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Joe Philbin: Free agency on the table

There is a false narrative in the Dolfan community that because coach Joe Philbin came from the Green Bay Packers, he wants the Dolphins run like the Green Bay Packers, particularly when it comes to building the team.

The idea is that because Green Bay rarely dips toes in free agency, with few exceptions, Philbin wants the same in Miami.

That is not true.

"I'm not opposed to improving the football team in any way shape or form, by any method we can -- whether that's a trade whether that's free agency, draft obviously," Philbin said Monday in his end-of-season press conference. "I'm not opposed to any of that."

Philbin says player acquisition is a "collaborative" effort that includes general manager Jeff Ireland and his staff and Philbin and his staff. So free agency is on the table.

And that ties perfectly with what I tell you in my column today about the Dolphins being willing to attack the high end of free agency this offseason as they have not done since probably 2010.

As I've said before, the man in charge of personnel for the Dolphins will  continue to be general manager Jeff Ireland. Owner Stephen Ross will speak with the media later this week, but a source repeated to me again today that Ireland is absolutely safe in his job. So no change is coming there for this offseason.

This offseason is about improving everywhere -- particularly on offense.

"We certainly need to get better production and performance out of the offensive unit," Philbin said.

The coach wants to see massive improvement in the team's turnover margin. It was minus 10 this year which was in the bottom quarter of the league. And he wants to see more plays on both offense and defense relative to the passing game.

"I think these guys performed well," Philbin said. "We have to do a better job of putting points on the board. This is not a complicated game. We have to do a better job there. Part of the takeway issue is getting interceptions and fumble recoveries. But I don't know it's isolated to the receiver or DB positions.

"We need to address the explosive play element on both sides of the ball. We got to create more, we have to eliminate more from our opponent's play."

Well, if that doesn't speak to receivers (including TEs on offense) and DBs (particularly corners on defense) I don't know who it speaks to.

Among the things Philbin wants to improve is himself.

"I definitely need to improve like anybody else, no question about it," he said. "That's what the offseason is all about. I haven't had time to reflect necessarily going through the exit process today and meeting with the players. Obviously we had a plan in place for this season. I thought it was a good plan. However, obviously you have to make changes and adjustments and learn and make improvements. And we'll do that. We'll listen to the suggestions of some of the guys you work with on a consistent basis and see if they have ideas that may or may not benefit the program."

Improvement is the order of the day all around this franchise, folks. The Dolphins finished 7-9 and out of the playoffs. That's 7-9, 7-9, 6-10, and 7-9 in the last four seasons. And none of those seasons included a postseason berth.

"7-9 is not good enough," Philbin said. "... We have a lot of work to do. That's really where we are."

 

Comments

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Andrew,

I totally agree with you on Marshall. They practically gave him away for nothing (Egnew and a 3rd round pick). You just can't let that type of talent go without getting more value in return. However, I think Philbin had a lot of input in that becuase he does not like to deal with diva receivers.

If you are looking at him in the last 2 years then we are on the same page but give his picks time to develop. I think he really liked Miller and Thomas and they do seem to have potential (BPA situation). Also, remember that Bush is a FA this year and you need to have two quality RBs. Again, to me the jury is still out on Ireland becacuse I think that pre-Parcells he only had input and Parcells was making all of the calls. I also think that Parcells is responsible for bringing Sparano here and we have seen what a disaster that guy is.

The dolphins have no trouble getting to the red zone and every trouble scoring TDs when they get there. Fauria or Eifert would be huge. Miami had like 13 passing TDs all year and 3 or 4 went to RBs.

Our red zone passing production is appalling and speaks to the terrible job Ireland has done putting talent on this team.

Hunter benefits greatly from the double coverage on his teammate, the geat Sammy Watkins. Still, he can do it by himself also, I believe.

Orlando Dolphan | January 01, 2013 at 08:56 PM

The Steelers don't put the same premium on the position and will not pay that salary for a WR. The last S.B. MVP for the Steelers was Santonio Holmes who wanted that kind of deal and was dealt quick for peanuts. Plexico Burress was the same deal back in 04 if memory serves. Tell your friend that Butterfingers should be reserved for the #2 WR Emanuelle Sanders who fumbled 3 completions in 3 straight weeks (in key spots) and was the reason Wallace got back on the field quick. The Cowboys game was must win and Wallace took over bringing Pitt. out of a 10-0 hole. Look you don't feel the player, fine. We can't agree on everything but I feel he would be an awesome addition.

on't waste time, draft Zach Ertz.

Miller might have potential, Thomas looks like a monster bust. And remember they traded up for Thomas.

Even if Philbin asked Ireland to trade Marshall, Jeff could have:

Said no. Our rookie QB needs him.
Signed Vincent Jackson.
Drafted a WR (Hilton?) instead of Vernon.
Drafted a WR instead of Martin at 41.
Drafted a WR instead of Lamar miller.
Anything but sign Naanee and wait until round six to draft nobodies.

fin4life,

I agree on Hunter watching some of the highights on him, he looks impressive. Also, Keenan Allen was on a bad team with a horrible QB this year but his numbers were off the charts last year. Look for those 2 receivers to climb up in the draft after the combine.

For all those that just want to let Long go. Who will you replace him with? Nate Garner? Did you see Garner against the Pats? Do you really want to spend a high pick on a Tackle (1st or 2nd round). I am concerned with his injuries but he is better than any one we can pick up in 2nd round. I would take a chance on him because if Tannehill has no chance to throw then foreget about his development and all this talk about receivers will not mean anything. You have to protect your young QB.

The team needs some freaking DYNAMIC OFFENSIVE WEAPONS!!!!!! For once and for all!!!!!

Forget these tweeners!!! FORGET THEM!!!! Tall but no speed. NEXT! Fast but fragile? NEXT. Great but poor hands? NEXT!!!

I think (guess) Ireland was not impressed with Dez's IQ. Well let me tall ya something, do you watch Marino as an analyst? The guy is the most sorry analyst on TV! Never says anything interesting, insightful or profound! NEVER!!!!! Great QB? Phenomenal! But he is as freaking dumb as DEZ!!!!!


Of all the picks we missed on, Dez was the biggest miss. The guy has got GAME! FKKKK the Puritan BULLSHEET!

promichael | January 01, 2013 at 09:04 PM

I'm not disputing that but please post for me that burner at T.E. you see coming into the draft because I haven't yet. Tyler Eiffert is slow Zach Eertz isn't WOWING with speed either or maybe it's the FA route you see and only JerMicheal Finley is available but would command huge dollars with our wad getting blown on a WR, so you tell me who we draft that can run in that 4.5 range because to me that ship sailed in 2010 with Gronk, Graham and Hernandez.

Going to watch some of the Orange Bowl.

We are used to the Best. Therefore we want the Best here. Like the Heat have done. Anything short of that will not meet our Expectations.

Orlando,

Move Martin to the left side. You took a left tackle in the high second round, he better be good. Take a RT in the 4-5 round of the draft. Or the late third round. Sign a cheap FA tackle to compete with him.

Dolphins have too many resources in the line, not enough in the weapons area. Time to start reversing that trend. They need the savings from Long to sign a real veteran WR.

OD, you have it completely right. Jeff Ireland was a mere passive observer, a GM only in title collecting a paycheck while Parcells was here. Think of him as staying in the corner, out of the way, not making waves, while Parcells made absolutely all the bad decisions. I'm not sure Ireland should be accountable for the decisions even after Parcells left, except obviously the good ones.

We want no cheap stuff around here.

Football is not a game for church people!!! It is a nasty, urban, TOUGH, sport. We don't need no freaking chemistry majors! We don't need no political science majors! We don't need no freaking financial analysts. We need freaking FOOTBALL PLAYERS. Get off the good Samaritan band wagon and find some BAD ASS MUDDAH FUH'S!

Senza, draft Manti Te'o.

Andrew,

I am with you on Nanee. I don't know what Ireland was thinking there.

The only problem I have with Thomas is that he seems fragile for such a big guy. He does hit the hole hard and I think that Bush took carries away from him. I think that IF healthy and got the ball 20 times a a game he could punish a defense with his size. Again, the problem with him is that he is constantly hurt. We'll see when Bush is gone who gets the carries. Jonas Gray may also be surprise this year. The fins took a chance on him knowing that he would be hurt and that he would play this year. He could end up being a steal. If you have a chance take a look at his college highlights when he played for ND.

Oscar,

We need to score POINTS! The best thing for the D we have now is a better O!

When was the last time this team focused on getting some serious offensive weapons and not bargain basement pretenders?

Brandon Marshall - great stats, 0 playoff appearances.

Then Draft Justin Hunter, Senza. But carefully, he is still hurt.

Marshall and Cutler have a nice lovefest...but in the end got a good coach fired!

fin4life,

Your correct that the draft really does not have a very athletic tight end. Going FA is the best route. Eertz is a possibility but the Dolphins would want to trade down to take him. He is not that dominant player that I characterized. The Dolphins missed the boat by avoiding free agency TE's to solve the cap issue. I stand corrected because this years draft is not good for TE's and wow we need a burner from the draft and possibly Jennings WR from free agency

Andrew,

I think J Mart on the left side is fine. He looks like he is going to be a good player but my concern is the right side. A couple of years ago, I might have agreed with you on getting a cheap free agent tackle but I am still having nightmares about Mark Colombo. Sparano loved this guy and brought him in. I cannot ever remember a tackle having such a negative impact on a team. I would rather have Nate Garner than Colombo. I agree that we have to sign him for something reasonable. I would resign him for 5 years 40 million (8 per year) with a contract that allows us to release him after 3 years (his injuries worry me).

I would actually rather let Starks go than Long because at least we have depth there with Odrick and then starting Vernon at end and then drafting a DE which this draft is full of. There may actually be some good ones in the 2nd and 3rd round.

Don't know why RBs recover better from serious knee injuries than the rest of the other Players.

It is the wrong draft to have this many picks! That is the bottom line! Trade them for next year and grab some talent in FA!

Orlando,


Martin needed TONS of help at LT! Tons! Did you see??? That is why we were blanked in the final game! Could he develop into a good LT? I HAVE NO IDEA. But...HE AIN"T EVEN CLOSE YET!

There should be great FAs available this year, also, Senza.

Who knows, Senza?

Orlando Dolphan says:

Remember Welker was Davon Bess when he was here, it is Brady that has made him look like a great receiver.
=====================================================
That's not true Welker was a first down machine with the Dolphins. Randy Mueller the Dolphins GM at the time underestimated his value and Belichick understood his value.

Wes Welker was also our best punt returner in the past 20-30 yrs. Though Thigpen looked very good this year.

There is no way to BUILD a team without ever retaining your best players!!! You can't ASSUME some draft pick will be as good!


Keep Reggie.

Tanne has chemistry with Hartline. Keep him!

promichael,

Welker never put the types of numbers here that he has put up in NE. He never even put up the numbers that Davon Bess has when he was in Miami (look it up, not even close). I liked Welker but I never could have imagined him putting up the numbers he has with NE. Compare his numbers in NE with Wallace, Jennings, Bowe. Welkers numbers would tell you he is better than those guys, yet no one here in Miami is talking about bringing him here. He is a FA at the end of the year and NE is going to let him walk.

Kudos to Beichick for his vision. A great QB can make a WR look rea good.

Colombo was a Sparano mistake. He loved former cowboys. Lots of teams get by with a late draft pick for a veteran FA at right tackle. Pouncey and Jerry were high picks they should help hold the line or what was the point of taking them so high?

What should scare you is the Dolphins receiver stats. Calvin Johnson had more 20+ plays than all out WRs and TEs combined (by a lot). Our WRs combined to score three TDs all year! That's insane!

Our offensive line isn't perfect but it is not the gaping hole that WR and TE are. We have Stone Age weapons. It's 2013, that's a more important fix than replacing Garner at RT.

Also, even when Long was healthy, he was ranked around the 40th best tackle in the NFL. That's a below average starter. I wouldn't give him 8 mill. He isn't worth it even if he stays healthy which is unlikely.

What do all the great offenses have in common?

Consistency!

Same coach, same OC, same QB, same offensive players, for YEARS!

That is what it takes.

No one wants Welker because he does things Bess and Hartline do and he isn't a big red zone threat.

Miami needs speed and TDs. Wallace is the perfect fit for what Miami needs but I'm fine with Jennings too. Bowe feels like a wildcard but would be better than signing nobody. Oozes talent, has had productive seasons. Hard to know if his struggles are mostly on Cassel and Quinn

Wallace is a one dimensional ego maniac. He played his cards last offseason and NOBODY bit. Nobody sees his worth as high as he does.

For a reason.

Andrew,

It is very rare to take a 4th or 5th rounder that can start as a rookie Tackle. You can groom a 4th or 5th rounder that can eventually start but to go into next year banking on a 5th round pick to protect your young franchise QB is very dangerous. Unfortunately, it does not look like we have anyone being groomed for that postition. Agree that we need more speed but I would rather get the speed and keep Long. I am also not big on spending a ton on other teams' free agents. Bring in one or two FAs but the fins have to do their homework first. You cannot build a team through free agency.

Orlando Dolphan says:

Welker never put the types of numbers here that he has put up in NE. He never even put up the numbers that Davon Bess has when he was in Miami (look it up, not even close). I liked Welker but I never could have imagined him putting up the numbers he has with NE.
======================================================
In 2006 Welker had 67 receptions for 687 yards. He was their best option for offense that year with a backup QB named Joey Harrington. Like I said the GM Randy Mueller made a major mistake. Welker is so quick that he is a Red Zone threat. He beats the defender at the beginning of the end zone, turns and catches the ball or on a quick screen beats the defender and runs into the end zone.

I agree, Senza. Continuity IS the most important.

Orlando Dolphan,

New England is going to let him walk because he's 33 years old. The Dolphins need not apply for his services because at 33 and wanting $9M he's done getting the big salary in the NFL. However I can see the Patriots keeping him for another year for less than $9M.

This will be Irelands trial by fire. There will be plenty of great FAs at every position to sign plus any Draft always offers great picks. We expect nothing less than 10-6 next yer, schedule or not. Yahear.

Oscar

Continuity is what beat us Sunday. The Pats offense is a well rehearsed play. Everybody knows what everybody is doing always! They made it look EASY, because it was! They have rehearsed those plays so many times. A young team like us with so many constant changes has to rely on trial and error.

Most sensible, Senza, most sensible.

There isnt a team in the league that would give higher then a 5th rder for Tannehill. Thanks Irescum.

promichael,

Welker's numbers this year:

8th in receiving yards with 1354 yards and 6 TDs. Those numbers blow away Jennings, Wallace (30th in receiving yards), and Bowe (40th and 3 TDs). Again, I think his numbers are a bit inflated because he has the great Tom Brady throwing him the football but the numbers suggest he is still going strong. Again, my argument is that Welker is good but Brady has made him great. I would love to see Bess' or Hartline's numbers if Brady was throwing them the ball.

BTW- Hartline is ranked 15th in total yards.

promichael | January 01, 2013 at 09:38 PM

Listen I feel the same way you do we have the lunch pale guys now we need to stack speed across the board on both sides of the ball or forever look to replenish the Lines while ignoring everything else. Unfortunately the T.E.'s in this draft are blue collar types like in Eiffert's case great route runner with good hands who can block but you want the stretch the seam player and he isn't there.

I am signing off. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I have been at it all day. I have been a complete football junkie today. Watching college football and blogging with you guys.

Good night. We'll continue improving the dolphins some other day. I hope Ireland is taking notes, LOL.

Senza, the Dolphins were beat last Sunday by talent, not continuity. Of the 10 most talented players on the field, 9 were Patriots and we have Wake.

This isn't rocket science.

Andrew,

So many of those offensive plays they knew exactly what they were doing and we were clueless. The only way you execute that well is with continuity. Talent of course is a factor, but they were well too rehearsed while we were experimenting. Hopefully Phiblin learned something about coaching.

Orlando Dolphan says:

my argument is that Welker is good but Brady has made him great. I would love to see Bess' or Hartline's numbers if Brady was throwing them the ball.
=====================================================
Keep this in context, the numbers that I gave you of 67 receptions and 687 yds. was from 2006 when Joey Harrington a back up QB for the Dolphins was throwing to Welker. That point I made to counter your statement about Bess. Bess would never put up the numbers that Welker has with New England. Bess does not have the quickness or the ability to create instant separation that Welker has. Bess just does not have the skillset of Wes Welker. New England will most likely keep Welker for less of a salary.

Orlando Dolphan | January 01, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Wes Welker is a great underneath threat in the system the Pats run. I don't believe the future HOF'er has that career in Miami or alot of other places except maybe Indy or now Denver with Peyton the King of using the slot WR in making Brandon Stokely very relevant as well would he be better than the players we have then you bet but is he better than the players you mentioned and I don't know at this stage and comparing their past accomplishments isn't very fair. Welker had R.Moss drawing everything deep with Stallworth and now has a double T.E. formation in front of him which scares the Safety's to death while having the great Brady tossing it around.

Orlando Dolphan,

What most fans and Bill Parcells never will understand is that receivers like New England has used; Branch, Brown and guys like Smith from the Panthers, Moss from the Redskins have the ability to get open quickly so that the QB can see the separation. CB's have trouble changing direction for the receivers that I mentioned.

fin4life,

Welker at 33 most likely does not have a huge market out there. However his talents are far greater than Hartline or Bess. That was my point to Orlando Dolphan. It's kind of a mute point. I see Welker signing for less than he did for this season with the Patriots. Belichick is the innovator who uses the small receivers to get open for first downs underneath and the TE's who are so athletic that they can run down field and move the ball.

Yup.

no to jennings to slow we need to fast recievers and a fast te we need people dat can score bottom line tenny will throw show with some real weapons

The team stinks. They have a long way to go.

Henne > Tannehill

We lose to Tennessee and Buffalo with the season on the line. We are the game on every other teams schedule that they mark off as a win.

Sherman won't stick around. In a year or two Ireland and Philbin will be dismissed and it will be back to rebuilding again from scratch.

Could be, Let's face it.

Are we ever going to cover Welker? Ever?

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