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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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PS...I hope we don't have to read Mouth Moron whining about bloggers like the last blog.

About him wondering what the trolls will say about meaningless topics no one but him cares about.

Jaison lays the wood to Armando ... whump!

Ok, I've defended Starks enough here, and stand by it, but I think we're all in agreement that he's gone end-of-season. Odrick is our starter moving forward. And hopefully Soliai. And yes, I agree we want "team players" up to a point. And the point is winning. We want dominant team players. And we can't wait another decade or 2 before a Marino falls in our lap. If along the way we need to make due with a Hernandez or a Randy Moss or Lawrence Taylor, then we need to do what we have to do to win. It's ALL ABOUT WINNING!

Truth....

All I am asking is that Tanne makes the Leo to top 15 QB......

But I am not going to gloss over throws that are off target because we won...

We will need YAC to win more games....and proper ball placement is a key component.....

dc, u want a qb that is 1-10 in road p'o's again.?
lol

That was for Kris. And just want to add on.

What I saw was a second year qb who is starting to take command of this offense. Did everyone see Tannehill throw Matthews of the field while screaming in his face? Did that not make you happy? The kid took charge, it's starting to become 'his' team. Henne he is not.

Not only that but he put up respectable numbers with NO running game. The defense knew they had to pass and look at his second half numbers. Look at the numbers on that put away drive alone. When the pressure was on, the team needed a score, Tannehill marched them right down the field, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass hitting all his targets with great throws. The TD pass to Hartline was a greaaattt throw. One of the hardest to make in the nfl and he hit him in stride. He also displayed the ability (which he obviously improved on over the offseason) to read through his progressions. His head was on a swivel and he was hitting multiple targets. His audibles were almost perfect. 4 out of 5 changes that I saw went for positive yards, one unfortunately was a run. And it's no coincidence he gets the ball to Hartline no problems. They've had time together and Wallace and Tannehill haven't.

Stats don't tell the tale of the tape on this one. Tannehill showed definite improvement over last season and that's what we need to see. He still has a ways to go (holding the ball too long, pocket awareness,) and I am in no way saying he's a franchise qb as of today. But that's not what I was looking for or expecting this season. I want to see steady improvement and I definitely watched that yesterday. Did I mention the o-line couldn't pass block in the first half and couldn't run block the entire game? Pretty impressive considering, the kid showed poise.

2 watt. you are very wrong about tannehill's long passes. if you wathed the game they even showed in the replays that haden cause both "supposed" overtrows. the one he almost got his fingers on there was hand fighting that cause him to lose a step. on the really deep one, haden got feet tangled with wallace. i'd say a very purposeful accident?? that i'd called excellent work by an excellent DB.

Kris, I dont disagree but yesterday after a terrible first half he put together some decent drives in the second half, it was an improvement no matter how small. We need to get Wallace invloved in the game more and Im not just talking about running 9 routes, set up WR screens, quick slant, heck even some reverses.

A John Renshaw on WQAM had an intresting take he said the Dolphins held back some of the things they want o do with Wallace becauuse they played the Browns, dont want to give other team tape on what they want to do with Wallace.

Lets celebrate the win....it's much deserved....but I'm pretty sure Philbin is going to work....

And not on a bunch of contract BS..

But on the O line....

QB reads and accuracy

How to get Wallace more involved

And who is going to be running the rock next week...

Among other things....

how 'bout sturgis?
where's spazano.?
lol

jaison, i'm sure they will work on the long ball this week 2 keep the 60 m.$ decoy happy.
+ u kno lux will put ^ td's.

Kris, I love those rope passes. Little chacne of getting picked off. jeff George used to have those 50 yard bombs that never travelled more than 20 yards off the ground. Not picking those off...

And as far as Tannehill not being Brady, I know it's hard to get lost in reference but even Brady was not even brady in his third year! He was a pure game manager - there is still room to grow. Tannehill is proving that he has no limits.

By the way, Tannehill was more lethal than either Russel Wilson or Andrew Luck yesterday. I know just one game ... but it was still worth noting.

Next week will be a good test. If we win at Indy, then it ain't a fluke!

I will just tell you this ... it is INDY who will have to play a lot better to beat us.

Luck putting up 160 yards won't cut it and with that swiss cheese o line they have - going to be a long day for woodchuck.

Dolphins probably already caused one o lineman to lose his job yesterday in Cleveland - probably two with that RT. The right side of the Browns line got throttled and even Jordan gave Joe Thomas a little shake n bake. How sweet was that?

Running game was terrible so I think Tannehill had an even better game then your giving him credit for here

In addition, still dropped balls, that 20 yard pass right over the middle that Gibson dropped comes to mind, he also threw passes where only WR could catch

Wallace will get his throws, but with no Running game and Cleveland double teaming him all day he went to the single covered WR's who were open

Solai will get signed, but then that will really piss Starks off, Starks is gone, he should take his $8.5M and play hard and keep his mouth shut so he can maximize his value if FA next year, cause that is where he will be. Knowing that Odrick is going to get plenty of playing time, he is the future of that position

Poizen beat me in FF, no thanks to Dez Bryant who didnt do crap yesterday, I lost by 15

Armando, Good job trying to cover for your buddy jeff Ireland but one coach has already been fired for Jeffs inabillity to bring in enough talent. Now, Philbin and Aponte are getting thrown under the bus. Starks being unhappy about his CONTRACT sounds like Irelands problem. Solai, being low balled is Irelands problem. Isn't he the GM. I watched ex-dolphin players dominate yesterday(Reggie,Marshall). Reggie Bush was never even offered a contract after he made it known he didn't want alot of money because he was happy to be a Dolphin.Cam Wake was given the take it or leave it approach and hes one of the best at his position. He's underpaid! Long had an injury history and was slipping in play so he doesn't belong in this group. These guys have seen enough and are playing for contracts with other teams. Its obvios their upset with this regime as a whole. The only players that seem get some respect are Koa Misi's recent contract with no drama,Brian Hartline got paid with no drama and niether one of these guys have been to the pro bowl or are respected around the leaugue as top teir talent, but the Dolphins value mediocre players more than franchise players. You get what you pay for! Let Solai and Starks walk next year and see how far the Dolphins go with Tannehill, Hartline, and Koa Misil. Lamar Miller played like a 5th round pick that makes 600'000 a year. Why should anyone be surpriised. This is IRELANDS mess!

Could it be we have now have the best DL and seconday in the NFL? Or is that just wisfult hinking

Lamar Miller is a poor man Reggie Bush, he's fast but not quick, so with him being so small he's not going to break any tackles. I knew we should of re-signed Bush he could of been the other playmaker next toWallace uinstead we dump him for an unproven guy.

Truth....

I think we may know in a months time.....

"Many if his passes are slightly behind the reciever..."

Kris I'm not sure if you were ever a qb in a competitive league so I'm not sure we see the same things. And in no way am I trying to take away from your opinion or say you are wrong. I just wish we could watch the games all together once because it would be easier to debate these points if we could actually rewind and point out the things we are all seeing.

And I'm sure you saw a few of these passes but I don't know if you also picked up on the fact that some balls are put in places where the receiver can catch and turn. Or putting it in a place that will make it hard for the receiver but impossible for the defender to catch. And I think it's a little of that you might be missing here.

Like a PERFECTLY placed ball to Gibson that was definitely behind him. The reason it was perfect was because Tannehill saw the defender and Gibson did not. Gibson was looking into the backfield like he should, for the pass, and Tannehill saw the defender behind him but in front of his route. The only place to throw that ball is to his back, it forces him to stop and make the catch and allows him to avoid the defender without him even knowing the defender was there.

I'm tellin ya I saw this and was stoked. Awareness on the fly, he knew where to put the ball and he was responsible for Gibsons extra 10 yards. Another pass to Clay was behind him slightly but put right on his hip in turn protecting the ball from the closing SS. Either Clay makes the catch or it hits the ground. But it has no chance of being intercepted.

Like I said, I wish we could watch the film, I'm sure there are some throws that you could point out to me where this wasn't the case.

Truth, I still have McCoy and RG III to go. :)

Wow I would love to punchasize a couple poster's on here in their throat then procede to kick them in the nuts and finish by peeing on them while they squirm on the ground.

Poizen, take that back, I got whopped todat :(

@ 11:15

J.J. WHO? Better get ready to give up that trophy. Defender of the Year 2013 will read: CAMERON WAKE!

Phins 78, I agree, you can see from my previous posts. It would be cool to watch games together. However to Kris's defense a little. There were 3 VERY poor decisions that Tanny made. Could or should of had 3 int's,not just one. But I agree for the most part that Tanny is looking much better.

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.

Posted by: Craig M | September 09, 2013 at 08:53 AM

I see your point but disagree on a couple of fronts.

1) In the Browns opening drive T.Richardson ran the ball very effectively with Odrick playing inside. In the 2nd possession he couldn't really get started because of the DL getting a better push up field when Starks came on the field. With Starks in the game the DL got a better inside push which was stopping Richardson in his tracks allowing better flow to the ball.

2) The idea of who got the start on paper was inconsequential given Odrick and Starks alternated at DT between drives. It's the old JJ philosophy were back in Dallas Tony Casillas and Russell Maryland were the DT starters but Chad Henning and Leon Lett alternated as Co-Starters if you will.

Later in Miami JT and T.Armstrong were starters but Mixon and Bromell were Co along with Shane Burton alternating with Bowens or Gardner inside. In other words there really both starting and like Mando said the Coach could have nipped this in the bud rather easily. If this is about Starks hold out then it's petty.

Especially this fire Ross fairy

I had my new 2013 Wake aqua jersey rockin for the game!

I saw a lot of good things yesterday and also saw many things that need work (i.e. running game/O-line). However, I am trying to keep in perspective that the building process is for the long term and consistency especially where the head coach / quarterback is concerned. Many improvements have been made since last year. there were so many holes that they could not possibly all have been addressed in 1-year. Immediate goal is to beat the best team in the division (PatS) and get intot eh playoffs. Next year o-line and backs will be furhter addressed. Starks was a foregone conclusion to be gone for next year and the Solai deal will get worked out. I admit, the Wallace situation is a head scratcher since he is the headliner and this one is on the coaches. He deserves to be upset. Would any other first line receiver not be targeted, of course not. I am trying to enjoy this years quest to make the playoffs (very doable and see improvement in Tannehill - which he impressed overall given no run support AT ALL). My suggestion, look to the big picture.

notabadazz:

I'll be right behind you cleaning up the havoc. Some of these dopes could use a good pee wash.

Phins 78.....

I have never been QB....but I have been a reciever.....lol....WHY GEE will have a field day with that....

I do understand ball placement....and how difficult it is to catch a ball when somebody else is running @ you full speed....I had the advantage of being a man among boys....maybe 6'1or '2....190 pounds.....

Very little chance of being injured by the kids trying to tackle me....I had very little fear....

The nfl is a whole different beast...and trust me....you will be injured if the ball isn't in the right spot....

And the catch then hit on Clay could have been Keller 2.0...

Poizen and Phins....

Like I said....I'm not down on Tanne....

He did great for no running game....but I do hate when he just puts his head down and runs forward...very Henne like. :(

Overall much improved....

Next week we should beat the colts....and start 2-0....

Where is YG? The blog is running smoothly without him. Things that make ya go, "Hmmm."

There must be some serious flaw with the Qb raiting system is Cam Newton got a 97 rating for that performance yesterday ...

Dolphins have a new President and CEO. Guy from the Padres .. pretyt much swapped jobs with Dee

JJ....

He has to wait for them to open the library @ the home.....

It looks like it opens about noon....

So we have maybe 20 more minutes till things go to sh@t....

I must have struck a nerve yesterday. He's so easy to get riled.

Posted by: Craig M | September 09, 2013 at 08:53 AM

I actually completely agree with this post Craig. Starks made his bed during the season and he should now deal with it. Play hard and maybe get a contract to stay or from another team. Play crappy and/or with attitude and your only hurt yourself. Put on your big boy pants and play the game Starks. I think he is gone after this year as they can't pay both him and Solai top money. They do have Odrick and Martin and can develop younger players. Bye-bye Starks.

Solai and his agent have every right to negotiate and try to make their money. I don't like the tactic of trying to strong arm the team throught the media. Low class move. I predict this will work itself out as he appears to really want to keep his family in South Florida.

Wallace - was double covered all day and THILL made the right reads and threw the ball elsewhere. BUT Wallace should be pissed. I believe Sherman didn't do much at all to free up Wallace. No motion with him. Didn't try him in the slot for a few formations. No reverse attempted. Few plays calling for him on the slant as the #1 WR option. Just line up wide and run mostly deep. Outcome was OK against Cleveland but this Vanilla system will not work against the top times they will face in the coming weeks.

Armando I'm starting to think when we win the Superbowl next you'll attack the choice of parade route as mismanagement by the team. How about analyzing the win, you know, the thing people are interested in.

The Dolphins win by 13 on the road and all you can do is focus on the negative. Did a member of the Dolphins staff take your mom out to a nice seafood dinner and never call her back?

Give it a rest dingus.

Next week will be interesting. The Dolphins have a good defense (if the secondary improves a bit and gets healthy).

Starks is an excellent player. If the Dolphins do not plan to resign him, they should consider trading him before the trade deadline for a comparable player at the OG or TE or WR position. A draft pick should also be considered. They should not just let him walk for nothing.

Wallace is probably going to get more targets going forward. The only downside to that if it results in turnovers since Wallace will be covered by the other team's best CB or a CB & safety.

The offensive line is a very serious concern. Again.

Yesterday was a win, which is good. But yesterday also showed that even the Raiders, Jets, and Bills should not be taken lightly.

I did notice Tavon Austin get absolutely likked by a Cards linebacker in yeesterday's game. man, the dude it TINY!! Sure glad Ireland didn't listen to the knobs here calling for him. Clay outproduced Eifert, Jordan in like three snaps had a bigger contribution than any of the three ...

STARKS SHOULD BE FINED/SUSPENDED FOR FLIPPING HIS OFF HIS COACHES/TEAMMATES/SIDELINE.

Craig and Jpao we never should have franchised Starks in the first place. Odrick was his replacement.

There are only mostly 2 posters here + Armando using different names and writing style like Poizen, Truth, Phins 78, DD, f4l, many others. Omar's mob really had a bunch of People there. I would like to talk with more real People and not with nicknames.

With better o-line play, I believe Tannehill has what it takes to become elite. Sherman's offense is a bit concerning, though. Seems a bit dull and unimaginative; hopefully by design due to Tannehill's inexperience. And YG has a "thing" for guys named Craig M or Dashi.

RE: WALLACE - PERHAPS HE HAS A LEARNING DISABILITY OR A FORM OF ILLITERACY AND HE CANNOT LEARN THE MOTION ETC, PERHAPS THAT IS WHY HE ONLY DID ONE THING IN PITTSBURG.

Armando, you are still a dick.

Defensive line all smiles: Miami’s defensive line was probably the loosest group after the game. Dolphins starting defensive tackle Jared Odrick even grabbed a local television station’s microphone and did an interview with Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake. It was all smiles for the defense after registering six sacks.

This from James Walker's article on Miami Dolphins locker room buzz. Quite a different picture than Mando portrays.

The library opened early.....as evidenced by the 2nd 11:46...

Oscar, real name is Patrick if it makes you feel better. :) You can see that in our fantasy league.

I am a real person, Oscar. And I dislike Omar. Armando is a Negative Nancy who likes to stir up problems, but I find some great insight on this blog in the comments. Sometes it's just entertaining to sift through all the characters here. And YG is especially "funny."

Mark, here's the crap James Walker is posting now:

CLEVELAND -- Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill picked up his eighth career victory in the NFL on Sunday. But it wasn't a pretty performance, as Tannehill finished in the middle of the pack in Total Quarterback Rating for Week 1.

Tannehill posted a 59.7 QBR in a 23-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. The rating was good for 16th in the NFL. Other quarterbacks, such as Buffalo Bills rookie EJ Manuel and Terrelle Pryor of the Oakland Raiders, posted higher QBRs in defeat...blah blah blah

F*CK ESPN! F*CK QBR! Tannehill is 1-0, the rest of the NFL (including every analyst can go SUCK IT)!

Dawn Aponte needs to learn more tact and act like a professional. Sending an e-mail?! Come on Dawn, that is low class. Grow up!!

Kevin, I agree its bad enough that a cranky women who's probably going through menopause is the one doing the negotiations not sure if she's cut out for the job..

Really, what a great piece of journalism. Are you trying to bring more traffic to your blog?
Name a team who doesn't have contract problems with players or is not dealing with players disgusted because they would like to be more involved. That is life in the NFL. Why is this news? Well, it isn't. It is just a cheap attempt to impersonate a journalist. Then, again,
that should not be surprising to anyone since it is the steady crap we get from Armando all the time...

Just ignore this hogwash and be happy we won the game.

LOL Truth!!!

As I posted on ESPN, when Tannehill gets a lower grade than manuel and Pryor (who had respectable rookie appearances), then it tells you that there is a problem with the grading mechanism. This same mechanism also had Tannehill graded pretty high last year undeservedly so for his results.

Also noticed Newton had a 97 Qb rating for yesterday's game. Who knew a 7 point result gets you such high praise?

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