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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?



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DC IS A MORON | January 10, 2013 at 03:39 PM

Brady had Antowain Smith who the Pats signed away from for the Bills later replacing him with Corey Dillon without mentioning 3rd down specialist Kevin Faulk in his 3 S.B. wins (All very above average players in the run game) The one were he doesn't have a RB was the 07 undefeated team were he had Lawrence Marroney but under the heavy rush was very inaccurate and held the ball to long on alot of plays were the 80's Marino would have been burning that pass rush like he did the 85 Bears (imagine the quick drop airing it out to Moss from Marino)

You guys keep it up with the Marino sucks comments we were a 4-12 team without him given at 1st it was a geriatric OL followed by a mediocre one with the likes of the very slow Tony Nathan (never forget him rundown by slow as hell LB Tom Jackson in Denver with a good 10 yard lead) Troy Stradford, Lo Hampton, Sammie, Parmalee Abdul Jabbar, JJ Johnson ect....

A D that featured the likes of Mike Charles an old Bokamper up front with Jay Brophy at MLB and JB Brown with Bud Brown in the secondary. later replaced by Bosa, Kumero, Robin Sindlien (who we traded Anthony Carter for imagine that 3 WR set for Marino) but some of you are right with this exceptional cast around him Marino should have won himself 5 Lombardi Trophies, SHEESH! and don't forget our slower than HELL T.E.'s Bruce Hardy, Dan Johnson and Joe Rose

Oh yeah, by the way, Adam Venitari won all the patriots Super Bowls for them. So kicking a feildgoal is kind of important.

I do agree with him that you need to be more aggressive in calling plays and coaching. We are and always have played on the safe side and I'm tired of it. Philbin will learn what it is to be a great coach, just give him more talent and another season.

As for comparing Marino to Brady, you are a moron. Marino never needed a field goal kicker to win him games.

Frank, it's noble that you say that however when Mando was live last week, we had quite a civil debate back and forth. So I don't understand why you have a problem with the critque I give him when he doesn't.

If he thought the blog would be a million times better without me here, he would've banned me or not engaged me on a back and forth many times as he's done over the years.

So take that for what it's worth and it's quite flattering that my comments have caught your attention. Yours on the other hand, I can't remember at all - except for confusing you with the comic of a similar name. He's quite good...

A valid point, and one to remember moving forward. I disagree with taking Brady over Marino. There has been no pure pocket passer then Marino in the history of the game, the only that you could argue for is Payton Manning.

And I the onlyone who remembers when Adam Vinatieri was the biggest post season hero in Patriot history???

Yeah, fgs are for losers alright ...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 10, 2013 at 03:32 PM

Is Tony Sporano your hero?

Now that Sparano has completely ruined the Jets franchise in one year, is it possible that New England might hire him as an offensive line coach or something? It's only fair that every team in the division be forced to put him on their coaching staff for at least one year.

No , LOL, but I remember the original Super Bowl winning Patriot team won theirs on defense and special teams. it wasn't always the Tom Brady show .. people tend to lose sight of that.

The guy expects a lot from a first year coach. Reads like unrealistic Miami fan whining.

I agree with that guy 100 percent. I was thinking similar thoughts...a FG?? Why?
Go for it, we were deep in their territory and not going to the playoffs.... Nuff said...ole Philibin needs to grow a pair in many situations. We are tired of FG's here in The MIA, we want wins...use that new QB we got on 4th down

That isn't a lot to expect when you are getting paid millions to coach at the highest level...you should be expecting nothing but the best...or move on and find a coach that can get the job done.

I'm not calling for his head here either so calm down...I'm just sayin

I agree.
If anyone deserves to be on the outs in miami, its the man with the ultimate decision making in GM Jeff Ireland and his poor IQ of a term "pro scouts" that look for the talent on this team year after year.

He didnt set Sparano up for success in any way with the addition of Bi-Polar hot head Brandon Marshall as your #1 reciever and Chad Henne as your QB for the Future.

He didnt do anything to help Philbins case or his Rookie QB out with anything other than NFL experience in their first year here.The overall talent on the field has not been good enough to consider anything successful but very small steps in progression in a very mediocre status quo type of team over the last decade and then some.

"A valid point, and one to remember moving forward. I disagree with taking Brady over Marino. There has been no pure pocket passer then Marino in the history of the game, the only that you could argue for is Payton Manning."


Couldn't agree more. Marino's single season passing yards was a record that stood for 27 years. Now Drew Brees has had back to back 5000 yard seasons??? His TD record of 48 stood for 20 years before Manning broke it. Clearly the NFL has changed so that it favors the offenses, the QB's, & the receivers.

Marino would throw for 6000 yards in today's NFL & he'd barely ever get touched.

First off - Brady over Marino? Is the sky blue in your world Stephen? That's a joke. The only thing that fails to be mentioned is that Philbin really hasn't had a chance to coach "his" players yet. Believe me, there were a lot of guys on the field against New England in the last game that won't be playing in the Dolphins first playoff game next year. But to be fair, one thing I will agree with - ALL NFL coaches are too conservative. It has been this way for 50 years. They all do the same thing in the same situations - that's not just Philbin, thats all NFL coaches.

we will see how great belicheck is when brady retires. I bet his coward Arse will retire too. His specialty is defense and that defense has sucked for years now. How many guys has he drafted on defense that have been BUSTS! Plus they havent won a superbowl since they went from a defensive team to an offensive team.

Yeah, agreed, Marino is the MAN period

Thanks WHDP,
Its really hard to say we have an avergage coach, when hes coaching another coaches players and "eperts" picked the Fins to win maybe 4 games all year.. and they even had more of an inside look with HK this year. So to compare him to Crennel and Mularky is unfair. What happened to Mularky is unfair as well but the writting as on the wall as any new GM would want their own coach..

Slam - how good was he when Vinnie Greenballs was his QB in Cleveland? Thats how good he will be. 6-10 every year.

Some seem to forget S.B.-38 MVP was Pats WR Deion Branch and Troy Brown could flat out run past secondaries. The T.E. were no slouches with Jermain Wiggins and Ben Watson while a very good OL kept him clean punching holes for 1,000 rushers Antowain Smith and Corey Dillon while Kevin Faulk was always making plays but yeah Brady had zero to work with and by the way S.B.-35 MVP could have easily been Ty Law who eliminated Isaac Bruce from the game aside from adding a pick-6

If Sparano was the HC of New England with Brady and Company, they still would have 5 SB's and then people would actually think fist pump was something only seen in *SEX FETISHES*

No , LOL, but I remember the original Super Bowl winning Patriot team won theirs on defense and special teams. it wasn't always the Tom Brady show .. people tend to lose sight of that.


Come on...Brady wins games all by himself. Brady doesn't need anyone else around him or anyone to protect him. LOL.

and tom brady couldnt hold marinos jock strap. Marino was throwing for 5000 yards when defenses could actually play defense. TOm brady cries to the ref every single time someone touches him

fin, these guys can't be Dolphins fans. I had a conversation with Kris a while back (and I'm not putting him in this category) but he was saying it's all about SBs, so in time Marino's legacy will fade. THAT argument I get.

But to say Marino sucks and blame him SOLELY for not winning a SB is totally ludicrous. It's ignorant b.s. coming from ignorant people. If you're a Dolphins fan, you have to love Marino. PERIOD! Or else I have to question if you're really a fan.

And Brady wouldn't last ONE GAME in the Marino era. This is the p*ssy era of football, so people should remember that (and put an asterisk by every QB that plays the game nowadays).

$hit, if thats the case, bring brady here then he would truly have to win in that predicament given our offensive situation. That I would like to very much see!

Thanks WHDP,
Its really hard to say we have an avergage coach, when hes coaching another coaches players and "eperts" picked the Fins to win maybe 4 games all year.. and they even had more of an inside look with HK this year. So to compare him to Crennel and Mularky is unfair. What happened to Mularky is unfair as well but the writting as on the wall as any new GM would want their own coach..


It's totally unfair what happened to Mularky. MJD was hurt all year. It takes more than a year to turn around a franchise like the Jaguars or the Browns or the Dolphins for that matter.

All those draft picks coming up in April and we have this foolish organization in charge!!! Pathetic just pathetic

WHDP, brady certainly does now but not in that year. Come on dude, 85 pass yards going into the final drive. He was a classic game manager in his formative years.

This coming season just spare me every first down from Reggie to the left. So predictable

"If you're a Dolphins fan, you have to love Marino. PERIOD! Or else I have to question if you're really a fan."

Absolutely or you're cranky old goat still clinging to Bob Griese & the 'Perfect Season.'

DC, what people also forget is that the Super Bowl winners during Marino's era didn't change every year. There were only a certain number of teams that won during his years. SF, NYG, Wash, and Dallas. it wasn't like today's NFL gang bang era where everyone gets a turn.

Peyton probably wouldn't have won back then either.

Bernie Kosar,now that was a QB. He was 1/2 Cuban from all the black beans and rice he ate at his classmates Houses when in UM.

I agree. To often in the NFL coaches and teams play defense and ball control trying to not lose the game. A game should be played to win. You take chances. Sometimes they will work and sometimes they won't but at least you will have tried. The philosphy of defense and ball control since Jimmy Johnson came in has not worked. In today's game you have to throw the ball around on offense regadless of who is on the field. On defense you need to blitz and take chances to get turnovers so you can get the ball back.

As far as Marino or Brady. I think in todays game with todays rules that lean so heavily towards the offense, if Marino was in his prime with Duper, Clayton and Moore he'd be putting up crazy numbers in the current NFL. Look what he did before the league rules were geared to be this pass happy.

Spot on, good read!

The game was totally and completely MEANINGLESS! What we SHOULD have done, is played it like we would a pre season game. Our starters should have gotten a series or two, then we should have played all our youngsters to see what they can do. The outcome of the game meant nothing, so we should have played it accordingly, and used the opportunity to evaluate our youngsters. Instead, the coaches opted to play to win...but it was obvious that our players didn't want to be there, and played like it too.


I root for Miami and anybody that plays the cheats, Jets and the Crimson Tide!

yeah where all those idiots loving sparano

If Tannehill doesn't have 30 TD's next year, I'm going to be one unhappy Dolphan...

Usually, Cubans and Jews don't make good Football Players. Too smart for that.

I agree with the writer, Joe Philbin did not show anything this year that we haven't seen from the previous year I don't think Philbin has the respect of the players and he is not a great motivator and he hasn't shown me anything that warrants hope for this team next year!

Tim Burke
Obviously you do not understand
So you education is declined.

I agree with benchmarking against the best in the business but you have to remain fair when doing so, i mean it is hard to compare apples with oranges; it would be interesting to find out the status in which Bellycheat took the Pats and did the first year and with what sort of players drafted and in roster. Also, our coach himself knows and has admitted he must improve, the first thing to inspire and lead others is to know yourself, he seems to have that already, i like that he has a plan for everything, failing to plan is planning to fail. Lastly, the team did take some "aggresive" or "risky" decisions throughout the season. We need to support this new coaching staff and FO and see progress next season, at the end of which i also expect playoffs, my initial reaction

The only way to judge whether Stephen's point(s) are valid is to ask the following: 1 - Would Belichick have taken the same chances with the Dolphin players? and 2 - Would Philbin have taken more chances with the Patriots players? My guess is that 1 = NO and 2 = YES

dumbest rational i've ever read!!! no coach, especially not BB is going to go for a 4th and 9 down 14 in the freaking 1st quarter, or the 2nd and most likely the 3rd!! to even post this stupid letter on your blog proves what a moron you are!!

Is New England the best team in the AFC East, yes I'll concede that fact, but New England isn't the best team in the NFL therefore not the team I want Maimi worry about...Miami played San Fran tough for 3 1/2 qtrs and beat Seattle with a come from behind win late in the fourth qtr and both teams beat New England soundly...the players get on the field with the Pats and just freeze up. It's a mindset fellas step up and take whats yours, stop worrying about Brady and make him fear you...he's human...ask the Giants

I can't believe we are judging Philbin's qualifications to lead this team into the future based off of one play in a 28-0 loss in week 17 after we were eliminated from the playoffs.

Mr Salguero the rest of the regulars want to know what address to send you their letters to,and they also want a Patriot address so they can send some to bean town.

It is easy to gamble when you have stolen signals for the opposing defense. They could often tell Brady which receiver would be open for goodness sake.
What happened after the 2007 season when Bill Belly gambled on 4th down against the Giants in the SB? It seems that decision is as easy to forget as Spygate for most New England fans.

No sean bobos manden sus cartas a el miami herald

The truth is nobody really knows whether Philbin is a good coach or a bad coach. I'd lean toward good because I only expected them to win 5 or 6 games this year and they won 7. He split with the Bills and the Jets (beating both soundly the second time) and he did all of this with a rookie QB.

But the reason it's so hard to evaluate Philbin, let alone compare him to Belicheck and the loaded Patriots roster is because Philbin's handicapped by FIreland's ineptitude in assembling the roster. Look at the FAs he signed, look at Michael Egnew, look at the fact that he traded the Dolphins best WR (at a discount) and you can't help but realize that it's impossible to give credit too much of the blame or the credit to Philbin for last season. Give him at least another year at the helm and see whether or not he grows, see whether or not he gets more playmakers on the roster and better play from the guys already here.

What was the final score 28 to 0, I agree with no aggressivness, playing punk ball, scared to take chances, thats not going to win in this league when you don't have the talent to compete to start with. The game is 50% luck and 50% talent, if you get lucky you win, but if you don't try, you are going to loose anyway. This is a passing game now not like it used to be, you have got to take chances or end up 7 and 9.

I think the chances of converting 4th and 9 with the Dolphins receiving game as it was this year, is highly unlikely.

In general, 3rd or 4th and longs are not converted much of the time (probably in the 20-30% chance range).

He probably has a good point but his example is a poor one.

Problem with this is that it was early in the game.. Yes if you kick a FG you are still two TD's from a tie.. Make the FG and you are now two TD's from a win.. At that point I take the 3 pts.. If the game was in the 4th qtr then go for it.. I bet you Armamdo's paycheck that Bellecheat kicks the FG there if he is the on down 14 zip.. Once again an arm chair QB knows how to coach better than someone with Philbin's experience and resume. Stupid fans.. Stupid Mando...

don't know if the FG was the right way to go but the chances of us winning weren't really affected by it either way. We couldn't stop NE from scoring and they were already up 2 TD'S. nonsense to think that a TD as opposed to an field goal would have some how transformed our defense to a level to stop the #1 offense in the NFL!

How has Armando not been fired? Now he's reprinting troll-mail from Patriot fans pretending to be a Dolphin fan.

EPIC FAIL by Armando.

Utterly duped, and weirdly proud of it.


I for one would NOT take Tom Brady over Dan Marino...but if we were offered Boston area beat writers?

I'd do that trade in a heartbeat.


AMEN. Great letter Quigley. But the Philbin regime has bigger issues they need to improve upon. They failed to coach up difficult and/or prima donna players with talent -- I mean really, we couldnt make it work with even one of Vontae, Marshall, Ocho, or Egnew? (Vontae was the real fumble in this group). It will crush them (and us fans) in the long run if they can't work with imperfect talent. Tough it up coaches! And the regime was slow to develop potential but unproven young talent -- from what I saw of Miller and Matthews, I wanted to see a lot more. Look at what Vernon did on special teams. Trust the youngsters and let them and our chances grow. This regime is a BIG, BIG improvement over the last one. That gives me hope. But they can and need to get much better to beat that Pats, and that is all that matters. -- Pete S. Fin Fan in VA.

agree aggressive play balls great fan that is and he is right!

I think is time to go after J.Gruden ! Philbin is not all there 1/2 the times with his roster decision, I did not like giving up V.Davis and B.Marshalls before the season started and M. Moore deserve a shot to challenge Tannehill for a starting QB ## At times it seems like his game planning is Sparanoish____ Every Fans knows that you have to find a way to beat the Patriots to have a chance of winning your division and until Philbin does, or should I say I hope he does before his contract is up __ Philbin will be no more than another N.Saban .

dolphins need to stay the course in nfl draft, add a few young play making free agents keeping core young still...keep bush and ad a big bruising back,but wr's and a stud tight end who can break plays and get yards after the catch...plus i know chris rainey got in trouble and cut by steelers...this guys a playmaker and has lethal ability! miami can go get best wr and tight end in nfl draft..they have the chips to play all in..big offseason and ireland needs to go aggresive fast...miami should already have a list of free agents and rookies they want...go make it happen like the teams we see winning superbowls over and over again..

Marino was better then Brady even though Brady won three super bowls doesn't matter, this era of football is way different then it used to be plus Brady has had ruled changed just for him

agree that its worth considering and the writer makes a decent point but I dont see it as a big deal/factor at this point......plus, Philbin did call a few trick plays this year, which we havent seen much of for awhile, so he showed he's willing to take some risks--small issue in the big picture, IMO.

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