Wednesday is usually the big media day at Dolphins camp, with Reggie Bush and numerous players talking and Joe Philbin addressing reporters who cover both the Dolphins and the visiting team. A half-dozen snippets from the final Wednesday media session of the season:
### Patriots writers asked Philbin whether Ryan Tannehill might have solved the Dolphins’ decade-long problem at quarterback. “Yeah, he’s making good progress,” Philbin responded. “In our system, we’re looking for a guy that makes very good decisions with the football, No. 1, and I think he’s made good strides in that area. The second thing we’re looking for is a guy that throws the ball accurately and he’s making progress there, although we need to improve there in that area as well.
"The last thing is you’ve got to manage the game and make plays that decide outcomes of games. I think some of those he’s proven he can do that as well. We’ve just got to do it a little bit more consistently and a little better. We’ve done some good things on offense, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
### Philbin told Boston media that he and Mike Sherman have given Tannehill more responsibility in recent weeks: “As the year has gone on, we’ve given him a little more freedom and he's done a few more things with protection adjustments and route changes at the line of scrimmage based on a particular look that we may have prepared for. He’s not necessarily doing it on his own, a lot of it is pre-determined.
"Sometimes guys have a difficult time and the one thing that we like about him in this stage of his career is we feel like he is an aware player. I mean he’ll come off to the sideline and he will kind of know if he made a mistake probably before you can tell him, and he has a good understanding of what he just saw on the field. Sometimes you’ll ask a guy, ‘was it man or zone? Did they blitz?’ Some guys kind of give you the blank look, but Ryan’s been very aware and in tune to what’s happening on the field.”
### Boston media asked Philbin about his philosophy of building a team, and he reiterated he prefers drafting and developing players to free agency, but also made clear that he would be OK with free agent additions. (And Jeff Ireland wants to get more out of free agency than last spring.)
“It’s always good to mold guys in your own image I guess is the easiest way to put it,” Philbin said. "That’s kind of what I’m more used to in the nine years where I was at before. It was more you drafted guys, you had your own guys, you developed them and you kept them and had some continuity with players and staff, etc… So that’s kind of the model that I’d like to have here. Not saying that a free agent can’t contribute or anything like that. Certainly we’ll look at every avenue possible, but the young guys have been good. I think a lot of those guys have a nice future.”
### Philbin, on what surprised him in his first year as an NFL head coach: “I certainly had a lot of thoughts down on paper when I interviewed for how I wanted to run a program and all that, but simple things like we did just a little bit of remodeling downstairs and they asked, ‘Joe do you want the carpet to be this, or the seat on the locker to be this?’ ‘Do you want the helmet hung here?’ Stuff like that that you never even thought of before, you have to have some input on. So, I think just the volume of decisions that have to be made on a daily basis. Again, we’re not curing cancer here. People are doing a lot more important things than we’re doing, but still you have to make some decisions.”
### Bush said Mike Pouncey has become such a "great player" than he could now envision him being "a potential Hall of Famer once it is all said and done.”
### Bush, an impending free agent who the Dolphins would like to keep but only at the right price, said he genuinely believes the “direction of this organization is going in the right place. I’m very encouraged. From the beginning when Philbin started, he came in (and) he changed the whole locker room and our facility. He changed everything. When he came in, he wanted to kind of portray that he’s changing the whole mentality of this organization, mindset, and I think he did that. It’s been really positive.”
After Bush reiterated that he “would definitely love to be back,” he was asked why. “Well, for one, I don’t want to keep bouncing around from team-to-team. I’d like to have a home base. And two, I really enjoy the fan base here, the city of Miami and there’s also I think a great tradition here of winning (and) of excellence. When you look back to the ’72 Dolphins, or some of the great players like Larry Csonka, Dan Marino, guys like that, it’s good company. I talked about wanting to bring back the passion about Miami football and building a winning franchise here.”