Joe Philbin met with his players today and he had an agenda about issues that need to be addressed, "starting immediately," in his words.
The first thing he told the team was that turnovers have to stop. The Dolphins had four against New Orleans on Monday night. They lost the turnover battle. They got blown out.
Philbin told the players Miami is the only team at the quarter pole of this NFLseason that has a negative turnover margin (minus-1) and a winning record. That is not sustainable.
"That's something we have to get corrected," Philbin said. "I reminded them the last time the Dolphins won the division (2008) they had a plus-17 turnover margin for the season. That's something we need to start headed toward."
Philbin said he talked about the team's sack differential. The Dolphins have allowed the most sacks in the NFL (18) and that is tied with winless Jacksonville. The defense has sacked the opposing quarterback 11 times, which is tied for 14th in the NFL.
"These are not sustainable things," Philbin said. "We're 3-1 at the present time but these things are not going to lead to continued consistent success ... It's not going to fly the next quarter or the quarter after that and the quarter after that."
Philbin said he wants the team to play better at the beginning of games on defense -- Miami's given up points on the opening drive the past two games. And he wants better play at the beginning of the second half on offense. The Dolphins went three-and-out against the Saints Monday night.
This is important because Philbin likes to defer if he wins the coin toss. But giving up points immediately and not converting any points to start the second half defeats the point of deferring.
Overall, at the quarter mark Philbin says the Dolphins are "not unlike a lot of other teams in the National Football League in that we don't have a big margin for error."
"I think it showed up last night," he said. "When we're playing a good team, we have to play better. We have a lot of things we have to work on. That's common place for four games into a season."
As an aside, the Dolphins today waived fullback Tyler Clutts and safety Kelcie McCray.