Time for Joe Philbin to Prove Himself Worthy

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.

Joey P.

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!?



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1 Comment

  1. Obviously I appreciate and read your articles and wish this site would find the time to post more. I sincerely love the slant as this Phins fan finds it grounding as I tend to be “Yes-Fan” most of the time. However Philbin like Tannehill is in his 3rd year and as Ive come to find out,has made some mistakes and poor judgement calls in his journey so far. I find it disturbing he hired Mike Sherman buddy style. However Ive seen the gambit of shitty coaches we’ve had throughout the years and some good ones who still turned out shitty. Jimmy Johnson, and Nick Saban, still leave a sting to this day. Perhaps they were Prima donnas lacking the true will to build a great team or stick with it through the development years. And you know what I haven’t seen in any coaches since Shula? Character and will. Philbin is believably serious and dedicated beyond his paycheck or title. The advantage here is if he can get over the learning curve, we could be in store for one hell of a winning streak year after year. Why? Because he is learning on his feet and becoming proficient at the NFL’s new style of play while the older head coaches will still be trying to adapt their tried and true methods to evolve along. And though there were some embarrassing games played (Tampa WTF!!!) last year. I also saw some excellent games too, even with Mike Sherman making the offensive calls. We beat the Colts,Cleveland,Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego, Pittsburgh, and the Patriots and Jets once. Most of those teams favored to beat us and carry respect in the NFL. We had competitive games against Baltimore and Carolina both of which I felt we should have won. You simply cant accomplish all of that with a lousy coach. From that resume of accomplishment married with the embarrassing 2 game collapse last season. I see tremendous upside to Philbin as I do Tannehill but they both have more perfection needed. I do agree this is Philbin’s Prove It year but firing him if he produces another disappointing 8-8 season would be worse unless we grab Harbaugh, Carrol, or Belechick. the last of which we all know will never happen. I know one recurring theme in all of my posts is my referencing my sports past. Ross said something in an interview that is soooo true about sports excellence and that’s consistency. You cant keep rebuilding the coaching staff every two years because of lack of performance. Its better to improve and learn along the way even if the time needed is disappointingly long. You simply cant always buy victory its earned through will,practice, and character. We have this in spades with the Phins this year. On the other hand lets never ever excuse poor mistakes made by Philbin or any player on the Dolphins. Doing so would be silently admitting that we expect it from our ho-hum team. Instead as Dolphins Truth has and continues to do. Expect more and criticize constructively. Our playoff team is this 2014 team and the best do not loose stupid games as we did last year and miss an easy playoff spot. Those were the growing pains needed to get where we are going this year and thats the AFC East Title. It wont be easy or pretty but we will get there.

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