PHOENIX -- I had breakfast with Joe Philbin this morning. Actually he had a mandatory breakfast with all the media covering this event. He had a sausage and egg burrito, french toast, some fruit and coffee. I had everything else.
He spoke for about an hour.
Philbin discussed some of his former Green Bay, some of which have been rumored as coming to the Dolphins. On Jermichael Finley: "Competed hard, practiced hard. Good guy."
Philbin on the read option: "It's a good play. We have it in our offense. But it's not a magical. You can stop it."
Philbin boils down Michael Egnew's problem last year gettig on the field: He talked about not seeing enough from him in practice. Made occassional play but it was rare. Then Philbin boiled it down by saying, "It's his play speed." Philbin wants Egnew to get his "speed it up." Yeah, not good.
The Dolphins studied Mike Wallace by studying every play he ran the past two years. They studied every catch. They studied every drop. They studied every pass patter he ran. Philbin said it's untrue Wallace is a one-trick pony, running only go routes. He added that Wallace won't be running go routes exclusively in Miami.
Joe Philbin gushed about Greg Jennings and said the report that suggested Philbin didn't really like the former free agent wide receiver was untrue. "I don't know where that came from that Joe Philbin doesn't like him."
Philbin is a very even-keel guy. Not excitable. But he wants you, the fans, to get fired up. "I want our fans to expect us to be a good football team."
Philbin wants better production from his defense as far as turnovers: "I'd like us to be a better blitz team," he said.
Philbin said part of reason Ellerbe and Wheeler were added was to get "more impactful plays.
Philbin said the team is not at stage to consider bringing in competition for Dan Carpenter but "we'll consider anything."
Philbin said John Jerry needs to stay on his feet better. But the primary thing the team is concerned about relative to Jerry is ... his weight. When Jerry left after the season he was told, "let's see how much you weigh when come back."
TE Dustin Keller's blocking has been called to question: "We have to be smart about game planning and what we ask him to do." Still has desire to do it."
I asked you Philbin if he's convinced Ryan Tannehill will become a good quarterback. He offered this: "There's nothing to me that suggests he's not going to be a good quarterback."
... And this: "I think he's going to be a very good quarterback, sure."
You've likely read me refer to 'Philbin guy" on this blog. What's a Philbin guy? "I want good decent people that want to be there, want to win. We can work with those kind of guys." And this: "I want a guy when shuts door on car and is in the building he's excited about being there ..."
Philbin says he feels team has established culture and free agents have to fit in to that. "Fall in line" is a term he used.
Philbin said he feels the team did too much meeting in classroom and not enough lifting so Dolphins are changing that this year.
Joe Philbin suggested the plan in free agency was to fill needs at all positions so the Dolphins could go into the draft feeling they could go in any direction they want. Meanwhile he's not satisfied with how thigns are today: "I don't know we're complete at any position."
You'll remember I've told you that the Dolphins believe Jonathan Martin can be a solid left tackle if he gets stronger but the question is will he want to do that? Will he work hard enough? Philbin said Martin is "all business and working at his trade" so he wants to get stronger, better. Philbin said Martin has to add consistency to his game. And, as a tackle, he has to block all defensive ends, "not 11 out 16 DEs" and do by himself. Consistently.
Philbin said it is only coincidence the Dolphins '12 leadership council, including Jake Long, Karlos Dansby and Reggie Bush are gone: "We think we have some excellent leaders on the football team now.
That's all for now. Check back again and again for updates from the NFL annual meeting.