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Philbin playtime philosophy good but what about adapting?

A couple of weeks ago Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, disgusted by the team's sixth loss of the season, mentioned that perhaps it was time to start playing younger players and think about who is going to be on the team in 2013.

A lot of coaches go that route once the losses mount and the current season seems little more than a formality for getting to next season.

Don't expect Joe Philbin to do that.

Even if the Dolphins lose on Sunday as the oddsmakers expect; indeed even with the Dolphins record falling back to 5-8, Philbin is apparently going to continue playing his veterans if he stays true to his philosophy.

“Really, play time’s based on players have to have earn play time and they earn it through what they do on the practice field<' Philbin said Thursday. "If players earn the opportunity to play, we’ll certainly play them whatever year they are, it doesn’t really matter to us what year they are.

"I’m a big believer… I think when you walk into the room with those guys, it’s not fair to play a guy, people have to earn their keep and I don’t care what year you’re in the league. Those guys that bust their tail every day, we’re not going to put somebody in the game that doesn’t deserve to be in the game or hasn’t earned an opportunity to be in the game."

I get it. This is a perfectly reasonable and fair approach.

Philbin wants tell his team that the only way to play is to practice well. He doesn't want to reward subpar practices. He wants to play guys that make him the most comfortable and the coaching staff gains that comfort level by watching what happens in practice.

It is a perfectly logical approach.

But ...

Football is a game of adaptation and not logic. The ball does not bounce logically. The best team does not always win. Good plans that logically should succeed often go awry. And the people that come out ahead are those that adapt quickest not those that offer the most logic.

Thus, the idea of sticking to the stated philosophy works when the season is salvagable and all things and the goal for the entire organization is winning in the present. But when winning in the present is no longer the most vital thing, when doing what is best for the future of the organization becomes more important, all that logic and unwavering philosophy about whomever practices best plays should be cast aside.

It is smart to adapt and consider that certain players who might not be the best in practice now might become your best performers in the future. The Dolphins obviously believe running back Lamar Miller is such a player.

He is a rookie. He has promise. But Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas are both practicing better and obviously playing more because coaches are more comfortable with them, because they get more chances in practices and because Miller needs to improve his pass protection.

“I think he’s going to be a good football player in this league," Philbin said. "He’s got good instincts as a runner. He’s got good balance. He can catch the football. I think he has a chance to be a very good pass protector eventually too. I really do. He’s got good feet. He can bend. I’m excited about him.”

“I think he’s going to be a good football player in this league. He’s got good instincts as a runner. He’s got good balance. He can catch the football. I think he has a chance to be a very good pass protector eventually too. I really do. He’s got good feet. He can bend. I’m excited about him.” 

Well then, when the relevance of this season becomes what is going to happen next season, then the Dolphins coaches should consider putting those feet and all that bending ability to work. Like immediately.

Would that make Reggie Bush upset? Would it upset veterans?

Look, Bush was upset about sitting after that fumble against Tennessee, although he understands that's the business. He's not all that thrilled that the team has not had any contracts talks with his agent, although he understands that's the business.

He'd probably not be happy about giving up snaps to Miller, but he would understand that is the business.

Tight end Michael Egnew is in a similar situation as Miller. He's behind players that are better than he is today. Both Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay practice better than Egnew on most days -- be it in that they make fewer mistakes, or block better or make more catches.

But eventually the Dolphins need to know what they have in Egnew. They can't keep putting off the need to find a tight end to help rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the red zone and down the seam of the defense.

Maybe Egnew isn't that guy. Maybe he is that guy. The point is we might soon need to get about the business of finding out.

Would that upset Fasano or Clay, either of whom might get fewer snaps in games? Maybe. But it wouldn't be an issue if they were more productive. If they were the sure answers, the Dolphins wouldn't have drafted Egnew and no one would even mention him. So ... next!

Now, I am only a journalist. I suppose the Dolphins coaching staff could ignore these suggestions. They could scoff at the idea of someone who doesn't know football like they do suggesting they start looking ahead with players that ar younger and need experience.

But, I remind you, Mike Shanahan three weeks ago was preparing to do the very thing I'm suggesting. And he's won two Super Bowl trophies as a head coach. And that's more than any Dolphins coach can say.



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I remember "Crash"....maybe it was the end of his career....

skinniest TE I ever saw....but maybe he was more of an H back...still slim for dootball tho....

Proposed to his fiance during a game if memory serves me correct....loved that guy....even tho I was young in football watching years @ the time.....

DC I am with you on that. This game might end up being close. 49ers have a questionable O with a great North South RB. The Dolphins D can hold that down. 49ers D is scarey though, but I think if the offense can limit mistakes they might be able to squeak out the W. The good news is, this will be GREAT evaluation for Martin.

49ers haven't been consistent, the games you mentioned plus they were blown out by the Vikings early in the year. The Dolphins, at the least should be able to keep it a game.

Dashi you use the term "we" like you play for the fins. Wonder what you will do to help the team get 2 TD's! Maybe its QB, I'm sure you couldn't be much worse than Tannehill.

Lamar Miller inactive? Another Irescum bust?


here is to hoping your right.....

but I have a STRONG feeling you are BADLY under-estimating the 49ers D....and OVER ESTIMATING the FINS ability to score points.....

If (when) the 49ers get up by 10 points....the will turn on thepass rush and force Tanne into mistakes....

Only way we keep it close is a PUNT return for a TD...a KICK RETURN for a TD...and a MISSED/BLOCKED FG for a TD......

Other than that....this will look like the FINS v. Ravens in the 2008 playoff game.....

Men V. Boys....

"Its clear the Colts got one over on us because they got a really good, young corner, and we have a very low draft pick."


What are you talking about??? We got a 2nd round pick for Vontae.


So because Philbin chooses not to play Lamaar Miller, a 4th round pick, at this stage of the game, it means 'he's another Ireland bust'. Yeah OK....that makes a LOT of sense.

In reality, when Miller HAS played he's looked very good.

Kris @1:30pm,

I'm with you on this game. We're going to see just how much we still need to improve to bat one of the better teams in the NFL.

More to the point of Armando's article....

If Philbin isn't gonna play Egnew and Miller...then why did he play BACK-UPS against the PATS in the 4th quarter.....

these two actions are not consistent....

you are either EVALUATING....or playing to WIN....

and it looks like Philbin is trying to dip into both pools....

We all have this dream "If I were incharge". Guess what so did Philbin. But then we wake up and we are in charge and we try to do things we think is the right and perfect way to to do them. We find out the perfect way only exists in dreams. Philbin is trying to be true to his dream but will eventually find out he needs to bend and adapt to what does or does not work in the real world. Coaching tit bits will be adapted from other teams and coaches. Players personalities will be considered against their performance. Situations will dictate who is on the field and who is not. The game Bush got hurt in called for Miller to play extensively and that game we had I believe 180 yards between Miller and Thomas. Philbin is smart enough to know when and how much he is will to comprise his coaching style. Its just my opinion, Not facts.

Again Kris is correct, look Im not trying to belittle the Dolphins team or anything. Im simply assessing what we have on offensive and defensive. The offense have looked horrid the last 3 or 4 games, its not going to magicalaly get better against one of the best defense in the league.

Did people forget we played the Pats with Groncowski out?? If he played sorry we would of lost by at least 2 TDs

The 49ers have more weapons on offense amd lord knows we cant stop a QB that scrambles look at what Locker did to us.

A second round pick is good I was not saying it wasn't. At this point though, what all thought would be a high second round, is now a low second round. Not too happy about that for Davis. Yes he was out of shape, but that also goes with being immature. The right coach, gets guys to play for him. That kid will straighten out for the right coach. His grandma will make sure of that lol.

Yes. I absolutely want to see the Dolphins win. No question. A championship in my lifetime would be all I could ask for. I don't care who takes us there. Having watched as most, the revolving door of owners, gms, presidents of football operations, coaches, etc. I am not all that positive that what were doing right now is going to get the team that much closer to the promise land. I feel like we are going to be right back to square one in two years based on the decisions that have been made already. They (head coach and staff) have not done anything to prove to me they have the ability to take this organization in that direction. I really wish I felt differently, but I have seen this song and dance before.

Jensen was a trip. They even put him on kickoff coverage units. A guy that came in as a qb, and they just as easily could have thrown away. Shula found a spot for him where he contributed.


Good point....I have WIPED the horrendous game against the TITANS out of memory...I suspect many on here have done the same.....

I love the FINS as much as anyone on here.....but do to lack of talent....this team is a LOT closer to the one that got blew out by the Titans and the Texans...then it is to being the team that some believed played NE close....a division rival....and self-proclaimed PLAYOFF game by our OWN Carlos Dansby.....


I took exception to your notion that it was 'a very low pick'. There will be VERY little difference in picking top 10 and picking 20th where the Colts will likely finish up. I have a no confidence that Davis will shape up. Good that you do but I didn't see it in 4 years in Miami. Colts will have a decision to make if Davis is worth ponying up for or letting him walk when it's time. Glad it's them making the decision and not us.

"Now Ireland's contributions to me go on beyond the first two rounds. he got one pro bowler as an undrafted free agent in Wake - not exactly common. in addition - it looks like he found one in a 5th rounder in R. Jones. he also found a very good player in 4th rounder Hartline. however, despite these contributions, the Miami Dolphinsare still being held back by two factors - one - acceptable Qb play and two - top end vet players."


And what are the reasons for 'unacceptable QB play???' Is it b/c we drafted Henne & Pat White??? Maybe it has something to do with the mistakes that were made on the O-line like re-signing Carey or by wasting money on injury prone players Jake Grove & Justin Smiley. Perhaps it's the lack of WR's & TE's that contribute to the offense on this team.

The truth is that it's a combination of all these things. I'm glad we FINALLY drafted a QB in the first round but if we want to see better QB play we definitely need more consistent pass protection, a more consistent running game, & more than TWO f#cking players that can consistently catch the football.

There's no doubt that Tannehill needs to improve with his decision making but that's to be expected.

Kris, I personally rank the Dolphins 22nd in the NFL. Some nice parts, occasional flashes, not awful but not enough to be a talking point in the NFL. We are the chick with a nice rack but doesn't know how to dress and desperately needs to go to the dentist.

RG3, Luck, & Wilson all have better weapons on offense then we do so I'm tired of all the comparisons b/c it's bullsh#t.

When we played the Colts, Tannehill more than held his own against Luck. Don't blame Tannehill b/c the defense didn't show up that day. And the last time I checked Tannehill led a late 4th quarter drive to beat the Seahawks.

The only rookie QB that has worked with as little talent as Tannehill is Weeden. So if you want to fairly compare Tannehill to someone it's Brandon Weeden. They have the exact same QB rating (72.3) & the major difference is that Tannehill is five years younger.


Either get a proofreader of fire the one you have. lol Good article otherwise.

WHDP, yes I agree to a certain extent about the supporting cast needing to improve but the biggest improvement needs to come from the QB himself. I for one had no problem with Henne as a 1st and 2nd year starter, my problem with him is he never eveolved from that guy. So even though his supporting cast improved - he never did. If anything, he got worse.


Bringing up the Titans game, you may have fully refreshed my memory, thanks a lot.

Reason being, on offense the Niners have similar weapons, plus our old defensive nemesis: A great TE(Fred Davis). Who's grandmother(Vonte) may have placed a bounty out on Miami's defense for Fred to collect on.

Anyway, against the Titans, our defense had great trouble containing the highly athletic qb(Locker). That seems to have been a problem all season and now they face Kaepernick. Then, Frank Gore's no picknick at the park either. He may be the best rb this defense faced sinced the Titans Chris Johnson.

On offense the 49ers seem to have all of our defensive kryptonite(athletic qb, elusive rb, and great te). Im seeing this and I havent even gotten into the fact that Moss and Crabtree will be a load for the db's to handle.

Even Ted Ginn may be pumped up for this one, getting revenge against Jeff Ireland. If Ginn returns a kick for a td. Be assured this game will be a complete blowout.

It will be like: "Remember the TITANS".

Also, WHDP, don't make my opinion sound like I'm dissatisified with Tannehill. I am not. I think this year is a fair starting point and I'm glad he's getting this chance and I don't want to see Matt Moore at QB. I just know that this year is fine but it's not enough to just improve the supporting cast. The majority of the improvement must come within himself.

"...We are the chick with a nice rack but doesn't know how to dress and desperately needs to go to the dentist."

LOL@Mark. Now that's f#cking funny!!!

YG, I think you mean Vernon Davis and not Fred

Guys, wouldnt it be hilarious if Ginn scores on a couple of punt returns bet some of you would just be pissed

"...We are the chick with a nice rack but doesn't know how to dress and desperately needs to go to the dentist."

Mark, love this one!! This one got me laughing.


Good point @2pm. At this point, Weeden is in deed the comparison.


I made a post the other day, "It's Nearly Impossible To Separate Ireland from BP. You pretty much make my case of that with your 1:54 pm post.

When looking to make indictments against Ireland posters usually include some of the BP era gaffs. When looking to throw accolades at Ireland, just like you posted at 1:54pm, moves are included that may or may not have been Ireland's.

You posted, Cam Wake, the pro bowler, as a "Ireland move". The Bp era is where the water really gets muddy and we cant be 100% certain. Who made what move, BP or JI?

WHDP, yes I agree to a certain extent about the supporting cast needing to improve but the biggest improvement needs to come from the QB himself. I for one had no problem with Henne as a 1st and 2nd year starter, my problem with him is he never eveolved from that guy. So even though his supporting cast improved - he never did. If anything, he got worse.


I thought Henne was going to be a good one too. We're really not going to know for sure on Tannehill until year three.


FIN FANS CONVIENT argument is ALWAYS the same....

Henne can't succeed because he doesn't have "better weapons...

Tanne can't succeed cause he doesn't have "better weapons"....

The other team QB looks better because they have "better weapons".....

I have NO DOUBT that if Weedon had One more win than Tanne That statement would some how ring TRUE for cleveland as well....

I got news for you WHDP.....

the COLTS were 2-14 last year...not exactly riddled with TALENT....but they DRAFTED in SUCH A WAY that perhaps....they ARE more talented than us...by the way...we finished 6-10.....

The SKINS finished 5-11...a game worse....yeah...they got RG3...but they also SPENT on Garcon.....who BTW the SKINS are 4-0 when he plays....they IMPROVED themselves thru FA..and the draft....

If you think were NOT TALENTED enough....then the GM should be fired.....

If you think we have adequate talent....then why have these teams surpassed us in the standings....

People who use terms like "Irescum," "Dumbocrat," "Repukelican" all have one thing in common: They are idiots incapable of expressing themselves like intelligent adults.

You posted, Cam Wake, the pro bowler, as a "Ireland move". The Bp era is where the water really gets muddy and we cant be 100% certain. Who made what move, BP or JI?


I didn't post that. I have no idea who found him & deserves the credit.


Vernon Davis and Fred Davis are "
BROTHERS". Thats why I said the "GRANDMOTHER" who raised both, may have placed "a bounty" on the Miami defefense for "FRED DAVIS" to collect on.

Vonte didnt play when we played the Colts(at least I dont remember him playing) so he wasnt able to collect on the bounty. LOL...


On your 1:54 post, I guess the 1st paragraph, you were paraphrsing what Mark posted and then responding to him right?

YG, Fred Davis and Vernon Davis arent brothere, where did you see that because they arent

..I don't see how we will score enough points to win this week. Our defense could play nearly a flawless game, and it may not be enough. Someone explain to me what we can do offensivley that will put any pressure on them, or confuse them into something they can't defend.

Yes the Rams seem to have a formula to play these guys tight. They ran the ball, they stopped the run. The difference is they have a secondary capapble of covering people. We don't. So what is the recipe for a win this week? I don't see it. Niners 31-Phins 10


It's not FRED Davis that's his brother it's VERNON Davis. FRED Davis plays for the 'Skins (and would look pretty good in a Dolphins uniform, btw).

Manti T'eo cleaned up at the ESPN college football awards Sunday. Yet you guys still want to win games and get firther away in the draft from true impact players.

Lets just win out the rest of the season and guarrantee ourselves a plain average draft at best. Then we can blame the coaching staff and FireIreland for the team stull sucking next year.


I think it was clue that REFRESHED my memory....but your pretty much dead on accurate...

Davis is a monster @ TE......and as of late....he has been complaining of NOT getting the ball....since Kapp took over....

Kapp needs a win....the and more cow bell (Davis) may be the answer....


I confused myself, it is Vernon Davis. Vonte and Vernon got jumbled in my mind. Was have a huge brain fart. Thx man. LOL


Yeah, because Fred Davis Plays for the 'Skins. LOL

"If you think were NOT TALENTED enough....then the GM should be fired.....

If you think we have adequate talent....then why have these teams surpassed us in the standings....'


I know for fact that we're not talented enough on offense. That's not even up for debate. The Colts, the Seahawks, & the Redskins all have more talent @ WR & TE. Should Ireland be fired for that??? Probably but Ross MUST have assured Ireland that his job wasn't in jeopardy otherwise there's NO WAY he would have traded Marshall. NO WAY.

I never said Ireland should get a pass. Obviously ownership feels differently. This draft MAY turn out to be his best but at the end of the day he still failed to give Tannehill help at both WR & TE.


Thx, I knew this, I was just having a serious brain fart. Things have cleared up now. LOL

Shanahan's backups are probably better than 1/4 of our starters. Right Mr. Ireland?

YG, I want to win because my concern is not manti Te-O, my concern is Ryan Tannehill - A MIAMI DOLPHIN. Even if we had both these players, Tannehill would be responsible for a whole lot more success or failure than any linebacker on the planet.

Yes the Rams seem to have a formula to play these guys tight. They ran the ball, they stopped the run. The difference is they have a secondary capapble of covering people. We don't. So what is the recipe for a win this week? I don't see it. Niners 31-Phins 10

I agree. The Rams have a pretty good defense. There will people killing me on here for saying Janoris Jenkins has been the best rookie CB this season. I wish we had Finnegan & Jenkins as our starting CB's...


Im thinking our defense has to hold the Niners to 6pts or less to win this game. I dont see that happening unless the Niners offense comes out flatter than Aunt Jemimah's pancakes and stays this flat for the entire game.

We want to Win. Always.(like LV does).

...Yg...I would love to see Te'o in a Phin uniform. I have said I think he is the best player in this draft. I think we will loss this week gets us closer to this being a possibility. I think we have to be around 7 to have shot. There are a few teams that I think would easily take him should they pick ahead of us.

Even Oakland..It is Oakland, and who could blame them?

We have some losing to do if this is a guy that may be on our radar.


I'm with you. I'm done with wins for this year. Couldn't care less what they do the rest of the way but the worst thing would be if they were to win out. Yeah I'll be a called a 'non-fan' for that but it was never about this year anyways.

If you can come up with a plan that WORKS I'd be all in on T'eo. Drafting him and paying Dansby $1.5 million bucks is not the answer. If you can come up with a plan that also helps the pass rush, I'm all ears.

OK, Kris So Disregard My Stats On T-Hill's 4th Qtr!! THE ONLY 2 DRIVES!! IN THE QUARTER!!





What Dashi is Saying! Is That T-Hill's TD/INT Ratio! IS NOT THAT GOOD!!



T-Hill Has Only Turned The Ball Over 16 Times!! 12 INT's!! IN 12 GAMES!! AGAIN NOT GREAT!! BUT NOT BAD!! SPECIALLY FOR A ROOKIE!!






Hey, when a guy you had hope for like Lamar Miller is inactive....its not a good sign.

Mark In Toronto,

That's understandable you would want to see what Tannehill is really made of. However, an important part of that equation is one we already know.

The cast around him pretty much sucks. Even winning this game will not undo that.

I rather have the3 highest possible draft position to add the hughest possible cast of characters. Then if T'hill sucks next year, "Houston, We Have A Problem".

Think about it, Even if Tanne sucks Sunday, he's still the starting qb 2013 no matter what anyway. No way they cut bait with Tannehill by next season after drafting him 8th overral. Look how long the Jets have still stuck with Sanchez and he's clearly not thier answer going forward.

The only way to keep this game within reach is to play up to our strenght ie. Defense. Rattle the rookie Kaepernicks cage. Pressure him up front with our D line, change some personel around. Would like to see a little more of Oliver.Stop the run. 5 of the seven losses were within one score. If we keep it close we just might have a chance. Oh! by the way we need our running game to get going so we can keep the pressure off Tannehill.

Tannehill = another Irescum bust!!


'The Rams have a good defence?' Are you kidding me? Brady lit them up all day to the tune of something like 45-7. I'm sure there have been others, I just don't have them in front of me right now.

YG is making the MOST sense @2:33.....

I was 11-5 guy....but since we KNOW that the playoffs are a PIP-DREAM.....and we HAVEN'T been to the playoffs since 2008.....then we might as well position ourselves in the best position available.....

Wilson > Henne > HenneHill


I Might Not Be A Better QB Than Sunshine!!

BUT "We" Can Guarantee U! Dashi Will Bring IT Harder Than Dansby!!!

I Can Guarantee!! U Dashi Would Know Who Is On The Field!! With Him At All Times!!

One Of The First Thing!! A REAL MLB DOES BEFORE EVERY PLAY! Right After Breaking The Huddle(Calling The Defensive Play) IS TO MAKE A QUICK COUNT OF WHO IS ON THE FIELD WITH HIM!! (ARE ALL 11 Men On The Field? Who Do I Have With Me!! ON THIS PLAY?)






For me T'eo isnt just a great talent decision. What clenches it for me is the kid carries himself with dignity, respect, and you can see he's highly intelligent.

If this team likes guys that are smart, model citizens, and great football players like they say they do. If T'eo is available and they pass, then theyve revealed themselves as "total liars" to this fanbase.

T'eo is the very imbodiment of what this organization says its looking for.

I think the TE's from Stanford & Notre Dame will both be late first round picks.

..This may be the week that all of the "Matt Moore to the resuce" guys get their wish. It may get ugly for Tannehill this week. And I'm not saying yank him if he struggles..he needs to experience failure to eventually succed. I'm thinking that this is a ferocious pass rush against a patchworked offesnive line..He may get pummeled Sunday.

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