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Joe Philbin has work to do

The Dolphins won their season-opener on Sunday. They have a 1-0 record and are tied for the AFC East division lead.

And coach Joe Philbin has a problem.

That's because the Dolphins head coach has at least three players who are quite unhappy even after the Dolphins are coming off a 23-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

You already know that receiver Mike Wallace was unhappy after the game and I have confirmed through a source close to the WR that he was livid because he fact he didn't get a pass thrown his way in the first half and it got little better in the second half.

Wallace actually declined to speak because he didn't want to throw coaches under the bus. But despite his effort to not make waves, Wallace's actions -- an obvious display of displeasure over the way he was used  -- show he's a problem now.

How else to describe a player who pouts after his team wins?

Then there's Randy Starks. He is not a happy camper either, although he played very, very well on Sunday as shown by his 1.5 sacks.

He did not start Sunday, making that only the second time in the past 64 games with the Dolphins that happens. And Starks has let it be known to his teammates and others he's not happy about his status as a backup.

He believes he was the starter last year and should be so again this year. He believes he is Miami's franchise player, which he is, and did nothing to lose his job.

Yet there was Jared Odrick in the starting lineup Sunday.

Sound minor?

It's not to Starks. He is not happy about this. It is a major issue for him, believe it or not.

And then there's this:

Starks and the Dolphins have exchanged contract proposals. So far, there is no deal. Starks isn't thrilled about that, either, although this is considered a secondary issue at worst. It's not major for Starks at this point. So that much, I know.

I cannot, however, tell you with certainty whether Starks showed his displeasure with the coaching staff, or perhaps the personnel department that is negotiating with his agent, when he flipped off the Dolphins sideline after a sack Sunday -- pictured below.

That would be speculation and I'm not ready to connect those dots.

Let's just say it looked like a message. It didn't seem coincidental even if it might have been.

Starksflips

Then there's Paul Soliai. He is very, very angry, according to a source close to him.

Why is a member of the Dolphins leadership council upset at the team?

Well, it's a contract thing. Soliai and the team have been trying to negotiate a new extension for a couple of weeks. The talks heated last week and the Dolphins offered three new years that would have kept Soliai with the team through the 2016 season.

But the sides couldn't agree on guaranteed money.

And the sides couldn't agree on tactics.

It seems Soliai believes he's been a good soldier and took less money to stay with the Dolphins two years ago when he signed a two-year, $12 million deal. Soliai, I'm told, walked away from a five-year deal worth $35 million with $15 million in guaranteed money in 2010. And he did so happily.

He loves South Florida.

And when this round of negotiations opened for the player in his final contract year, Soliai told his agent, David Canter, to do whatever it took to stay with the Dolphins again.

But then, Dawn Aponte, the Dolphins executive Vice President of Football Administration who is handling this negotiation for the team, seriously insulted the Soliai camp with one of her offers.

The e-mail offer was dubbed a take-it-or-leave-it offer and Canter not only left it, he walked away from the negotiations altogether. And then he took to twitter to rip the Dolphins for their "tactics."

"We're fed up with their tactics," he wrote on twitter.

Canter called the Dolphins approach one of delivering "ultimatums."

Another Soliai source said the offers so upset the player that he feels he's ready to no longer be part of the team in the future and that the idea of asking for a trade was floated within the family. No such request has been made, but you get the idea.

Paul Soliai is hurt and borderline angry. He feels he's been loyal and the Dolphins rewarded him with a lowball contract offer followed by a take-it-or-leave-it offer that wasn't even delivered in person.

So where does that all leave us?

Well, Philbin basically has to resolve this avalanche of unhappiness before it spreads. It's up to the coach to get his locker room in order before small issues turn to larger issues. It's up to the coach to solve the crisis.

I must tell you, the situation with Starks and Soliai is already spreading. Both are respected players and are considered team leaders. And although they aren't complaining publicly, for the most part, they are complaining to other teammates. The men in the locker room know there are issues with these guys.

And those with an opinion agree with Starks and Soliai.

I'm not certain what effect the Wallace issue is going to have. I don't know if there are issues between Wallace and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. I don't know if there are issues between Wallace and Philbin. I don't know if there are issues between Wallace and Tannehill because the quarterback didn't even look toward him in the first half Sunday.

But I know there are issues in general.

And there is only one person that can solve it -- Philbin.

Frankly, the Starks issue is one Philbin helped create. Seriously, what right thinking coach with a finger on the pulse of his locker room doesn't discern that starting is a big deal to a prideful veteran such as Starks and probably not nearly as big an issue to Odrick?

Well, then, start Starks. Problem solved.

Issue erased.

And yet, Philbin didn't see this coming even when outsiders such as the media and others could see it a mile away. The coach didn't act. And, as a result, he was standing on the sideline that Starks flipped off.

The Soliai issue is not Philbin's fault. But it is apparently one the he must resolve. Philbin has to somehow convince Soliai that he's appreciated and loved even while his consigliere, Aponte, is turning the screws on Soliai's agent.

Is Philbin capable of being so diplomatic? Is he capable of being a good actor? I have no idea. I have no idea if he even would want to do that.

The Wallace issue is more complicated because at the core, Wallace has a reason to be upset. He's the team's best receiver. He shouldn't be a decoy. If the team doesn't throw him the ball at all in the first half of a game, something's wrong with the game plan. Something is wrong with the philosophy behind that. Something is simply wrong.

No, Wallace didn't handle it well, although he tried. But he has a point.

Where does this all leave the Dolphins? I perceive Philbin will be talking to these players privately in the next few days. At least he should be.

If he doesn't, add this to the list of problem Joe Philbin has:  Not handling issues while they're still manageable.

 

Comments

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Armano, you have the best articles and love reading them. I disagree with a few things. First, Mike Wallace, are you kidding? He was double covered all day so Tannehill did what he was supposed to do and throw to his next check. He's young with a lot of expectations and doesn't want to risk throwing into double coverage just so a Diva receiver that trash talked all week would get a chance to back it up. Second Starks. ETA's are so called “volunteer” activities but we all know they aren't really. He is a leader and needed to be there but wasn’t because he wasn’t happy with the money that he agreed on in his contract. He has the option to go somewhere else after this year but for the time being he has a franchise tag so shut up and play and quit bitching. I would bench him the whole game for that finger stunt that makes the franchise look bad. What a thug. Third Paul Soliai. I totally agree with you on this one. That’s jacked up and team management has a history of this kind of stuff and it pisses off the fans too. It’s the same kind of crap they did to Jake Long too until he finally said screw it and went to the Rams for very little more money. We saw how big of a mistake that was today, huh.

Trade Wallace to San Francisco where they know how to utilize talent. Cut Starks and Soliai. It's about time NFL teams start reacting to these millionaire babies and not allow any of this to happen. I'd like to know what would happen if Wallace worked for a fast food restaurant and complained about not making enough burgers... It's me, me , me and it's sad because it's all about the money.

We keep on Winning everybody will be happy. Isn't that the point of this whole Game?

They might not be happy and all, but Starks and Soliai both played a hell of a Game.

Enough with the "F" Wallace comments!! He's human!

The guys got a point! I'm sure he was happy with the win but he wanted to be more involved with the win with his own receptions. ...I don't blame him. You pay a player $60mm to be "The Man" and then do this?

I was actually wondering if he was even in the game in the first half. In the 2nd half Tannehill had him open a few times and just whiffed. Even during questionable interferences. T-Hill's long ball accuracy is an issue and it was on the coaches to already have corrected the bomb connection to Wallace by now.

It was also on the coaches to have gotten Wallace more involved early. Even on short passes. Short hook ups would have kept Hayden honest and more susceptible to stop and go routes to the house. So try to be a little more objective and understanding about the situation.

PS: If the line doesn't start creating running lanes soon we will be in a world of pain with that issue.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2013/09/dolphins-win-but-wallace-upset/comments/page/7/#comments#storylink=cpy

If being pissed off results in a "W", well I'm all for it!!
We have bigger issues then that anyways! Our R.B's and O-Line. I know it's only game 1, but lets be honest, most of us seen this coming. Miller has upside, but he may never be more then a situational back, not every down. Thomas is just a goal line, back-up guy, that's it!
Might be wise to take on some insurance, like a Beannie Wells or Cedrick Benson types.
O-line just doesn't maul anyone, Martin looks passive!

bam!

This blog is complete sensationalism. The Dolphins won their opening game and you have nothing to say about the victory. All we get is this drivel trying to stir the pot and bring dessetion. Take a hike Armando. I have better things to read.

"We" have bigger issues lmao.

Makes a bottom feeder fan sound delusional.

"We"

"My team"

"Us"

"Our defense"

Football fans are beta males.

The players think you're idiots.

Seriously, get real.

Welcome to Club Mando!

Ryan Tannehill gets a C+

what the hell are you smoking?

What is very impressive is way Jeff Ireland has delegated negotiations with Soliai to Dawn Aponte. Not only is he giving her valuable experience, but it allows him to pursue better work-life balance. If a few players get hurt feelings along the way, that is the price of Dawn Aponte's education. Jeff Ireland, well done, sir!

The Dolphins are a ticking time bomb. Starks, Solei, Wallace unhappy. Grimes won't make it though the season. Tannebust is inaccurate. No O-Line, no running game.

Wheels on the bus go...

They fall off by week seven.

Colts 57 Sea World 2

I haven't commented in a very long time; I have been reading all the reports saying wallace is unhappy etc. etc., but I view this as the reporter (since 1 report gets spread by all the other writers) attempting to ask Mike about his only getting 1 catch and he said go ask coach. Ok in what part of this "go ask coach" is Mike saying he is unhappy with the coaches or game plan? One can make assumptions that he was upset because he only had one catch, was targeted 5 times, was used as a decoy, and on and on but what the media is portraying was not voiced in any way by Mike Wallace.

Mando, you do nothing but focus on the negative!

They are acting unprofessional. End of story.

There is no "but...they have a point"

You are nothing but a rabble rouser and your grade for Tannehill blows!

Dolphins new CEO is a Michigan alum...cronyism has really sunk the Phins. Started when J.J. handed over the team to Wannstedt...and Wannstedt fired Mike Westoff to bring in his buddy Keith Armstrong. It continues to this day with Ireland bringing in Dallas rejects and having a hard on for Texas boys, E. Gates and R Tannebust.

Just a pathetic organization.

Armando putting words in the players mouth because "go ask coach" was not what he wanted to hear.

Agreed, Armando: Philbin has to get things under control in a hurry. And how long before Sherman's poor game calling/planning becomes another thorny issue? Some strong tests coming up for the 2nd year HC. It's a lot easier to handle problems like this while winning... losing complicates matters.

Good to see Charles Clay contributing for the day as well as Hartline and Gibson. It's especially good to count picks by the secondary. Even though it's only one game, I'm almost hoping offenses challenge the Dolphins DBs this year like they did last year...

I said it in a previous post, that allowing Kheeston Randall to leave is going to bite them in the bum!

Your right Mando, Ireland and Philbin better eat some humble pie very soon and work with these guys. Before things spiral out of control and infects the team.

Respect is a 2 way street!!

Priority for Philbin is working on our awful running game.

Then:

1) tell Ireland to handle the Soliai's situation seriously
2) start Starks next week
3) remind Sherman of the basic rule of football: throw deep early to keep defenses honnest and open space for the running game. I mean, running plays and formations were just too easy to read this Sunday: even amateurs like readers of this blog could predict when a run was called

FIRE ROSS, you are a know not idiot.

Way too much BS for a team after a win!!!

If Starks really did that to the coaching staff, absolutely disrespectful!!! Nothing more to say!! I don't care how well he played!!

Armando can't we be happy after a win? I mean really why don't you write something positive.

If we don't find a running game it will be a very long season of losses. We let Bush go for Miller?

Here is a novel idea Armando; instead of jumping to the conclusion that he was upset with the game plan, how about maybe he was upset with the refs for not throwing a flag and refused to comment because everyone knows criticizing the refs is a no no.

We knew it was the right choice in preseason but Caleb Sturgis' rewarded Dolphins with 3 FGs, including 45 and 49 yarders. He will come in handy as the season progresses. Good 3rd down offense (50%) shown as the Tannehill to Gibson connection is working.

They can't afford to invest in both Starks & Soliai. Ireland has always been clueless on how to handle players. I believe the only course of action to take now is to trade Starks, extend Soliai & tell Sherman to get his head out of his arse and get Wallace the damn ball. Even after a win these guys look like clowns. And all of this doesn't even address a running game that can't even cross the line of scrimmage.


Dawn Apointe should be repremanded for that kind of negotiations with key players. These aren't pencil pushers that you can replace easily. This is her talent? She's touted as possibly someday becoming the NFL's first female GM? I feel sorry for that franchise. This obviously proves she still has a lot to learn. Soliai is a must sign. He deserves to be paid, and paid well. Considering he is still faily young and in his prime, I would try to lock him up with a 5 year deal if possible.

Stark also has been a soldier here even through the lean years. But considering his age I think a decent 3 year deal, in the 18 million range, with 2yrs in gauranteed money should be appropriate.

As far as Wallace is concerned, this has been an on going issue even in preseason. We just don't seem to be wanting to throw to him. Have him run some shorter patterns and make Hartline run the post a couple times. Get him involved. A 60 million dollar decoy is rediculous. He has a right to be angry.

Good point pointing out the 3rd down offense was 50% billcale; the things that all the south Florida media cited as necessary for Tannehill to improve on was

1. accuracy- with a 63.2% completion today he showed improvement over his 58.3% from last year.

2. third down- as pointed out by bill 50% again an improvement over last year.

3. 4th quarter- 6-7 passing on a 4th quarter drive resulting in a D.T 1 yd. td run.

4. QB rating- today he had an 82.3 qbr as compared to the 76.1 last year

So Ryan Tannehill is showing improvement the next question that needs to be answered during the course of the season will be can he continue to consistently perform.

Nick S. yours are the only comments that tell it like it is. Even after a good win yesterday that is all you read today is negative crap! I am so sick of Mando's negative articles day in and day out. Never a positive spin on this team,never. And his bottom feeder trols in this blog eat it up just like the losers they are.

The same crap happened to bess, he should still be on the team

Negotiations are a brutal business. If Apointe just collapsed in negotiations when agents or players balked then we would have less money to hire other players we want. Agents will always whine and try to get pressure going on the team to give up more. Of course. Why would they not. Bottom line is that this is life in any business. Try buying or selling your car and you find the same deal.

No reason to bench Starks. Is this Philbin's message to say the FO isn't going to pay you to stick around so we are working in the young guy? BS and not deserved.

Pay Solai.

As far as Wallace, he is a selfish jerk. You gameplan as the coverage dictates. Never liked him, never will, but he will get his chance to make plays.

What Ireland and the coaching staff should really be worried about is the running game.

Any of the homer posters still think they made the right move letting Bush walk. Pay the guy and you have a more explosive offense... period.

Unless you all missed the Lions game


Mando's negative articles day in and day out. Never a positive spin on this team,never. And his bottom feeder trols in this blog eat it up just like the losers they are.

Posted by: Mr Titman

Titman-
He is reporting news that is newsworthy. Get over your blind love for the Fins and pay attention to what's going on! That's what reporters do.

Armando is a Negative Nancy. And YG wants to have a 3-way with Craig M and Dashi. Poor YG, Craig M and Dashi aren't interested.

We should have traded Starks to KC for Brandon Albert straight up. Now we should look to trade him for a 2nd rounder. He got caught on film giving the Fins the bird. Inexcusable. Solai can still be handled behind closed doors saving both sides faces and Wallace is easy enough to appease. Just throw him the ball more which is going to happen anyway.
Starks is the only one I would punish and I would do that by pulling any deal in front of him at this time. I would also meet with him and show him which alpha male is in charge. Sit him in the 1st quarter of the next game, but give him the start the next week if all goes well. Punishment followed by respect IF Starks can remain professional. Do the trade thing if he can't.

I think almost all of you are missing the point....did you even notice the total lack of a running game???

Watch and see...this will cost the Dolphins some games this season with the 'Fins inability to close out games.

Problems?? Hell, yes. Zero running game.

Dawn aponte's an idiot!

Slow start but nice finish!

Defense is hot and will carry the team all season...pay Starks & Soliai.

Wallace needs to chill and be happy with is $60M.

Why did we get rid of Bush? He was our biggest playmaker last season...18 yards rushing is a total failure.

....Luck is on fire and our D better bring their A game
next week.

Perhaps Wallace is just angry about the fact that while he hates gay people, as a Dolphin he's being forced to dress like one.

Philbin is losing control of the team. Defensive tackle Randy Starks, already upset because he’s not starting, appeared to give the middle finger to the coaching staff after a sack in the fourth quarter.

fire ross...nice one!

This is a weird situation. I dont worry about Wallace, he will get his chances and I think he will do better when the oline picks it up. I thinik what killed Wallace's receptions, was the lack of a running game and a really good CB covering him.

Starks is a nonissue, start him and let him walk next season. I am sure Starks would like to stick it to the Dolphins and take the season off, but then that hurts his next contract (You are still making almost 9 mill this year, did you see the paltry contracts, DL's were signing this offseason?)

I think the Soliai deal will get done, proper negotiations should always start out, with the player having hurt feelings. It's like haggling at a flea market, usually you pay a little more than ya wanted, yet at the same time the seller sells it for less than he wanted!

With all this said, I feel Philbin will talk to this team, the man has 5 sons. He should be able to deal with his team and the more wins, they easier it will be.

Rico gets it...

No running game means Phins will blow some of the leads they might have.

No running game means Tannebust will have his multi-interception games and pick six moments.

No running game means when the Phins get down it'll be open season on Tannehill. This starts next week when Andrew Luck and co. put the gay uniform Phins in their place as a mediocre lot.

This is not a good team...again.

6-10, 7-9...crapolla.

In the picture posted on the last page. Does Brian Hartline even look remotely interested in sharing a moment with the fans ? Yet the fans are overjoyed that they can get close enough to Brian Hartline to smell his jock. Price gouged jock sniffing delusional fans are some of the sorriest people on the planet. I wonder how many of you fit the profile of the people in the picture as well. Lazy, overweight...incapable of doing anything remarkable, so you live through Brian Hartline lol. Reaching for a bag of chips is not exercise. In a $250 dollar football jersey not tucked in, some of these fans look like California Raisins. No shape...just a big blob lol. I'm going jogging right now...it's really not that hard. (Whispers) Try it sometime.


Phins logo is gay.

"I don't know if there are issues between Wallace and Tannehill"

That is pure speculation. Did Wallace say "ask the QB"? No, he did not.

Agreed that Philbin does not seem like a guy who manages dissent very well (as opposed to punishing it). I hope I'm mistaken, or that he adapts.

I don't think a link will work here, but Chuang Tzu's "three in the morning" parable (google it) is a must-read for managers (like Philbin). Get some Tao, Coach!

Wallace and Starks both want off the hapless Fins.

Solai is pissed too...

Sensationalism, and there is nothing to worry about. Starks will play out the year, get a n extension or move on, Wallace will learn to keep his mouth shut and not talk all week, and Soliai, will be back next year, these are how all negotiations go.
No problem, everything is cool, and Armando is writing crap to get clicks as he always has, him and Greg Cote or whatever his name is. aka town clowns the both of them!!!

Wallace is just realizing that TanneBust stinks.


ireland and dolphins management has been doing this crap for way too long; mistreating veterans and the guys who got them there... soliai and starks have both made this team respectable for years and as fans we should expect the front office to manage these situations so it doesn't become a team issue; and the reality is that while the d-line played well yesterday, they would have been more dominant had those guys played more and the way they've played for years so i don't think the d-line can go around patting themselves on the back

and philbin and sherman need to help tannehill pull his head out of his , because i definitely saw wallace wide open in the end zone a couple of times and these weren't just deep throws

..It's awesome that after the first game of the year. It is official..We have no running game. If we would have had Reggie Bush. The outcome may have been 40-10. He would have had the same production as he did yesterday for Detroit. The FO are all idiots for this, and should have seen it coming right??

Are we really going there? Is this happening? Of course. The knee jerk reaction is what should be expected.

Of course the running game was pathetic yesterday. But should the team have an opportunity to correct it's mistakes? Can't we see what the product looks like over a larger sample then to just declare it non existant? Should the run game production from yesterday be a concern? Of course it should. But it was week 1. Think about a few things. Philbin said that the running game was not a priority in the preseason. 2 Add the fact that there were a lot of teams that struggled running the ball yesterday. Could it be that that the lack of practice time, the lack of time spent in pads even during camp has an effect? Last. I don't care what teams look like in the preseason. The speed of the game is totally different come week 1. There was a lot of sloppy play yesterday. Not just from our run unit.

Lets see what happens in the next few weeks. Give the team a chance to gel(or not) before you jump off the cliff.

Nat...you may be onto something.

Tannehill's worst trait is his inability to properly lead his receivers on the deep routes.

He's either woefully short, or overthrows everyone.

Did anyone watch the SF/GB game? Kap & Rodgers can throw the deep ball with accuracy ( as can Wilson & Luck).

No one is doubting the arm strength of Tannehill, its his lack of accuracy with the long ball that worries me.

The Dolphins always treat their best players like chit. Thats just part of the reason they stink.

FIRE ROSS,

what's the problem, bud? You hate the team, you hate the logo, you had the GM, coaching staff and owner and yet you post continually during games, you're on here posting morning, noon and night and its obvious you have no life or friends. What's the story? You don't see anything wrong with any of this?

When do you come clean and admit you're YG?

When do you come clean and admit you're YG?

Posted by: Craig M | September 09, 2013 at 08:46 AM

Why dont you come clean and admit you're an ignoramous canadien that knows nothing about football. And especially Miami football. Cant you find a canadien blog?

anyone want to talk about the 3 INT's or 6 sacks we registered yesterday?

Our D is awesome!

And our O is pathetic.

Too bad there isn't some way to fire fire ross. I'm tired of seeing his Jet loving, Dolphin bashing posts on here. Go back to new York TROLL.

I don't agree with you on Starks, Armando. You have two guys who had very different off seasons in Starks and Odrick. One guy listened to his agents and sulked, missing OTAS and only showed up when he had to. The other guy worked his tail off, lost a bunch of weight and showed he could handle playing inside or out. I believe the guys who should tart are the guys who earn it. Starks didn't earn it. He underestimated the competition and it cost him. Too bad if his feelings are hurt. Playing time is earned. He didn't earn the right to start. He's done at the end of this year in Miami. He's not worth the money he'll be asking, although I do like him as a player. He has a choice......he an work his tail off this year and play hard and sign with another team, getting the money he wants or he can sulk again. Hopefully he'll be smarter this time.

Hey fire ross stop using Nat Moore's good name to spout your crap

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