When Joe Philbin was first hired several years ago, this site did not exist.
But I can share some of my thoughts at the time. I swear, I’m not saying this in hindsight. It’s really what I felt at the time.
I felt zero enthusiasm and less confidence in Joe Philbin, and he proved me correct.
Joe Philbin was not a good choice. You see, he had never led. He had never called a play in his life. Never made a personnel decision. Never had to strategize. Certainly was never allowed to call a time out.
When he was offensive coordinator in Green Bay, his own head coach never let Philbin call a single play. That was very telling to me. You see, Mike McCarthy worked with Philbin day in and day out for many many years, and he never once felt that Philbin was good enough to call a play on his own.
But Stephen Ross thought he was good enough to call plays. Although Ross did not know Philbin, Ross thought he was good enough to call everything. And that was the beginning of the end right there. Ross listened to all the nice-guy compliments that people said about Philbin, but Ross didn’t bother to dig.
WHY was Philbin still a 50-year-old assistant relegated to the role of organizing offensive team meetings in Green Bay? The answer? Philbin was unqualified to be a head coach. Unqualified to call plays. Unqualified to evaluate talent.
Unqualified to lead.
In a modern NFL full of whiz kid coaches and Offensive Innovators, Joe Philbin stood alone as an old-school coach (and just old) who was never really promoted to a position of any clout. As Donald Driver once said, Joe Philbin organized the meetings that Coach McCarthy ran.
Stephen Ross hired a meeting organizer. Not a leader. The last 3+ years are Ross’s fault as much as Philbin’s.
So now we’re faced with another new coach who has never led nor made an on-field decision.
But this feels different. Somehow, I do feel enthusiastic. I do feel positive. I think we might have a winner.
Yes, that’s based on only one press conference and zero accomplishments, but still, there is something good about Dan Campbell. Already.
First of all, unlike Philbin, Coach Campbell did play in the NFL. He knows the rigors of practice and fighting for a job and fighting the opponent. Philbin had no such experience.
Coach Campbell knows that the opponent is the man across from you on Sundays, not an X on a chalkboard in front of you on a Tuesday morning. He’s already stressing the important of just being tough and battling the opponent.
The guy looks tough. That alone can be meaningless, but it’s a good start. I can’t even remember their names, but I remember some of those huge dudes who came in and coached the Raiders. They looked tough and mean too, but led the Raiders nowhere. Let’s hope Campbell instills his toughness on the team AND it translates to wins.
Don’t be fooled by Campbell saying pleasantries about Joe Philbin. He has to say that nonsense, as all incoming coaches do. But while he never criticized Philbin, he wasted no time in stating that he’ll be doing things different. Starting with challenging the players and toughening them up.
Imagine that! NFL players whose coach asks them to get tougher. Joe Philbin never understood that. The Dolphins got outbattled on so many Sundays, and Philbin would constantly just say that what he did was right.
Personally, I think we’ll see the changes immediately, especially on offense. There is no way…just no way…that a former tight end like Campbell won’t adjust our pass blocking. Philbin running those ridiculous formations that got Tannehill creamed all day long should be a thing of the past. 5 wideouts on 4th and inches? No more.
Dan Campbell. like Philbin, has never led. He has never called a play in his life. Never made a personnel decision. Never had to strategize. Certainly was never allowed to call a time out. But the difference is, I have confidence in this guy’s leadership, as he exudes it on Day One. Did Philbin ever ever demonstrate his confidence onto anyone?
I also like that Mike Tannenbaum is emphasizing that this season is not over. Certainly with a new coach, there is hope. 1-3 is a tough spot, but not impossible to overcome. No talk of rebuilding. Just talk of refocusing. That was refreshing to hear.