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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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Can we all agree that drafting Michael Egnew was not the fault of Jeff Ireland?

Rhinos aren't known for their intelligence

How does this explain John Jerry?

ogletree is a beast for sure but he is staying in school for another year

Egnew and Miller, WILL BE OK!


Miller said So Himself(Read My Boy, Barry Jackson)!! Not Playing This Year!! Humbles U!! Makes U Hungry!

Dashi Theory!!

The Coaches!! Know What They Have In Miller!! They have said Over a Million Times!! Miller is The FUTURE!! Reggie And D.Thomas!! Are Playing For Roster Spots!! (Thomas Will Still Be On This Team! But Unless He Improves! Miller Will Beat Him out next Camp!) Sherman and Philbin! Love MILLER!!

Again, I hate To Repeat This a Million Times!! The Only Reason!! Miller Dropped To The 4th was Because He Was Injured!! During The Pre-Draft Process! Miller was The #2 Highest Rated RB Coming Out Last Year!!

On Egnew He Will Be Alright!! He is Stuck In a Numbers Game This Year!! Again, The Emergence Of J.Lane Out Of Nowhere!! Hurt Egnew's Play Time!! Not A lot Of Teams Activate 3 TE's Plus a FB!! and 4 RB's!! For A Game!!

Now Once Reggie Leaves!! Miller, Thomas, Thigpen, and Lane Can Be The RB's! And Egnew and Clay The TE's!! Giving Them 1 More Roster Spot To Add Another Rookie TE!! Because We All Know!! FASANO IS GONE!!

The same people that were telling us for 4 years that Henne would "develop" are now claiming Tannehill will "develop". TOO FUNNY! Anyone with eyes KNOWS the guy is NOT NFL material.

Being a life long Dolphin fan, I do not know if I can endure another season of failure. I won tickets to the Dolphins/Patriots game and decided not to go because I knew instinctively that we would find some way to blow the game. I must confess that I am not sold on Tannehill’s abilities. We had an excellent opportunity to beat the Patriots and in typical Dolphin fashion we let the game slip through our fingers. Honestly, it all starts with the General Manager. If Ross had any idea how to run an NFL franchise, he would know that you need a top level talent evaluator as your GM. Mr. Ross, I implore you to fire Ireland and bring in BILL POLIAN. Polian is a football genius. He built the Buffalo Bills team that went to four consecutive Superbowls, then he went to the Colts and built their World Championship teams. Once we have Polian under contract we (the fans) can breath a sigh of relief. Mr. Polian will give us (the fans) a much needed and deserved World Championship. If anyone reads this comment and has Mr. Ross’s ear, please beseech him to get Bill Polian under contract before the hapless Jets or Chiefs beat us to the punch.

Egnew, Miller, Tannehill, D Thomas = more Ireland busts

Jay, can you tel me how 3 rookies and a 2nd year pro can already be called busts? jesus some people need to think before they type!!!!!

While I won't debate the HC's performance to date, I will have to aggree with him on this one. If the young players can't practice well enough to get on the field then that speaks to their inability to execute on Sundays. As the weeks move on though if you can't coach them up properly then that speaks to poor evaluation of talent or poor coaching. Let the finger pointing begin .............

To but Ur Bill Polian Request Into Perspective!!

Something Can Be Said About Being A GM For Over 40 Years!! And Only Winning 1 Title!!

To Only Win 1 Title With Peyton as YOUR QB!!! U Should Be Arrested!!

BillCale Said It Best! @7:50!!

Dashi Will Just Like To Add Sherman Knows The Packer Way!! And Has Been a NFL GM Before!! Plus, Who Do U Think Recruited That Whole A&M Team? Who Developed That O-Line!?

Also, Ireland Has Done a Better Job Recently Hiring A Coach!! Than Polian!


reg, the same way I called Chad Henne, Pat White, and P Merling busts as rookies. Its not rocket science.

If I'm playing in the game I want the guy next to me that produces in the GAME! Sometimes people try things in practice that don't make them look that great, but when game is on they play best

GSPF agree to a point
going from college to the NFL will take some players longer to adjust to not just the speed but the physical and mental side of the game. I have no problem if there are a couple of rookies that are struggling to get to grips with any of it as long as their work ethic is right. If thats means they see limited or no action for a season then I have happy to go with the coaches on that. Get into year 2 and they are still struggling then i think those questions can be asked with a little more purpose. Sometimes it's only when you see the players everyday in training(on and off the field) that sometimes you realise they are better or worse than what you'd seen on tape or in meetings with them etc. Also watching them mature as men and guiding them through the early days can make a huge difference to those that fail or succeed.

D.Thomas Is way Better Than S.Greene A REAL BUST!!

And Henne Is A Bust!! A Guy That Is Closing In On 10,000 YDS Passing!! And From The Looks Of It!! Will End His Career With Over 20,000 Yds! And Over 100 TD's Thrown!!

Yeah A Bust!!

That Would've Probably Made HENNE THE #2 QB All Time For The Dolphins!! Right Now Henne Is The Best QB!! The Jags Have Ever Had!!


And Who Is A Bigger Bust? V.Gholston? A.Maybin? Or P.Merling?

Plus Ur Boy Ireland Hit On LangFord! Which Nullifies Parcells Picking Merling!! And The Sign Of A Good GM is To Keep Upgrading!! Which Ireland Has since He Took Over!!

Jay and how much have YOU SEEN of these guys to call them busts??? 1x 1st,2nd,3rd,4th round player all deemed busts already??
Whilst your at it can you tell me what YOUR definition of a bust is please?

Did Any Of U play a Team Sport? At Least 1!

If U Suck In Practice!! U Get Cut Off The Team!!

Practice Makes Perfect!!


Why Is Peyton So Accurate? Practice!!

What Made Larry Bird? Practice!!


What Made Jordan? Jordan? Practice!!

Jerry Rice?

Even The Great Dan Marino?

Again, Have U guys Ever Done Anything? And Been Successful!!

In Anything U do in This World!!! U want To Be Great!! Practice!! And Practice Like U play!!!

U don't Perfect Ur Craft!! During A Game!! U Perfect It In Practice!!

reg, obviously I have a sharper eye then you. It may take you another year or 2 but you will agree with me then..... just like with Chad Henne

It is amazing to that so many that read this column and write their comments think of themselves as ones to whome great wisdom has been granted. I suppose you are also inclined to tell a neoulology surgeon how to determine the process of an operation or a lawer on how to win their case. What makes us think we know how to lead grown men onto a field and practice hard all week. When Shula sais we have the right man at the helm. I trust he knows what he is talking about. Its time to get off the couch and do something that makes a positive difference in too would like to see the team become a winning organization again. I have been a fan since 82, but a culture of winning is not established quickly. If we truly do have the right man on the job because he knows what it takes to inspire men to greatness and teachers to twach them how to succeed then I am happy in the short while while we build. Getting on the coaches back does not make the process easier. Support ther process if you believe the direction. The wins will come in time. Let's hope the team builds the right way. Armando, instead of stirring up the pot why don't you who has the opportunity to see the team from the inside provide some real insight for the rest of us some real information. Tell us about the direction this team is headed orthe devlopments of some of the younger players. I see some good things from RT, some of the young guys are really progressing well. Best wishes the rest of the season fins. This offseason is critical again for us to take the next step. Merry Christmas Dolphin nation.

There is a possibility that philip rivers may be on the trading block. If ross has any type of braun he wull trade for him. Pick up a real wr and trade for rivers. Send hennehill packing to thr chargers along with dansby, smith.

Mondo, its apparent you dont get it. Each player, no matter the year wants to win, there NFL lives depend on winning. The player who practices the best, plays in the game, its more then logic, its the only way to approach the season. Old football saying,,,"you play like you practice". Never have 5 words been so true. If the players dont practice well, then why play them, any of them. The BEST 11 plays the game,,simple.

There are exceptiona. Many players perform far better in real games then they show in practice. These players perform on adrenaline which they only get in the real games. Joe Montana was a poor practice player that excelled the bigger the game was. Locally, Matt Moore is a poor practice player that rises in real games. Remember Allen Iverson? There have been many cases where a player that wasnt thought to be much from practice, is inserted into a real game and is suddenly transformed into a star. Its the extra adrenaline in some players.

J Lane experiment needs to end. He is terrible.

Ever Heard Of Muscle Memory?

How Do U Develop The Right Muscle Memory!


Practice Until U can Do It With Ur Eyes Closed!!

To Say Montana Had Bad Practice Habits!! Is Talking Out Ur A S S!! U Do Remember Who His Coach Was!! The 49ers Threw To a Spot!! Yea, Montana Didn't Practice!!

Iverson Was Also Great In Practice!! He Just Didn't Want To!! That Doesn't Mean He Didn't!!

Iverson Practiced That Crossover!! And Floater Religiously!!

What Are Players Doing When They Train!!! Practicing Their Craft!!

Look At Ur Boy Tebow!! He Practices His Butt Off!! To Get The Most He Can Out Of The Little Talent He Has!! He Just SUCKS!!

Sucking At Practice!! And Not Practicing Are 2 Different Things!!

To make Ur Point On The Surgeon!! Do U know how Many Times a Surgeon Practices Before Doing The Real Thing In School!!

Again, U can't Get Good Unless U Practice!!

As A Coach!! U Build Confidence To Play The Guy! If He Is Doing It Over and Over In Practice!! Than Hoping!! The Guy Will Get It Right For The First Time In The Game!!

And Again!! Matt Moore Turns The Ball Over More Than 2 Times A Game!! For His Career!!


Is TanneBust really worse then HenneBust?

Jack Bechta of NationalFootballPost.com defines a successful NFL general manager as: "[An] Individual who can evaluate talent, work well with others, deal with the media, lead, manage, build and put together a winning and profitable blueprint for a billion dollar company."

No thanks to rivers. Dude is a game manager trying to be a gunslinger. He has little mobility and lets his emotions get the best of him.

I've always liked Rivers but he has thrown a lot of INT's this year. I do think he'd be better with our OL and would still be a huge upgrade to Tannehill.

good post nick. :-)

Jay if you have a sharper ee than me then you can tell me and everyone else on here(don't worry i'm sure GM's+scouts won't read it to steal your choices come April) who the dolphins should draft in their frist 3 rounds and which players will become all pro and those that will become busts. you sharing your 'sharper eye' and superior knowledge will be much appreciated. Thank you in anticipation.

dashi, I played team sports football(soccer to you ;-) ) and I agree those of us that used to practice harder tended to play harder. However it didn't always transfer onto the pitch for whatever reason. sometimes I was really up for a certain game i.e local rival/ a big final and just never managed to play to the level i hoped. But there was 1 thing that could never be questioned and that was the effort I put in Every week.
Sure there are a few exceptions to the rule who don't train very well or are blessed with natural ability, but they are very few and far between. If a team/player lacks some ability I can live with that, lack effort and I can't.
Hopefully the coaches are getting the effort out of these young players, which will lead to them learning enough to get some gametime snaps sooner rather later.

Ross is a idiot if he brings Ji back, he is rich but operating a football franchise he has 0 IQ
Empty seats at Joe Robbie stadium fan base lowest ever! Despite the fans out cry he is bring back Ji? I will boycott the phins and will not by new merchandise from the phins. And will encourage family members friends not to buy anything from the phins or go to games where the phins are playing at! total boycott until JI is gone. So Mr Ross good luck with your B u t t buddy Jeffery! But maybe this is the strategy Ross is doing to have a excuse to move the team to LA. Well if he is going to keep that loser JI. Than move a s s hole!I'm sure some other billionaire will bring the dolphins back to Miami! Ross has to go to, worst owner in NFL history!

really ray, can you truly say that he is the WORST or is that just your emotion coming out??
you honestly don't think he has signed some GOOD players along with some of the bad???? Not sure I agree with you spreading your ill talk of the dolphins to 'all that you know' sounds pretty poor TBH let people decide what they think AFTER they see the facts for themselves!!

Moore= Minimum 2 Turnovers a Game

Worst Than Even Mark Sanchez!!

Never Mind Henne Or T-Hill!!

Isn't P.Rivers 30+! Years Old!

And FOLDS like a Wallet Under Pressure! By Some Peoples Standards!! RIVERS IS A BUST!! Never lived Up To his Potential!! NEVER WILL!

If He Couldn't Reach The SuperBowl!! With LT And Gates In Their Prime!! What Makes U think he will With The Fins!!

Ray, shouldn't you be in bible study?



I can WRITE IN CAPS!!!!!


I can use EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Do ya HEAR how COOL I AM?

YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ross is an idiot for bringing Ireland back after last year. So we already know he IS a (football) moron.

dashi(or anyone else for that matter), out of curiousity if you had to pick 1 qb that you think the dolphins 'might' hypothetically be able to trade for or aquire in FA who would it be????
Because personally I doubt there is anybody on the market that is anywhere near a realistic option!

Who's Spit? And Who's Swallow??


Posted by: Dashi | November 25, 2012 at 09:24 PM

There are a few good bloggers here. Why they frequently engage with those that so often litter the blog with foul comments or total nonsense I'll never understand. The more attention they get, the worse the blog becomes.


Agreed. That Is Why I Made The Tebow Statement! Practice Still Matters. Effort Matters Moore! And U can Measure Effort In Practice!! The Best Player On The Team Usually Practices Harder Than Everyone Else!! They Set The Standard!!

I Played Baseball And Football. Would've Also Tried Out For Basketball! But My Pops Told Me Unless U are 6'6" Or Taller Chances Of Making It Pro are Slim To None!!

Athletic Ability Is Important!! But To Be Good!! U have To Practice!! And PRACTICE HARD!!

I Use To Come Home After BaseBall Practice!! And Make 1000 Swings Everyday(Hitting Tennis Balls)!! With A BAT that had 2 Weights On It! Picture How Hard I Hit The Ball During The Game!! When the Weights Were OFF! It Felt Like I was Swinging a Tooth Pick!!

Why Do U Think Reggie Runs Sprints After Practice!! To Make Sure Whoever Is Second Fastest! Doesn't Catch UP!!

Yes, Certain Games!! U want It More(and Not Every Game Will be a Great One)!! But To Be Consistently!! Good U need To Practice More Than Anyone!! And Do Something Extra That Nobody Does!!

And Agreed! EFFORT IS KEY!! Give Me A PLAYER THAT GOES A 100 Miles A Hour Every Play!! U Can Fix Mistakes!! U can't Fix Laziness!! (Reason I can't Stand Dansby)

Leaders Demand More From Themselves Than The Team!!

If U remember One Of The Only Knocks Dashi Has had On T-Hill! Is That U don't Hear About Him Staying After Practice!! Perfecting His Craft!! By the End Of Hard Knocks!! He was!! But That Worried Me A Little!!

D.Bess Is Not The Most Talented WR In The NFL!! But He Made it Because of His Insane Work Ethic!! Working On His Routes!! And Probably Catching Over 100 Ball A day After Practice!!

Zach Didn't Even Have 1/5th The Athletic Ability of Dansby!! But Practice And All Out Effort Made Him a HOF'er!!

If U say Practice Doesn't Matter!! U Have Never Played A Sport Or A Instrument!!

Why Is Tiger Woods? Tiger Woods?


Irescum should've been fired 3 years ago over the Dez Bryant classless debacle. Then he cursed at a paying customer. He's alienated players, coaches, fans, and media. Like someone posted earlier he doesnt get along well with people. And he's setting records for most busts ever by a GM. The value of the Dolphin franchise is estimated to be 200 million lower then when he was hired. Its laughable how Ross keeps such an incompetent.




Dez 'I beat my Mom' Bryant? Who really cares what JI asked him. If you are going to pay a thug millions of $ you can ask him whatever the FKK you want.

A fan called him an ahole, it was his right to respond back.

Some of you are puritan pilgrims stuck on queen's properness.

a paying customer does not have the right to make a PERSONAL insult. Check out the real world and in any industry and you'll see that someone speak like he did then that person should be man enough to take the reply!!!!!

reg, Ross is too cheap to pay good FA's or they dont want to join this circus with Irescum and a rookie coach. No one with a choice joins the hapless Dolphins. See Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn etc, etc, etc.

I have to agree with Philbin. It's not fair to the team to not put the best players out there. Guys are putting their lives and health on the line. You can't ask the team to put forth their best effort if you're not giving them the best chance to win.

The coaches know what they have in the young guys because they see them every day. It's not like you put Egnew on the field and all of a sudden he's Tony Gonzalez. They know their guys.

The same people that were telling us for 4 years that Henne would "develop" are now claiming Tannehill will "develop". TOO FUNNY! Anyone with eyes KNOWS the guy is NOT NFL material.

Posted by: Scotty | December 08, 2012 at 09:43 AM

This guy is STILL babbling about Henne ?

ROTFLMAO! Yeah, we all thought Joe Miller was really going to save the Chicago Cardinals too.

Just a little Heads Up Scotty, a few more days and it's going to be **2013**


HENNE'S RATING IS 112 ..................


reg, the same way I called Chad Henne, Pat White, and P Merling busts as rookies. Its not rocket science.

Posted by: Jay | December 08, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Yeah, except..........at one time or another you called everyone a bust(with VERY few exceptions).

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, especially when that broken clock exploits the obvious "Hindsight" factor.

You ain't fooling anyone-LOL.

Tannehill has thrown for more yards than any rookie QB in Dolphins history.

and the season is not over.


A STARTER ................FOR THE NEXT YEAR...........

reg, obviously I have a sharper eye then you. It may take you another year or 2 but you will agree with me then..... just like with Chad Henne

Posted by: Jay | December 08, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Henne puts up gaudy stats, is now the starter.......and what do you know, he's WINNING games.

But ah, "Sharp Eye" there Jay ;)

Nice post Dashi(@ 10:21).


Are you really putting Matt Flynn as a top FA. He cannot even start on his new team over a rookie. That was actualy a good move by Ireland. The Seahawks paid 10 milion dollars a year for a back up QB. Great move by Ireland.

Ireland has actually made some pretty good FA moves. Here are his good FA move: Cameron Wake, Carlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, Matt Moore, Reggie Bush, and he also resigned Paul Soliai. You should be building through the draft anyways. The biggest mistake is not finding the franchise QB but I still have hope in T-Hill.

HERALD EMPLOYEE TROLL....I mean Hireland @ 2:12.....

the FAN did NOT call Ireland an a-hole....he told him to "to fire himself".....

It was ireland who called the fan an a -hole.....

But why let facts get in the way of you're ridicoulus post.....right......

I look forward to you deleting this post.....like you did the other night when I was handing you your @ss....

Armando....hire(land) smarter trolls.....


Dez 'I beat my Mom' Bryant? Who really cares what JI asked him. If you are going to pay a thug millions of $ you can ask him whatever the FKK you want.
A fan called him an ahole, it was his right to respond back.
Some of you are puritan pilgrims stuck on queen's properness.

Posted by: Hireland | December 08, 2012 at 02:04 PM

They're stuck on something "Queen-ified", thats FOR SURE-LOL.

Nice Post!

The best baseball player ever almost NEVER PRACTICED!!


Philbin is such an anus. What did Cameron Wake do wrong in order to get benched last week? Is Philbin's philosophy to take away play time from your best player for no reason? As I've been saying all year, this is just another reason why Mike McCarthy in Green Bay never gave Philbin ANY responsibilities or any power. Philbin was never allowed to call a single play nor make a single decision. Now we know why.

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