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Players split on Johnson release but Philbin is right

Let's address the drama first: Yes, as I reported on NFL-AM and the Mike and Mike Show on ESPN2 this morning, there is a contingent of Dolphins players that are unhappy Chad Johnson was cut. They believe it unfair and some, specifically Karlos Dansby, have said as much publicly.

But I must also report there are multiple players that are either quite happy or ambivalent about the move. "This is a solid lockerroom we don't need no clowns here," was a text I got from one such player early this morning.

So I wish to convey a fair view of what the lockerroom is feeling. It's not everyone disagreeing with coach Joe Philbin's decision and certainly not everyone signing off on it either.

And having said that, I agree with the group that believes getting rid of Johnson was best. I agree with Joe Philbin's decision. I think it will ultimately be in the best interest of the team. I believe it will limit the amount of unwanted attention that shines on the Dolphins.

Moreover, I believe the Dolphins didn't necessarily lose a dynamic playmaker when they cut Johnson. They cut a guy who was probably going to play OK. But special? A Pro Bowl player? Nope.

Philbin is doing the right thing and for the right reason. Look, Johnson's bizarre behavior weighed against his importance to the team simply didn't balance out. He wasn't a fit. And Philbin said as much.

"It was more a body evidence from June 11th forward," Philbin said. "When he came in June 11th we sat down and we talked and we were very clear, I was very clear as to the expectations of the program. It just didn't work out. It's more about the fit. In my gut I didn't think the fit was going to be beneficial to either party whether it be in the short-term or longterm. That's what it was all about. It wasn't one specific thing. It just wasn't going to work."

This coach, new and untested as he is, deserves the benefit of putting on his roster the players he thinks fit. Remember, it's not always about the best 53 players but the right 53 players that makes winners.

Having said that, this coach is also under the gun now. He and his staff were hired because owner Stephen Ross believed he could do a better job of developing players than, say, Tony Sparano and his staff. This coach is supposed to be able to take young players and get them to play like the young guys played in Green Bay the past few years.

So now he's got to get that done. He has to milk every last ounce of production from Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore and B.J. Cunningham and Rishard Matthews and Julius Pruitt and Jeff Fuller and all the other young receivers.

He was hired to make tough calls. He made a tough call on Johnson. He was hired to develop players. Well ... develop the young receivers.

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