fit right now was where it needs to be. So ... came to that decision."

In a news conference Monday, team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst called Philbin a "legitimate candidate" for the head coach position. He'll have four games to prove it starting Dec. 9 when the Packers host the Atlanta Falcons.