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Hickey and Philbin on the same page so far

If this morning is at all similar to the ones that dawned over the past six or seven days, new Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey and coach Joe Philbin will spend it together.

The two men now atop the football side of the Dolphins organization have spent their mornings the past week or so watching tape together. They've spent it dissecting both college and pro prospects. They've been obviously prepping for the coming NFL combine. And they've been grinding on potential unrestricted free agents.

The idea behind this setting of four eyes on the same material at the same time?

Cohesion. Agreement. Collaboration.

In other words some of the stuff the Dolphins haven't always had the past few years.

I'm told Hickey and Philbin are on the same page so far. They buy into each other. (I'd make an innocuous Valentine's Day joke but in today's society it would be taken the wrong way.)

The coach and the GM are working to strengthen what was already a solid relationship even in its infancy. You see, in 2012 before Philbin became the Dolphins coach, he interviewed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And Hickey was already working for the Bucs at that time.

And Hickey, according to a source, strongly backed Philbin's candidacy for the Tampa Bay job. Obviously, the job went to Greg Schiano. And Philbin landed the vacancy in Miami. But the bond was formed then.

And that, I'm also told by another source, is one reason Hickey was attractive to the Dolphins for the general manager job. Owner Stephen Ross, aware of internal friction within his organization, wanted to smooth things out going forward.

He doesn't want stories like the ones that leaked about the last couple of years repeating. You know the stories ...

... Dissent and disagreement between the coaching staff and personnel department about playing time for young players.

.... People not communicating with one another.

.... Stories praising or blaming either but never both the coach and GM for mistakes or good calls made on players. You'll remember the one where Philbin reportedly wanted to get rid of Richie Incognito after the golf course incident but couldn't -- a narrative I find hard to believe because Incognito not only wasn't cut then, he remained in 2013 and became a team leader under Philbin's watch.

... There's also a story out there that Philbin wasn't sold on last year's No. 3 overall selection Dion Jordan. Find that one also hard to believe.

The point is Ross doesn't want this kind of stuff getting out because, well, he doesn't want this kind of stuff being anywhere near true anymore.

With both Philbin and Hickey finding agreement on what players they want on the team it becomes impossible for one to disengage from the other if things go poorly. It also becomes impossible for someone to take credit to the exclusion of someone else.

One right, all right.

One wrong, all wrong.

(This, by the way, makes things easy for folks such as me and fans such as you. If there's success, we know it was fathered by both Hickey and Philbin. If things go wrong, neither can claim the failure is an orphan.)

It is in both Hickey and Philbin's best interests to find agreement and unity and be of one accord. It's good to find out that's exactly what they're already trying to do. 

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