50 moments in Miami Dolphins history

25 of 51

Sep 13, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin looks on against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Following the 2011 season that saw Sparano fired and Todd Bowles named interim head coach, the Dolphins began an exhaustive search for their next head coach. The effects of the 2010 San Francisco trip still lingered and power plays began to form within the organization. The Dolphins first choice for head coach was Jeff Fisher but Ross refused to give Fisher the power to fire Jeff Ireland and to have total control over the team. Fisher used the Dolphins to gain a better contract offer from the St. Louis Rams where he eventually ended up.

After being spurned by Fisher, the Dolphins began a wide search that included special teams coaches, assistant coaches, position coaches, and former head coaches. The Dolphins narrowed the search to two coaching candidates, Joe Philbin of the Green Bay Packers and Mike McCoy. Ireland wanted McCoy and Ross wanted Philbin. Philbin became the Dolphins next head coach.

Philbin was immediately welcomed by the team but not all of the team appreciated his attention to small details and eventually his lack of emotion transformed a physical team into a finesse team. Two seasons into his contract and coming off a 7-9 and 8-8 season it was reported that Philbin was forced to fire long-term mentor Mike Sherman which led to a power shift within the organization. Philbin sided with Dawn Aponte who was climbing the power ladder against Jeff Ireland and at season’s end Jeff Ireland was fired.

In 2013 Philbin was once again unable to turn the franchise around and looked to be on the chopping block at season’s end but a come from behind emotional win against the Vikings was enough for Ross to declare Philbin safe for another year. He lasted four games in 2014 before being replaced by Dan Campbell.

Philbin finished his tenure with the Dolphins, 7-9, 8-8, 8-8, and 1-3.

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