Dolphins Philbin First Coach To Have Solid Roster


The Miami Dolphins officially announced the hiring of Joe Philbin last night around six o’clock.  Today they will roll out the press conference so he can meet the local media for the first time as the Miami Dolphins top man.  With the hiring, Philbin becomes the 10th coach in Dolphins history and will be the first coach to inherit a solid if unproductive team since Dave Wannstedt took over for Jimmy Johnson.

When Dave Wannstedt took over the team he had a top ranked defense and a productive ball control run heavy offense.  Unfortunately, his draft selections over his entire career netted nothing.  Only Safety Yeremiah Bell remains from Dave Wannstedt’s drafts and Vernon Carey remains from Rick Spielman‘s lone draft in 2004 when Wannstedt was stripped of his GM duties.

It’s been all downhill from there.

In 2005 Nick Saban came on board and gutted the team.  He had to.  The Dolphins were in such poor shape salary cap wise that for the two years Saban was in Miami, his only task was to get that cap under control.  Of course he quit before he finished the job.  Saban’s lone fingerprint on the franchise was not his draft picks but the gutting of the team to clean up the cap mess.

In 2007 Cam Cameron took over the team with no playmakers, no names, and no quarterback.  Something that still has yet to be addressed.  His one season saddled the Dolphins with a wasted draft class and no talent to build around.  He lost the locker room and at the end of the season, he lost his job.  Enter Bill Parcells.

Parcells has been the target of my personal jabs in the mess that has ensued over the last four years.  He was supposed to be the savior of this proud franchise and instead, in my opinion, drove the team further into the ground.  

Bill Parcells did little in terms of shaping the team.  An argument that many will put on Jeff Ireland and again in my opinion, unfairly.  Parcells’ inept ability to change with the flowing NFL from a standardized “proto-typical” player to pass happy offensive systems and speedy defenses killed Parcells.  His outdated approach to finding players in free agency and the draft caught up with the team and saddled Tony Sparano with personnel that were not equipped to compete once the gimmick of the Wild Cat lost it’s luster.

Not to say that Jeff Ireland is a great GM, but over the last two seasons a core of players have been brought into Miami that now form the basis of a unit that Joe Philbin will inherit.  He is in much better shape than Sparano was when he took over Cam Cameron’s roster four years ago.

Reggie Bush, Brandon Marshall, Charles Clay, Mike Pouncey, Jake Long, Ritchie Incognito, Daniel Thomas, Davone Bess, o.k pretty much the entire offense.  Defensively he will inherit a top 12 defensive unit in points allowed and a team that gave up no points in three consecutive weeks.  All things being equal, Miami fans should and will expect Philbin to turn this car around (Shattered reference)

With him comes the west coast offense.  A highly energized systems that is far more exciting than the Dolphins previous offenses since Dan Marino.  However, one key component needed to run the offense is missing.  The quarterback.

More than any other position, this is the one that Philbin and Jeff Ireland will be tasked to find.  Ireland needs to find the right guy and Philbin needs to mold him.  Whether that is Matt Flynn, whom Philbin worked with in Green Bay, or whether that is a guy coming in from somewhere else remains to be seen.  It will however be the task of Philbin and will define his stay in Miami as much as winning and losing.

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Tags: Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins

  • ryan828

    Great article, however the D didn’t give up a TD for 3 weeks, not points

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  • BIGF

    I agree with you in general except I think Philbin has a better QB then most people seem to want to think in Matt Moore. If Matt is protected a bit better by a solid OL then he would look even better.. Is he a franchise player? Probably not, but he is a playmaker. And with a better group around him (Right side of the line and a second and upgraded TE and a mauler of RB – I’m not sold on Daniel Thomas…) then Matt could lead us into the playoffs. Would he win the trophy? Probably not. But it’s possible. Would he consistently beat Brady? He could split games with him if given the support…

    Fundamentally I’m saying that Flynn has proved less to me then Moore. Obviously Flynn is not an MVP type player, if he was GB would franchise him. Maybe, maybe, he has the potential to be a franchise player but that is a big unknown. It’s a big investment and we’d have to wait an entire season, maybe two if he struggles early before knowing for sure. Logically, until we are in a position to draft one or trade in the draft to get one, it is highly unlikely to find a FRANCHISE QB who was a late round draft pick who has spent years as a back up… Flynn is probably as good as Moore but why pay through the nose for someone on par with what you have? It doesn’t make sense. Better to build around Moore and continue to hunt for a legitimate franchise QB then go with Flynn is what I think. On top of that, if the Dolphins choose Flynn and he doesn’t work out? The team might go through another Saban type era of gutting and a further disillusioned fan base etc. etc.

    Ultimately I do understand that Philbin will know best re: Flynn, I guess I hope he wasn’t leveraging his relationship with what appears like gold to a QB starved Miami, in order to get this job and bring in Flynn who winds up being an only slightly above average QB and we go through years of further folly…

  • Phinphanatic

    @BIGF GB can’t afford to risk franchising him. If no one ponies up the draft picks and Flynn signs the deal…that’s a lot of money for a back-up. Flynn is an unknown he may be great he may be average or he may suck. No one knows and there is no way to know if he is a franchise type QB.

  • Phinphanatic

    @ryan828 That’s what happens when I write with a hangover…LOL. Thanks for the correction.

  • Lespaul

    Don’t really know much about Flynn…no one really does. The volume of NFL work just isn’t there to completely understand what he is capable of. I don’t dislike Moore and he sure played well enough to challenge for the starting job. I do, however, think Miami needs to bring in some QB’s (draft, FA, whatever) and get this position right from the start. My knock on Moore is his inconsistent passing. He misses wide open receivers by miles and seems to target a guy right from the snap. Unfortunately for him, his completion record doesn’t separate all the dropped passes by Marshall and others. He possesses skills that could be molded into a quality starter, but I haven’t seen the leader that would take the team down to score a last second TD. He had that opportunity against Dallas and blew it. the Protection was there, but his accuracy failed him. There are better days ahead for Moore and I think he should be considered rather than tossed.

  • jimpls72

    I am happy Philbin was hired. I also hope he is able to influence Flynn into coming to the Phins. Flynn has more experience in his 2 NFL games them RGIII (Luck is definitely out if our reach) and I would much rather take s chance on Flynn then trade our draft away to get RGIII who I do not think will be a franchise qb for anyone. If Miami can sign Flynn them they can work the draft to protect him and then later in the draft look for a young qb to mold. I still like Kellen Moore and if he is still around in the third round Miami needs to take a serious look at him. His accuracy is through the roof and knows how to win games, I believe he is the most winningest qb in college history. His only two negatives are his size and the strength oh his arm. He is the same size as Breeze and as Miami fans we know what he did this year in pass yardage. As far as his arm strength, that can be improved with the right coaching and strength conditioning and I am sure everyone remembers someone named Pennington who, if he was more durable, would probably have taken us to the playoffs.
    But that’s just my opinion.

  • keb8880

    @Phinphanatic @BIGF You are correct, Flynn is an unknown. (to us) However, I would not agree that no one knows. There is an entire offensive staff in Green Bay that knows exactly what Flynn is, and the leader of that group is now the Dolphins head coach. If Miami goes after Flynn, I would say we have inside information. If Miami avoids Flynn, again I would say we have inside information.