« Growing consensus: Egnew won't make it | Main | Cameron Wake is All NFL »

A Dolfan's warning to Joe Philbin

With his rookie season as an NFL head coach behind him, Joe Philbin probably has the trust of most Miami fans because, well, he didn't totally screw up.

He was fine.

The team was 7-9.

And like practically everyone else on the team, the coach needs to get better at his job.

So there's that. But I recently got a letter from a Dolphins fan in New England who doesn't compare what Philbin is to Cam Cameron any other Dolphins coach who failed. He compares him to Bill Belichick because that's the guy he's got to beat.

And right now, the comparison is not exactly kind.

The letter from Stephen Quigley of Massachusetts:


As a lifelong Dolphins fan living in New England I have a better feel for the Patriots than the Dolphins. It is clear that Tom Brady plays at a level that a Dolphin fan can only dream about.  I love Dan Marino but I would take Brady every day of the week and certainly twice on any Sunday that mattered.:

The problem I see for so many teams is conservative coaching.  Yesterday was a perfect example.  Miami is down two TD’s early in the game.  The second TD comes at the end of an all too easy 92-yd drive.  The Dolphins get the ball back and move down the field; the result of some nice plays and a questionable roughing the passer penalty.  Regardless they are faced with a 4th and 9 at the Patriots 24-yd line.  What do they do?  A 41-yd field goal attempt with a replacement kicker.  Why?  Even if Kaeding makes the kick it is still a two TD game.  The kick is missed and NE walks right down the field again and score a third TD.  The game was on the verge of getting out of hand (it did) so what is the benefit of getting 3pts closer when you are 7-8 playing against a superior team on the road?  Would Joe Philbin have been pleased with a 28-3 loss?

You cannot match TD’s with field goals.  That was Tony Sporano’s philosophy (see yesterdays Jets loss) and he is a bum. Belichick and Brady gamble all of the time.  They have talent and experience.  How can a team with less talent and less experience even consider playing any less aggressively?  The coaching staff must play to win the game and not play to keep their job.  In  Superbowl XXXVI, Belichick gambled on Brady against a superior team at the end of the game.  The result was a stunning upset of the high powered Rams.  Do you know why?  Because Belichick did not want to risk the Superbowl on a flip of the coin or wait for the other guy to screw it up.  He wanted to win it and was willing to deal with the fallout if they did not.  That decision took a lot of guts but that is how this game must be played.  Belichick was not a proven head coaching commodity at that time and neither was Brady a future Hall of Famer.  Not yet.

Joe Philbin did nothing this year that we have not seen for years.  Brady is going to be playing at a high level for at least three more seasons.  Will Joe Philbin be around still?  Not coaching the way he did yesterday.

I read your article today and I agree yesterday was a disaster.  My concern is that ownership might not see it that way.  It is not just the players in my opinion. 

In contrast the Miami Dolphins website notes that the Dolphins are clearly the second best team in the division.  Second best?

Thank you,


I think he makes a valid point. The Dolphins weren't going to beat the Patriots in New England in December by kicking field goals from the Pats' 24. Moreover, the team had nothing to lose and played as if this was some sort of battle for an AFC East title. I know that's history now, but it is something that merits consideration going forward.

So what do you think?



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

If you have Belichick's players, you can take more chances. Isn't that obvious?

The general point that Miami may need to be more daring and creative is well taken, but Stephen's letter is not the way to support that point.


Exactly how much experience does this writer have and exactly who's nfl payroll is this guy on?


This was a game to practice. Dolphins were not winning so what is the point to be agressive ? Take it as a practice for a "regular" game.


NFL coaches do not deserve nor get honeymoon periods anymore. Look at Crennel and Mularkey today.

We have an average coach. He was 7-9.

It's up to him to prove to us he's better than average next year.

The only real point this guy had, and even he didnt discuss it, is had we gone for it on 4th down and failed. Brady would have only had 7 more yards to drive his teamfor that score.

On missed fg's, the ball is placed at the spot of the kick(7yds behind the line of scrimmage). The failed 4th down try places the ball at the line of scrimmage. We lost 7yds trying to take a "better chance of scoring points".

Maybe this guy is clueless about the present fins offense. Even though we were going into the wind, this offense, had a better chance to put points on the board kicking into a stiff wind.

The run game wasnt juggernaut, and all game long the announcers were harping how our recievers were getting nearly zero separation. So what makes this guy think going for it 4th and 9 was going to "somehow magically make all of this disappear"?

Geesh, youre gullible Armando! LOL...

This is big problem across the NFL... The Dolphins had NOTHING TO LOSE in that final game. Why not take some chances? Fake punts, trick plays, throw so deep balls, if they don't work, who cares - at least you tried. Instead, like most teams, you played conservative and were SHUT OUT. That gives your fan base such optimism for next year... if you don't care, why should we?

It was 4th and 9 not 4th and short. Remember when Belicheat "gamboled" against the Colts and failed a few years back. If Philbin did this people would be calling for his job.

I don't think I ever thought to myself, "We have a great coach" at any time this year. He's not exactly fiery. He doesn't look or sound like a great motivator and neither the offense nor defense improved statistically nor dramatically from the year before.


I think Philbin did fine. The team after all did better than expected.

I don't believe he is overlly conservative as this letter is getting to. I do remember some attempts on 4th and a very well timed fake punt during the season. At least not as bad as Sparano. Philbin is an offensive minded coach. Not a hope the O doesn't mess this up and the D pitches a shutout coach.

Brady is going to be playing at a high level for at least three more seasons. Will Joe Philbin be around still?

Heck, this writer may not still be around on his present job either. Welcome to the world of tarnished crystal balls. LOL...

For the most part I agree however the biggest misconception in NFL history is that Brady in that superbowl against the rams won the game. he had 85 yards passing going into the final drive of the game. If not for a super human effort by Ty Law, lawyer Milloy, Terrell Buckley, and the rest of that secondary, brady never gets a chance in that final drive. Brady was hidden for that entire game save for that last drive. But as usual winners get to write the history books and those who were around to remember it only get to provide an opinion.

i think pats defense pats too much credit.

Would completely change our defense if we scored 30 points a game.

Might give up a few more big plays, but will get more int's and fumbles.

I could never agree more!!

I felt the same way during that game!!

You show your players that you have confidence in them and willing to take chances.

Philbin is as doomed as Sparano was with Ireland as a GM.

I saw the onsides kick in NY against the Jets. That was great. 2nd posession? Ballsy. I hope to see more creative risk taking in the future. there has to be timing. That play I feel increased momentum and all but put the nail in the coffin. The Jets are a mess, but the dolphins essentially won the game on that play. Hope to see more.

Wow. What an ignorant letter. Had Philbin "gone for it" on 4th and 9 in the cold weather, we could have lost a player to an injury, maybe even Tannehill. Sure, injuries happen all the time, but imagine the uproar if Tannehill had a career-ending injury over a meaningless play in a meaningless game?

NE played their hearts out because they had homefield and a bye at stake. Miami had nothing on the line. If anything, Philbin should have put in more backups to see what they have before Free Agency and the draft.

The point is, knuckle duster, hat you have to try!

It was a meaningless game that would not get Philbin fired. It means that in a meaningless games, the phins were playing as if they were trying to protect something. What were they protecting? In big games, the Pats are aggressive. Even in meaningless games, we are not.

That's a philosophy & one that has haunted this team since Shula left. The teams that win in todays NFL take chances, not the ones who settle for FG's, especially in meaningless games.

If you wanna make an omelete you gotta break a few eggs!

Is that A loco's real name....

Stephen Quigley???

The entire Dolphin franchise is a joke from the top down. Its the blind leading the blind.

The NE guy nailed it. The Dolphin's entire front office is built to win. Not just now, but well into the future. The clueless circus monkey owner states the change he wants to bring is "win". What owner would say "lose"?
Armando and the rest of the S. Fla. media is way too soft on this ownership team. Philbin won't have a job in 3 years unless the philosophy changes from the top down. Jeffy FIRELAND's days are numbered too. Maybe MS. Ross can sell the team to a no nonsense take no prisoners kind of guy. Until then, the seats in Joe Robbie Stadium will remain empty.

db, what name r u gonna post under next season after 4 of irecorns 1st 5 pix r scrubbing toilets by the opener.?

And if we had Tom Brady then Philbin would probably take more chances. The play of your QB determines whether a coach takes chances. It is so ridiculous to compate What Bellichek has done because he has Tom Brady, do you think he would take these chances with Bledsoe! Bellichek was a hack before Brady fell into his lap. The players on the team dictate if a coach should take chances.

no such thing as a meaningless game.

My previous post should have said the Patriots entire front office is built to win.

brady was nobody 'til belli coached him ^.

The FINS got they're @sses handed to them because NE is a far superior team....and UNLIKE the game played a moth earlier....The FINS had a clear MOTIVATION to win the game....a 1ST RD bye was on the line....

We have seen the PATS 2nd and 3rd stingers dismantle the Miami Dolphins in the final games of seasons past....when the PATS had nothing to play for....

Why would anybody think that game would be any different....

Because the PATS OVER-LOOKED us enroute to kicking the TEXANS @sses the following week...

delusions of granduer....

Philbin did fine his FIRST YEAR OUT....he had mistakes...and he will get better....

have trump buy the phinz.

Yeah Neil, like Scott Pioli and Josh McDaniels. It starts and ends with Brady first, Belicheck second. That's it, that's all. When those two end, NE goes back into the pack. Plain and simple.

how did the castle led ne team do.
how is castle doing at kc.?

it's belli.


Belicheat still had to have the CONVICTION to stay with Brady....and then dump Bledsoe for him the following year....

Yes....he got Lucky with Brady on the team....But Brady didn't become the Brady WE now see over night....

Thisn was @ least 2 years in the making....his play was conservative to say the least....

Charlie Weiss, Romeo Crennel, yeah, all built to win!

All of those guys should still be paying royalties to brady and bellicheck.

ne kkk o.
9 starters r white.

Agree. Philbin is, indeed, garbage, as I have repeatedly educated you.

it's not the k-gun o.
it's the kkk gun o.

I wonder if you got permission to use the guys name before you plastered his name & location on the internet.

I agree with FED UP.

Ross should offer Bellichick 25 mill/ yr to take over.

I generally agree with Stephen that teams need to take chances to win (and get more shots at the offense staying on the field). But Stephen said himself, it was a meaningless game. So the players obviously threw in the towel.

Also, they were up 14-0. You STILL need 3 scores to win the game. This was before halftime and if I remember right we got the ball first in the 2nd half. So Philbin was thinking we kick a FG, stop their last drive, then score with our 1st possession in the 2nd half and now it's 14-10 and a ballgame.

So I don't really fault him for the FG attempt there. Where I DO fault him/Sherman is the play calling in the 2nd half. VERY conservative and uncreative. Not going to beat many teams (especially the Pats) with those plays. But I think Philbin realized the team was flat and gave up so he didn't push it too much.

Awesome handle, Randy Poffo, RIP!!!

Macho Man Randy Savage!!!!

(Randy Poffo is Randy Mach Man Savage's real name)

All I know is we won't win anything until brady retires. Even philbin said as much. Philbin will be gone in a couple of years and we'll see if a new coach can help us beat NE.

I think this fan, just like a lot of other fans, just like you Mr. Salguero...need to get over yourselves. Seriously. It is easy to scream to be aggressive from the living room couch, or AFTER the results have happened. You want to compare BB to JP well then lets compare. BB first season as NE HC?? 5-11. How much risk and aggression and gambling does it take to go 5-11? His first 3 years as a HC period? 20 - 28. BB did't have a winning season as a HC until his 4th season as a HC and on his 2nd team. Which his 2nd HC opportunity came 5 years after his initial. Granted a lot has changed since then but seriously WHY are we trying to compare a person with 18 years of HC experience with a man who just wrapped up his first? It is also VERY amussing Armando, how your articles constantly flip flop throughout the year. One artice is "screw it, what is wrong with you Philbin, forget the results of the games and the season and play/see what the younger players can do" then the next artice is "what is wrong with you Philbin why are you not trying to be ultra aggressive and win this game"? I realize you have demands to meet and customers to apease to write these articles but jesus christ dude you are bipolar as crap.


tannehenne's led o scored 0 pts.

philbin coaches scared when it comes to games against better teams. he did that with the pats and the niners.
He's already thinks we're gonna lose before taking a snap. The players play scared when their coach is scared. Philbin won't be here after next year so maybe the next coach can finally beat NE. hopefully brady will be gone by then


I see where you're comming from....but what if Philbin had gotten more agressive....

and then that score goes from 28-0 to 42-0 or 45 or more because Belicheat felt dis-respected...and we ALL know Belicheat will run the score up if he wants to....

We wer aggressive against the TEXANS....they scored like 30 points in 6 football minutes....

Sherman got agressive against the jets (1st game)....Tanne threw a pick 6 that was the difference in the score....

I have seen out team and young QB play agressive...and they results rarely worked n our favor.....

how many games did tex a+m win w/ a brand new coach + a brand new qb.?.

You're debating a coach's call in a blowout when there are, er, somewhat more important issues? What about an owner who retains a GM who trades Brandon Marshall for Michael Egnew and an additional 3rd round bust to be named in April? A GM so sure of his instincts that he trades Vontae Davis for what turns out to be a low 2nd rounder? A GM so myopic he strips an already talent-challenged team of two impact players? An owner who never noticed, if his sickening press conference is indication. An owner who like odious Huizenga before him rewards failure -- remember, Wannstedt was recommended by Johnson and thus hired, not fired. The despicable Ireland was retained after mentor Parcells scuttled off a la Johnson. Consider the Parcells/Ireland accomplishment -- in 5 years two "keeper" players, Wake and Rashad Jones (maybe). Pouncey doesn't count -- he's a center so he better be good for a 15th pick. The rest of the roster is replaceable despite some good players. Ross and many Miami scribes see progress? What a joke or maybe their expectations of success predicate to a 9-7 season one year.

Mr. Quigley, switch to the patriots. We don't need fans like you.

Post of the YEAR @ 2:56...

Ross, the worst owner in sports.

j phil can't take chances when the qb blows.

I just hope we use our heads this offseason. I hope we don't approach the FA conservatively. I bet if they get a top flight WR1 and a well known TE the seats begin to fill even before the wins come. People pay to be present for times of greatness. I know when I pay that type of money I am looking for that one huge play which mounts a comeback victory. Oh well I still say GO PHINS 2013!!

Therion, if I understand your post which is very hard to do, you're saying we should believe in the same thing for every game.

The fact is every game is different and calls for different strategy. You kick that FG in the season opener because you want to get on the board and maybe win a game that will determine playoff seeding.

In the final game of the season when you know you don't have a great team and you know you're going home, you roll the dice more. You do things that a desperate coach does because now you know what a crap team you have and you need to push more buttons.

You're welcome for the education.

'til another team goes 19-0.
the phinz will never win another sb.

Does anyone know id Ed Kaplan is still alive? He used to work at WQAM late at night when I was a kid. He was always talking about Vegas Numbers for games also was an a hole

OOoOOOH yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!

I can see it's gettin' pretty hot in here. Dig it?!??

Philbin knew there's NO WAY TanneBust converts a 4th and 9 on the road! He just sux.

I'll still take Marino in his prime over Brady any day thank you very much... but otherwise... I can't find much fault in the letter...

1 2 3 4 5 »

The comments to this entry are closed.