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Philbin endorses OL coach Jim Turner

Amid the ups and downs of this season and the drama and controversy of the past three weeks, one constant that has remained (unfortunately for the Dolphins) has been that the offensive line has always been at the core of the issues.

You know the facts: Forty-one sacks allowed to lead the NFL. Two starting linemen gone from the team because they were frenemies or something, guys benched, etc ...

And to me, that begs the question what responsibility does offensive line coach Jim Turner have in all this.

Well, let's get to the news. Whatever part Turner has played in any or all of Miami's offensive line problems and drama, he apparently has the blessing of his boss. That's because on Tuesday, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin gave Turner a pretty solid endorsement when I asked what kind of job the assistant has done so far this season.

"I thought he did a great job," Philbin began. "It’s evidence in the play of our guys the other day.  We had a lot of  moving parts and we’ve had some moving parts throughout the course of the season.  I think his players believe in him. I think he works hard every single day and he’s done a good job."

Now, I understand Philbin isn't going to throw Turner under the bus if he believes the assistant has stunk. That's simply not done. But there are ways to finesse this if the head coach wants to without losing credibility.

You'll recall Tony Sparano was asked in 2008 what kind of job then offensive line coach Mike Maser was doing. I recall because I asked the question. And Sparano said something akin to "he's busy doing his job and he'll be evaluated at the end of the season just like we'll all be evaluated at the end of the season."

That was no an endorsement, particually in light of the fact he was being effusive about other assistants when asked. And apparently Sparano took that tact for good reason because after a season in which Dolphins quarterbacks were sacked 26 times, Maser was fired. Seems Maser rubbed some players the wrong way and actually, get this, was a bit of a bully at times, according to club sources who spoke to me at the time.

The irony.

Anyway, that's not the approach Philbin took on Tuesday. His was a full-blown attaboy for Turner. And that is fine if that's how Philbin feels.

But I'm not so sure the facts jibe with the kudos. The Dolphins have given up 78 sacks in the two years Turner's been the offensive line coach -- and there are still six games to play this season.

Now, sacks are not the full measure of an offensive line coach. After all, quarterback awareness in the pocket affects that number as does inexperienced or poor pass protection from backs. But then there's this:

One player was very good before Turner arrived and has been very good after leaving didn't play nearly as well under Turner. Jake Long was ProFootballFocus's No. 21-rated tackled in 2011 before Turner joined the Dolphins. Last year under Turner, Long dropped to the No. 46-rated tackle in the NFL, according to PFF. This year with the St. Louis Rams, he is the No. 7 rated offensive tackle.

And it is not just Long.

Last year with Atlanta, right tackle Tyson Clabo was the No. 14-rated offensive tackle in the NFL, according to PFF. He allowed only five sacks, including none in the final 14 games he played including the playoffs.

This year with the Dolphins?

Clabo has allowed 10 sacks, has not been able to string together even two games without allowing a sack and is the No. 66-rated tackle in the NFL, per PFF. Did he suddenly forget how to play the game? Did he suddenly lose not one, but several steps at age 32?

Center Mike Pouncey is pass blocking much better now under Turner than he did as a rookie in 2011 before Turner. But how much of that is the fact Pouncey's simply more experienced? And his run blocking in 2013 actually is not as good as it was in 2011.

Now, I'm not saying everyone takes a step back under Turner. Richie Incognito's work got much better under Turner. And John Jerry became a full-time starter under Turner.

But Jerry has already given up twice as many sacks this year (4) as he did last year (2) and there are still six more games to play. And Incognito ... well, let's not go there.




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Mark/Oscar, don't get me wrong, I agree with you both. My prediction is we're going to get killed (thought the Chargers game was a mirage that hid the glaring issues we have as a football team).

My point was while the coaches have the utmost confidence in Carroll, I think he's a disaster waiting to happen.

I wonder what Philbin will say about Turner after Carolina slaps our pathetic oline around the field on sunday. It aint going to be pretty. Praying for THILL

DC, the Dolphins are totally outmatched, but I still believe they will win.

That's how I roll and I don't apologize for it.

DC Dolfan. Agree with you on Carroll. This defense is a different breed when patterson is on the field playing in that secondary. When Carroll gets out there its one big play after another waiting to happen. Nothing personal against Carroll but he just isnt good enough to start in the NFL. His play is already a disaster and we have seen that movie play out already this season. New england game comes to mind for me

If the Dolphins you think are totally outmatched, how can you believe they are going to win, Mark? You might mean you Hope they are going to win. Yes?

Luckily they won't need him this week. If Carroll can't do a job against Brandon Lafell with scattershot Newton in the pocket then he needs to find a new vocation.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | November 20, 2013 at 02:16 PM

I believe given the injuries and misses by Belichik in the draft regarding DB's (a curiosity given he started as a DB Coach) that Kyle Arrington has been the un-sung hero of the Pats DB's and Lafell (playing over his head but effectively) made a living on him underneath. Don't underestimate what Lafell (now with Cam a few and no longer a deep threat but move the chains guy) can do. There scheme is effective because it's not predicated on the deep play but in the intermediate one were they move the ball very effectively with there running QB.

Mark, only way we win is because it's a trap game for Carolina. And we'd have to play almost perfect (like 1st half vs. Pats) ALL GAME. I just don't see it. Plus, if you said we'd lose 1 of the next 3 games, this is the one I'd want to lose (we MUST beat the Jets and Steelers are in our conference and also a bubble team, so any Playoff dreams would require us to beat them too).

No Oscar, I have seen way too many unexpected results in this league to think otherwise. I don't invest in something"hoping" for a positive outcome. I invest in something EXPECTING a positive outcome. No game in this league has a result already drawn up (well unless you play in Foxboro).

The Panther offense is not pulling away from anyone. I think if we can play a clean game on offense, the result will be there for the taking in the 4th quarter.

The media is really grasping at straws with the report of "mocking the ethnic background of a staff member." C'mon, if we all got in trouble for mocking each other's race, religion, ethnicity, none of us would have a job.

I think the dolphins will be hard pressed to win this game. Horrid matchups all over the place that favor the panthers. Game is won in the trenches and on both sides Miami is outmatched and undermanned. Our oline couldnt block against a suspect tampa run defense which held us to two yards. Carolina boasts the number 1 defense in the league and were all of a sudden going to reinvent the 72 oline. Where can i get some of that Kool aid to drink?. Is this what beating a mediocre San Diego team does to the fan base?

f4l, I agree with you on the Panther approach and all the more reason to lay back into coverage in this game. Newton and the Panther offense for all their gifts are a team that depends on the run and big plays when everything breaks down around the qb in teh pocket. Therefore, if the team sits back in coverage and keeps Newton contained in the pocket they will have a better chance for success.

What background was the staffer? I mean some backgorunds are easier to make fun of than others ... (I jest, I jest)

Therefore, if the team sits back in coverage and keeps Newton contained in the pocket they will have a better chance for success.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | November 20, 2013 at 03:22 PM

Here is where we are better than N.E. by a mile! I believe (HONESTLY DO!) that our DE's are faster and stronger and can contain Newton when he looks to extend the play towards a sideline. I think against Miami he gets sacked on those 2 plays he made on 3rd down in the 2nd half which swung that game.

See guys this is why Owners like Ross keep mediocre coaches like Philbin because we get all excited in beating the big bad San Diego Chargers while quickly forgetting the embarassment against the winless bucs at the time. Of course each week we have hope that our team will win against whomever they play, but teams with solid coaching staffs and attitude know they will win. Look no further than the pats. With all their injuries and no name talent they know and expect to win the AFC east every year while we sit and hope and pray to play a clean game and have everything fall our way. Great team overcome adversity and Philbin and company show more times than not they cant answer the bell

dolfan, the only thing that seperates our record from the pats was that fixed game up in foxboro this year.

Mark, sounds like he was Middle-Eastern. I only suspect that because they report he "sometimes dressed in garbs in that staffer's culture." Don't know why that leads me to a Middle-Eastern descent, it just does (turbans, robes, kufis, etc.).

Mark, sounds like he was Middle-Eastern. I only suspect that because they report he "sometimes dressed in garbs in that staffer's culture." Don't know why that leads me to a Middle-Eastern descent, it just does (turbans, robes, kufis, etc.).

Posted by: DC Dolfan | November 20, 2013 at 03:36 PM

The Dolphins hired a suicide bomber for the front office?

dolpfan 29. At last someone who can see this too.

What did you think of Philbins evaluation of turner's work this year of doing a "great job" ?

Man the worst pass protection and weak running game get that sort of praise ???

Its the comment of an apologist and someone that refuses to fact reality. Call it as it is. Philbin should at least ne neutral at best as Mando stated in his article.

Accepting mediocre output has gone on in Miami for so long. It starts with Ross and filters down.

Mark in Toronto. While i believe the game in foxboro had some of the worst officiating in league history and the worst ive ever seen in recent times. I dont believe it was the refs missing a key fg, or missing a blitz pickup that led to a turnover or nolan carroll getting schooled by a rookie for a TD. Did the refs tell Sherman to stop running the football against the pats when it was working in the first half?. We lose to a horrid tampa team while the pats discard the same team with Doug martin at the time. We lose to brian leonard. Comes down to coaching and in that department we comes up so short its glaring. I hate the pats but they know how to win consistantly

Posted by: Marco | November 20, 2013 at 03:41 PM

Maybe the best post you ever made Marco

Posted by: dolfan29 | November 20, 2013 at 03:43 PM

Excellent post....seems like the smart people are on here in the day!

Hey Marco. Im a realist and i posted earlier that i couldnt believe Philbin's praise of Turner. What game is Philbin watching. Ive never seen a worse oline than the one im watching each week in Miami. Any diehard fan of football can tell you that this oline has no business getting praise in any way. If this is what Philbin considers a coach doing a great job then i'd hate to see what doing a bad job is. Not saying throw Turner under the bus but dont praise him for a job well done.

DC, ur not alone. I automatically thought of middle eastern or south asian myself. Some people of brown skin.

Greg, that's horrible, but I still laughed,... I'm not a nice person I guess.

The more I think of it, to see Richie dressed as the Iron Sheik, that would get me howling too...

Calling it as i see it Greg. Yes the refs hurt the dolphins in the pats game, but the coaches hurt Miami even more with poor scheme and half time adjustments or lack there of. Great coaches adjust and Philbin and company refuse or are unable to do so. Im not making it up. The truth is right there on sunday


Maybe, but the fans have been affected by the mediocre bug too.

Thats why so many of the poor souls back the 'mediocre', effort and performance of many of the players on this team.

The most unforgivable though is on Ross, the GM and the coaching staff. How dare Philbin try to tell the fans that Turner has done a great job. He must either:

A. Think we are all stupid
B. Not care what the fans think
C. Not care about the Miami Dolphins performance
D. All of the above.

On paper the Panthers game looks like we'll be SHUTOUT. Panthers are ranked 3rd overall in total defense. Dolphins ranked 31st overall in total offense.

Looks like a great recipe for total offensive disaster.

One major thing I GREATLY dislike about Tannehill is around every 3rd to 4th game played. Tannehill turns into Thanksgiving Day for TURNOVERS. They come in 3-4 turnovers for a single game. Guess what, right now he's just about due.

The #3 ranked defense(Panthers) in the NFL and Tannehill's due for another one of his Turnover cities. Hate to say it, but, this game could very well be won in a blowout to the Panthers. If Tannehill is due to resemble a Vegas version of a turnover slot machine.

Do not be surprised if he does because he's certainly due. Just another bad habit Tannehill needs to break himself of.

Marco. To answer your question on Philbin and why he backs Turner. He thinks the fans are stupid and have no clue. Am i smarter than Philbin in grading talent for the draft or in training camp?. No. However im smart enough to know when a glaring weakness deserves no praise and when an oline has preformed well under expectations. Bottom line is this oline sucks and has no business being praises ever except for giving up sacks and low rushing totals

dolphan 29.

Philbin never seems to watching the same game as many of us. He was the OC in GB for a few years without calling the plays. He seemingly prepped them for coach McCarthy.

Not good enough Im afraid. The only pass I give Thill, and its a slight pass , is that the weak coaching may be holding him back.

Philbin did a better job against the Chargers, or Sherman did. They got the most out of that line and rolled Thill out with some success, but where has this been all season.

The talent is there to make the playoffs. We are not the class of the AFC, but there is talent here for sure.

agreed Marco. Ive never questioned the talent of this club to make the playoffs, but like you said. Where has the imagination we seen in the SD game been on season. This goes back to my point on consistancy. The players attempt to execute what the coaches roll out, but if the coaches themselves are limited either by ability or knowledge then the team will forever be mired in mediocrity. This is what we have right now with our coaches. They praise each other and expect the fans to buy it. Im sorry but these coaches deserve no praise. Does Philbin think Turner will cry if he doesn't get praise?. If Turner warrants praise then so be it, but for the job hes done, all Philbin owes him is a pink slip.

Ive never questioned the talent of this club to make the playoffs, but like you said. Where has the imagination we seen in the SD game been on season.

Posted by: dolfan29 | November 20, 2013 at 04:13 PM


Really? We went with a power scheme on the OL were we weren't even sure if we could implement! On D it was more of the same except for the 4 plays Jordan was in pass coverage covering Gates! You guys post as if there were an epiphany in this game!


We had the players to implement a power run schem from day-1! Our D is wasted on a 4/3 scheme were our best players are lost given our 3/4 talent ect....

Let the players keep doing there thing because they practically Coach and scheme for themselves.

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