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Philbin: 'We have a million miles to go'

Joe Philbin, fresh off reviewing game tape of Sunday's 35-13 victory over Oakland, came into the Dolphins interview room at noon today and went absolutely bonkers with excitement about his first NFL coaching victory and Miami's first home-opener win in six years.

He was hyped. He was bouncing around. He was a different person!

No, not really.

Not at all.

In fact, Philbin made a point to his coaching staff and his players that their demeanor should be no different after this victory than it was after the opening-day loss to Houston.

"I told the team in the locker room, 'Our message to the media should be we have a long way to go.' We have to show a lot of improvement. I said to the team yesterday that seven days ago we knew we had to improve, we had to get better. We made a couple of strides but we still have a million miles to go.

"I said to the staff an hour ago, I want the mood to be the same as the Monday meeting [last week]. We have corrections we show the players every week and positives. And it should be no different than what it was last Monday."

The fact, however, is that the outcome this week was different than last week. So Philbin had to hand out his share of compliments about the Dolphins. Reggie Bush got a kudo. The Red Zone defense was good. Cameron Wake was singled out for his work versus the run.

A couple of offensive linemen also played well, according to Philbin.

"We thought Richie Incognito played a really good game, better than he did in Houston," he said. "We've been impressed with Pouncey both weeks. He plays the game the right way. There's a lot of pictures of him finishing plays and plain blocking people to the whistle and staying engaged on blockers. That was real encouraging."

But even in handing out kudos, Philbin is careful not to get too excited.

"... I don't want to give him too much or he'll start getting a big head."

The Dolphins, by the way, tackled better this week than the week before. But the theme remains. It was good. But nobody is going crazy happy.

"The good news is there's still a lot of room for improvement," Philbin said. "We have to tackle better relative to the amount of time we spend on it."

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