It’s time for Joe Philbin to prove us wrong. Regular Dolphins Truth reader Mike recently commented about how much he dislikes Philbin, and I really want to defend Philbin, but I cannot. Mike is right.
Philbin has accomplished absolutely nothing, and if this continues through 2014, we’ll be calling for his firing every single day. In all likelihood, the Dolphins will be about 7-6 come early December the last 3 games will determine his fate.
This leads to today’s column, an analysis of the Philbin hiring and his history since being here.
A few years ago, almost all Dolfans wanted the team to hire Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher. Jeff Fisher was also mentioned frequently. We at Dolphins Truth were dead set against any of those guys, and here’s why.
Cowher coached about 147 years, and never won a single Super Bowl (cleanly). Let’s forget about that nonsense championship that the NFL handed to Cowher and the Rooney family in the Seattle game. He’s intense and knows his stuff and learned from one of the best (Martyball!). But he couldn’t win the big one unless the refs handed him a freebie.
Jon Gruden could win the big one. But our issue with Gruden was that he was too comfortable as an announcer on TV with an 8-digit salary. He went out on his own terms and got rich. How much fire could he possibly have left? Do you beg a multi-millionaire who works 4 hours a week to take a pay cut to work 100 hours a week?
Jeff Fisher? Zero championships. Another guy who’s capable of putting up some decent 10-6 seasons, but nothing more. He lost his only Super Bowl, and he only got to that Super Bowl because of an illegal forward lateral.
(For the record, we at Dolphins Truth were begging Stephen Ross to hire Brian Billick, the best unemployed coach in the business. He made Trent Friggin Dilfer into a Super Bowl champion. Imagine what he could do for Tannehill. Billick was fired ungraciously, so he
still has something to prove. On his TV broadcasts, his analysis is incredible. The guy knows football, and he knows coaching.)
Instead, Mr. Ross foisted Joe Philbin upon us.
Philbin was the offensive coordinator in Green Bay, but he didn’t call any plays. (we wish Mike Sherman didn’t call any plays last year, but that’s a different column).
The main job of the OC is to call plays. Period. But Packer coach Mike McCarthy didn’t allow Philbin to call plays. In all that time they worked together, McCarthy didn’t judge Philbin as good enough to call a play. You have to take that in. Absorb that fact. Mike
McCarthy worked with Philbin day in and day out intimately for years and years, and Philbin never earned enough trust from McCarthy to run the plays.
Enter Stephen Ross. A total stranger felt that Philbin was good enough to run his ENTIRE team, whereas Philbin’s previous boss realized he wasn’t good enough to run a play. Whose
judgment do you have more faith in? A businessman who doesn’t know Philbin, or Philbin’s immediate boss who knows him well?
One of the first things that Philbin did was also the first warning sign. He hired his old pal Mike Sherman to run the offense. You remember Sherman, the guy who was fired after going 4-12 for the Packers. The guy who lost every college bowl game he coached for Texas A&M. Why on earth would anyone–ANYONE–hire this oaf?
A few games into the first season, Sherman’s play-calling cost us the Cardinals game in overtime. Instead of apologizing and begging for his job, Sherman defended his poor decisions. And his pal Joe Philbin stuck up for him. (this scene was eerily similar to a year later when Philbin and Sherman handed a free win to the Bills).
If you listen to Philbin interviews since his first days in Miami, he talks a lot about teaching and coaching. There has to be a point when a player is taught already. A time when he’s ready to perform. Philbin doesn’t seem to inspire that kind of player. We don’t blame a coach when the players come out flat. But we DO blame the coach for allowing the flatness to continue. Bench a player. Light a fire. Do something to get the troops going.
You can not not not lose to an 0-8 team from Tampa. You cannot lose TWICE to the Bills. Yet Philbin does just that. And Ross does not punish him for it. Why?
The Jonathan Martin situation gave Philbin a perfect opportunity to stand up for his Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito. Yes, Richie teased his friend. Big deal. It happens. Fine him $50 and get him back on the playing field. Philbin defends his pal Mike Sherman but throws Incognito to the wolves? Who does that!?