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Philbin address to alumni shows attempt to balance building through the draft and Peyton Manning chase

As the Dolphins and other NFL teams chase Peyton Manning they recognize adding a potentially great player who is nearly 36-years old could improve the team dramatically, yes, but also could add to the roster a player fully formed by another team's culture, one who already established his philosophies and techniques while working elsewhere.

That can be a dilemma for some teams. It is apparently something of a dilemma for Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. You see, Philbin formed his philosophy on team-building with the Green Bay Packers in recent years and the Green Bay way is to build almost exclusively through the draft.

The Packers have not signed a free agent in two offseasons and Philbin believes, at least in part, that's the right way to do it. Yet, his team is chasing Manning, arguably the biggest NFL free agent in years.

Philbin addressed that dilemma on Wednesday evening when he met with an invited group of Dolphins alumni. The Dolphins invited their former players to the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble (NSMB) and had Philbin and his staff meet and greet with them.

"I was extremely impressed," defensive end Jeff Cross said this morning on my radio show, Armando and Perkins. "I had the opportunity to ask [Philbin] what about the draft stuck out for him, if anything. And he went on to say, I'm trying to summerize, he pointed out that in his entire time in Green Bay on offense, no single free agent wound up ever being a starter for them.

"So they are big advocates of drafting players and developing them. He actually said that good healthy players, the chances of good players being healthy and being allowed to become free agents is very minimal in the National Football League."

Former free safety Louis Oliver was also at the event and got the same message from Philbin.

"He was talking about his vision and his vision is he wants to build players from within, you know, draft and cultivate our own players as opposed to bringing in players from the outside," said Oliver, who immediately recognized the irony because of the Manning chase.

"But I think a guy like Peyton Manning puts you in such a dilemma because of what he can do and what he can bring to your team and organization. We're stuck right now with the question of building from the ground up or bringing people in and plugging them in right away because you know what you're getting."

Regardless of whether Philbin likes or dislikes the idea of filling his quarterback need with a free agent rather than a draft pick, he is clearly accepting of the fact the Manning chase is going to be the way the club will initially try to address the quarterback position.

"He finished his little talk with us with a little Q&A," Cross said. "And before anyone asked the first question, he jokingly addressed the Peyton Manning issue. He said there's going to be a Peyton Manning fund you guys can contribute to on the way out the door. So yeah, there seems to be a little disconnect between that and his personal philosophy on free agency."

Obviously, the Manning derby is the one everyone is focused upon now. But Philbin's stated philosophy seems more at odds with the idea of adding potential free agents that have been tied to Manning.

Yes, the Dolphins seem comfortable with Manning because he's a signature addition. But would their desire to add through the draft affect a decision on signing Reggie Wayne? Or Jeff Saturday? Those guys are considered Manning security blankets.

Do they fall in under the Manning umbrella or does the team's desire to add talent primarily through the draft excluse those aging veterans?

Cross said Philbin also shared with the alumni his view of Miami's personnel needs going forward.

"He feels the offensive line certainly has to be be better," Cross said. "He went on to say the pass-rush has to be better. And if we're going to beat New England, we have to have defensive backs that can cover their receivers. I thought that was extremely insightful as to where things might be headed in the next couple of months."

The Dolphins, by the way, have been very active lately getting both Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland in the community and interacting with not only their alumni but fans. Ireland, for example, held a conference call with season ticket holders earlier this week.

Tonight, both will be at Sun Life Stadium as guest auctioneers in the "Ultimate Sports Auction," an event that will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cross and nearly a dozen other sports celebrities will be at the event. Philbin has also visited local newspapers and spoken to various business groups.

At no time, however, was he quite so transparent as how he was with the former Dolphins players.


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hey sign him let's not get carried away there...marino was the best!

This will be strike three for Ross - swung and missed on Harbaugh, swung and missed on Fisher and now he will swing and miss on Manning. Not sure how this fool became a billionaire - probably the same story as most of them - daddy's money and clout. Please sell the Dolphins Mr. Ross - I would rather have the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates or the owner of the LA Clippers running my team. This will end badly.

1. we have renamed the stadium several times. Can't we rename the Nick Satan Memorial Bubble? He was here, what, less than 2 years?

2. Green Bay had at least one free agent who's starting - Charles Woodson. I'm sure there's more but that one I know for a fact.

What an exchage. Someone got under somebody's skin.

Professor Lou says:
March 8, 2012 at 8:27 am
Omar needs to stop with the “Matt Flynn as an upgrade” nonsense. There aren’t many around the league who consider Matt Flynn to be an upgrade over Moore.

Omar Kelly says:
March 8, 2012 at 9:38 am
You really need to get a clue!

You really want to question me on my own blog?

Exactly who have you talked to PROFESSOR?

Markeyh (The Little Red Hen) says:
March 8, 2012 at 9:54 am
Maybe he has unnamed sources like you Omar?

Professor Lou says:
March 8, 2012 at 9:56 am
Was that his imitation of Cartman? “How dare you question my authoritah!”

Omar Kelly says:
March 8, 2012 at 10:02 am
I’ve spoken to about 50 NFL people about the quarterback options Miami has, including Matt Flynn.

And that includes Dolphins officials.

Before you question me please ask yourself who have you talked to with any insight?

I’ll have intelligent discussions and debates with people. But let us not pretend its a fair fight regarding information, resources and access.

I value everyone’s insight, but don’t insult me on your own space.

Professor Lou says:
March 8, 2012 at 10:38 am
There were a lot of people in the league who thought Kevin Kolb would be a great option for some teams in need of a quarterback last year. This year it’s all about Matt Flynn. I would rather not see Miami in a situation like the Cardinals are facing this year. No matter how you slice it, Flynn represents a huge risk to any team who would be willing to take a chance on him based on his performance in two starts. You have to admit that.
If you look at the free agent quarterbacks who showed “so much promise” over the past few seasons, Cassell, Kolb, Palmer and even Orton tell me who has benefited the most in the deals these quarterbacks have signed. It sure wasn’t the teams. In each case you had a player who was supposed to be a big-time free agent quarterback who would be the eventual starter and franchise quarterback of the team for several years. How has that panned out?
Now, we have Matt Flynn, a quarterback who has proven even less than any of the quarterbacks I have mentioned above, including Matt Moore. The first to take charge of the Matt Flynn to Miami talk was NFL Network with their “talking heads”.
With Joe Philbin being the new head coach in Miami it only made sense that Flynn would be the perfect fit.
Flynn’s “hype” is nothing more than being in the right place at the right time. Had Green Bay not played him in the Detroit game he would have been seen as nothing more than a backup quarterback. Until that game he had completed less than 60% of his passes and had 3 td’s and 3 int’s. Yet, I still have people trying to tell me he is more accurate than Moore. People who are excited about the possibility of Matt Flynn being the starter in Miami based on his performance in the Detroit game need to temper that excitement by looking at Flynn’s performance before that game. Then, maybe, they will come down to earth.

I guess it's nice for public relations, but Why is Philbin meeting with former players instead of working his ass off preparing for the season??? Do you see Bill Bellichick out there having fun meetings with Steve Grogan and Sam Bam Cunningham? It is ridiculous.

you people are incredible. i've been a fan of this team since 1971 and can still remember crying after watching dallas beat them in the super bowl and till this day i still hate the dallas cowboys. if manning is healthy and can play, there's absolutely no way you pass. you are arguing that the fins should pay flynn $50M dollars for a guy who couldn't beat out Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Perilleux at LSU. He was a 7th round draft pick for a reason. he's 6'1 and weighs 220 lbs with an avg arm

Oh, and for history sake there has not been a qb in the modern era, except for kurt warner, that was drafted so low or was not drafted at all that went to another team and had success. there's a reason these guys are back ups. And Johnny U doesn't count because he was drafted in the 50's by the steelers.

Hello Miami fans, I'm from Indy and I feel certain Peyton will soon sign with the Dolphins for these reasons. First of all he already owns a second home there (and his wife Ashley loves it), and he gets to play Brady twice a year and not Eli. It's a great passing climate plus Joe Philbin is a laid back coaching personality that fits well with him, and Mr. Ross will do everything to make him feel welcome. Plus the Fins play at Lucas Oil this fall as a bonus! And maybe even Reggie Wayne comes back home to Miami too. Marshall and Wayne at wideouts, wow.

I truly hope you'll get to see what we fans in Indy did. This man is as classy a person as you'll ever find, and he's a WINNER. Yes he's lost a few big games, but he's won SO many more. He makes everyone around him feel like they can win anytime, anywhere and against anyone, no matter the odds. How long has it been since Dolphins fans felt that way?

Peyton would've restructured his contract to help the Colts because he DID NOT want to leave, but our owner told him "it's not about the money, we are starting over and going in a different direction, and turning the page". Guess what direction Indy is headed...DOWN!
I doubt that we'll ever see the success again that we've become accustomed to in Indianapolis.

He doesn't have anything left to prove, he just LOVES football. He eats, lives and breathes it. His wife says when he gets home, he often retires to the theater room to watch football tapes for 3-4 more hours. His dedication, preparation and drive are second to no one. He wants to prove to himself that he still has it and is still the best, and that's what you'll see, I'm absolutely positive.

I just hope you appreciate that guy the way we have adored him in Indy. I can't tell you all the excitement he brought to me and my boys watching the Colts every Sunday afternoon or Monday night. We'll forever miss him, but I believe maybe I'll soon be a bit of a Dolphin Fan too. Best wishes Miami, you will be winners, count on it!

sign Manning Wayne and Saturday. Saturday can play guard too. Wayne can show Brandon Marshall how to play. the best QB in the leauge is no brainer. and he can play west coast too if needed.

LOL, neither the Jets nor the Vikings gave up a historically large bounty like what would be asked of Miami - somehwere in the region of five decent draft picks. So please, don't compare. If it was me, I'd still do it and start this thing from scratch but I can also understand if they go the other way with Manning and reset when the entire roster gets older in a few years.

And by the way, guys named wolfman, LOL, and Captain Obvious, and others think it can be a bad idea, but guys named Jimmy Johnson and Tony Dungy with several rings (and 12 unnamed current EMPLOYED PROFESSIONALS) think it's a good idea. Hmm, wonder who's opinion I should follow ...

hahaa, pffff

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 08, 2012 at 12:31 PM

HAHA HAHA .... yeah never trust anyone with a funny or stupid name ... they are jokes!

If the Dolphins can get Manning,they should bring Reggie Wayne in as well. From that point on,starting with the draft, you build for the future. Philbin is coming to a team that has signed big name free agents such as Marshall and Bush lately,and getting as many young players in the drafts as possible will give the new coach the young talent he wants,and will need,to replace any aging stars we have and might sign shortly. If Ireland sits down and talks to his coaches,he should easily be able to come up with a gameplan for what he should be doing in the drafts to come.

First of all, are we saying Indy RESIGNED PEYTON knowing his neck was jacked up? Second of all, the only person who knows if Peyton is healthy is his doctor and HIM. There are laws called doctor patient privilege. Peyton doesn't have to agree to a team doctor (first year med student) looking at his neck.


LOL!!! Same as Eli? Shouldn't that be the other way around? Same as Peyton? Here you are saying sign a guy that should be like his little brother.

Eli is more lucky than elite.

Manning or Flynn... The Dolphins better get one of them because there won't be any starting caliber QB's left at #9 in the April Draft.

Philbin said, "the chances of good players being healthy and being allowed to become free agents is very minimal in the National Football League." Therefore, Miami shouldn't bother chasing after Matt Flynn, the free agent.

Wait, that was the point of this article, right Armando? Otherwise, it seems like you're cherry picking; signing free agents (instead of building through the draft) is a bad idea if it's Peyton Manning, but a GREAT idea if it's Matt Flynn, Mario Williams, Mike Wallace, Karlos Dansby, etc.

Why can't people see it is a MUST to sign Peyton! Yes he is turning 36, but he gives us the chance to win now for 3 years.. Oh btw... Why is A. Rodgers so good.. Oh yeah he sat behind Farve.... Peyton will be the BEST mentor to a young quaterback you can find. So Sign Peyton, Draft a qb 2-3 round or go get a young prospect next year to groom. Stop thinking short term... Peyton is both.

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