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Philbin reaction, fallout around league; Dolphins, Heat chatter; Heat-OKC postscripts

FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN

With Joe Philbin’s Thursday news conference now behind him, here’s what matters now for the Dolphins coach: Doing something, strategically or otherwise, that has a tangible impact on his team winning, which we haven’t seen enough of. Working with his coaches to extract more from his players, several of whom played better before they got here or after they left (Karlos Dansby, etc.)….

Being more alert, something that clearly is an issue. Ditching the cue cards and becoming more of an inspirational leader when he addresses his men --- important considering at least one Dolphins player expressed concern that the team has assumed the flat, unemotional personality of its coach.

Some Philbin fallout from BullyGate:

### One thing Philbin must do, according to ESPN analyst and former Jets coach Herman Edwards, is not allow his players to pick the leadership council. (Richie Incognito was on that council.) “You never let the players do that,” Edwards said off air Thursday. “It’s like giving them keys to the candy store.”

### Here’s another: Philbin must identify players who like him enough to tell him the truth about what’s going on in his locker-room. A UM player said he believed Al Golden had an offensive lineman on the 2013 team who would tip him off when something was amiss.

Former UM assistant Don Soldinger said if Jimmy Johnson wanted locker-room insight, he could summon Alonzo Highsmith, among others, “and Alonzo would give it to him straight, wouldn’t hide anything.”

One NFL official who deals with Dolphins players said Philbin developing that type of player relationship is difficult because some Dolphins view Philbin as an old-school coach who’s not especially approachable. “You have to have the ability to get information from your locker-room,” said Edwards, adding this scandal “would not happen” on a team Edwards coached.

Edwards blames Philbin and also faults his assistants and staff for not telling him what they witnessed. “I’ve been in this 30 years, and the equipment guys see everything,” Edwards said. “And players talk. They’re like leaking refrigerators.”

Soldinger said Johnson’s biggest “eyes and ears” at UM (and presumably with the Cowboys and Dolphins) was trainer Kevin O’Neill, who was fired by the Dolphins on Wednesday, prompting this reaction from J.J. on Twitter: “Unbelievable! The BEST I ever worked with.”

### Philbin’s credibility has taken a hit. On Thursday, ESPN's Mark Schlereth called him "incompetent" and Tedy Bruschi marveled at his "amazing lack of awareness."

One person who led multiple NFL teams' front offices for many years told me it’s difficult to believe Philbin didn’t know what was going on: “You think something like this gets by Bill Belichick or Bill Parcells? No way. It’s ridiculous. If he doesn’t know, he doesn’t deserve the position.”

Soldinger, who coached 37 years, said: “It’s like running a business. If you run a business, you should know what’s going on. If you’re with it, you should know what’s going on.”

### Dolphins Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti said this “never” would have happened under Don Shula. But Buonconti’s concerns extend beyond that.

“As a team, they don’t play with pride and passion,” he said this week. “If you are going to get beat, get beat scratching and clawing. They embarrassed themselves [the final two weeks of the season]. It doesn’t look like they care.”

### This also should concern Philbin: “Players leave here and blossom elsewhere. That’s a reflection of the coaching staff,” former Dolphins standout Manny Fernandez said.

And a front office official who has worked with Philbin during his Dolphins tenure said his concern is Philbin is over-scripted and not spontaneous with players, spitting out his message like a computer.

### Joe Theismann said “it strikes me as odd” that Tony Dungy and Shula, but not Philbin, are on Stephen Ross’ committee to formulate a locker-room conduct policy. “Philbin has been around too long to have that many people looking over his shoulder,” Theismann said.

### Philbin does have supporters. A lot of players like him personally. Mike Ditka said Thursday he doesn’t blame Philbin because “Jonathan Martin is a sissy, and if his assistants knew what happened, they should have told him.”

And John Madden, who has worked with Philbin on an NFL committee, said: “We talked during the season. He’s a good coach and good man.”

CHATTER

### Former Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said he hasn’t decided whether to join Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey in Miami. (The assistant GM job is open.) “I want Dennis to have his time with the staff, team, etc.,” Dominik said.

### There’s some sympathy among players for fired offensive line coach Jim Turner, who was liked by even those who were harassed. He will be paid by Miami only if the league doesn’t suspend him, which is traditionally without pay.

### Former Heat shooting guard/small forward Caron Butler, on an expiring contract with Milwaukee, makes the most sense of the perimeter player buyout possibilities for Miami, though Danny Granger could emerge as one, too. Butler and the Heat hold each other in high regard. He entered Thursday having made 17 of his past 31 three-pointers.

### Yahoo! reported tonight that the Heat is among several teams expected to have interest in 6-9 power forward/center Glen Davis, who was bought out by Orlando. He's averaging 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds this season. ESPN says the Clippers are the front-runner to sign him.

### Hmmm: Evan Turner, acquired by Indiana in the Granger deal with Philadelphia, has shot 50.7 percent in 13 games against Miami, his second-best against any team (behind Phoenix). Granger shot just 40.5 percent vs. Miami in his career, among his worst.

"This wraps up the East for me," TNT's Charles Barkley said of Indiana. "They're going to win the Eastern Conference." (And yet the NBA will still have an Eastern Conference Finals anyway.)

### A few postscripts from Miami's impressive 103-81 win in Oklahoma City tonight: This performance looked very much like how Miami played during much of its 27-game win streak last year... LeBron James (33 points, 15 for 22 shooting) likely would have reached 35 points for the fourth game in a row if he hadn't departed midway through the fourth quarter with a swollen, bloody nose sustained when Serge Ibaka raked him across the face. "He's got a swollen nose right now," Erik Spoelstra said. "It's sore. We'll re-evaluate him when we get back to Miami."

James also had seven rebounds and four steals but also eight turnovers on a night when he set the tone early with 16 first-quarter points. He passed a concussion test but didn't speak to reporters after the game....

Dwyane Wade was at peak efficiency, with 24 points on 11 for 17 shooting, plus 10 assists... Chris Bosh made 11 of 12 free throws on a 24-point, 8-rebound night... The Heat not only again dominated the Thunder with Kendrick Perkins in the game (Miami was plus 12 in his eight minutes), but unlike in its loss to OKC in Miami, the Heat also maintained control when Perkins was out of the game (plus 10)....

Kevin Durant shook off a slow start to finish with 28 points on 10 for 22 shooting. But James improved to 14-4 in head-to-head matchups with Durant....

The Heat's 76.2 percent shooting in the first quarter was its high this season.... The Heat shot 54.7 percent, OKC 37.8.... In a sign of how seriously he took this game, Spoelstra played only eight, opting not to use Michael Beasley or Greg Oden. Chris Andersen served up eight rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes.

Comments

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Ed

We all know the Dolphins will go 7-9 next year, Ross will replace Philbin but keep Hickey, then Cowher will turn the job down because Ross is "loyal" to Hickey. When will the madness end?

MikeM

Actually, 6-10. You're giving them too much credit.

octavio de armas

This is sad what has happened to the DOLPHINS. They have become one of the poorest run organizations in sports. The question begs to be ask: Who is more pathetic the DOLPHINS with ROSS or the MARLINS with LORIA ?

Jeff

Charles Barkley is nothing more than a clown. He hates the Miami Heat and ignores the fact that the team has been in the Finals the last three years in a row.

Harleyray

Octavio,that is a great question. Too bad we do not have more Mickey Arison's to go around. Just sayin

Reality Bites

Posted by: octavio de armas

The most pathetic Miami sports teams would be:

1 - The Marlins and Loria

2 - Dolphins and Ross

3 - Canes and Shalala/ Revolving door ADs/ Incompetent coaching carrousel Coker/Shannon/Alverage Golden

4 - Panthers and Cohen

In that order with the #3 team on the list very close to the #2 spot.

Thank God for the Miami Heat.
Only sports team in town worth a dang.

Go Heat!!

Danny

I love how they say "how could Philbin not know about bullygate" and yet praise Bill Belichick for assuming this would never happen under his watch. Belichick didn't know what Aaron Hernandez did so how good is he really?

green

http://instagram.com/p/kpy2_XuGtb/#

#AtlantaCanes: WE DID IT!!! We've got the 1300 signatures the school wanted to authorize a Georgia UM license plate.
-- AtlantaCanes ‏@AtlantaCanes

HOTLANTA

green

http://www.cbspressexpress.com/cbs-entertainment/releases/view?id=38054

CBS Announces 2hr Primetime Special, SUMMER DREAMS 3/15, Following @ShaneLarkin_3 & others @ NBA Summer League
-- CBS Tweet ‏@CBSTweet

SUMMER SCHOOL

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 02/21/2014 at 08:31

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake Internet rivalry.

U CheAT

CNBC Announces re runs of Liars Scoundrels and Thiefs,
Following @NevinShapiro-1 & other scUMbags @ #LackOfInstitutionalControl.U


green

another crappy conference

Posted by: Reality Bites

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/a--ninja--is-the-key-to-the-acc-becoming-the-hottest-league-in-the-land-200145322-ncaab.html

For years, the presumptive power struggle in college sports was between Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. They were the key figures tussling over dollars, clout, athletic glory and the shape of things to come. Everyone else remained supporting actors as the two protagonists dueled.

But it's funny how things turn out. The 2013-14 athletic season has become the Year of the Ninja.

That's John Swofford, the low-key, low-visibility commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. He earned the wry media nickname "Ninja Swofford" last year for his ability to stealthily make big things happen, covertly solidifying the ACC's membership and its place in the national hierarchy. Now he is reaping the benefits.

The ACC is home to the 2013 football national champion, Florida State, which dethroned the mighty SEC. It is home to the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston, who will be slinging it again for FSU in the fall of '14. ... plus the No. 1 baseball team in the land, according to Baseball America, the Virginia Cavaliers.

And then there is the sport that built the ACC's identity and remains in its DNA: basketball. It is not the best league in America this season, but it has deftly commandeered the spotlight and become the must-watch conference in February. To date the ACC has been home to:

• The Game of the Year: Syracuse's overtime victory over Duke on Feb. 1 before an on-campus record crowd of 35,446 at the Carrier Dome.
• The Shot of the Year: Syracuse freshman Tyler Ennis' 35-footer as time expired to beat Pittsburgh on Feb. 12.
• The Freshman of the Year: In the so-called Year of the Freshman, it is Duke's Jabari Parker.
• The Upset of the Year: Boston College, which entered the game 6-19, shocked the No. 1-ranked Orange 62-59 in OT Wednesday night. That result might have taken some luster off the Syracuse-Duke rematch set for Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium, but it still had fans riveted to the TV over a game nobody was talking about when it started.

It's easy to underestimate the guy with the North Carolina drawl – the only homegrown commissioner among the Big Five – who tends to be less out-front and less glib than his counterparts. ... While nobody was paying much attention to him, Swofford and the league's presidents were able to acquire Syracuse and Pittsburgh as members, enhancing the ACC basketball brand; to lock in Notre Dame for five football games per year plus full membership in other sports; to bring in Louisville as a major competitive upgrade from Big Ten-bound Maryland come July; and most importantly to secure the Grant of Rights deal last spring that effectively stopped realignment before it completely ruined college sports.

That was the deal nobody saw coming, and the one that made the "Ninja Swofford" nickname stick. Locking the 15 ACC schools into a written agreement of loyalty tied to their media revenue rights through 2027

And if ever there were a year for Syracuse to become the most intriguing team in college basketball, its debut season as an ACC member is it.

With the school's record unbeaten run to start a season now over, the Orange can regroup for Duke. But the Blue Devils cannot look ahead either – they have to play archrival North Carolina in a rescheduled game Thursday night.

And that tells you about this year's ACC: Duke-Carolina is a warm-up act for a bigger game.

"It's good to be back to where we have multiple national rivalries," said Swofford.
-- pat forde

EMBARASSMENT OF RICHES

gman

its dolphin hunting season again

Gary

Mike Ditka says Martin is a sissy. Who wore a wedding dress. In the closet Mike? He's not in the closet for being an over the hill (falling asleep during a show)moron. As far as Charles Barkley the odds are with him in picking against the Heat every year. Sooner or later the Heat will need to rebuild. Until then he looks like the jealous loser he was when he played!

green

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake Internet rivalry.

Posted by: Not our rival | 02/21/2014 at 10:47 AM

https://twitter.com/CBarr_17/status/436873210538491904/photo/1

What a beautiful day for some baseball
#BeatUF #thelight
-- Christopher Barr ‏@CBarr_17

SHINE ON U CRAZY DIAMOND

green

The most pathetic Miami sports teams would be:

Canes and Shalala

Posted by: Reality Bites | 02/21/2014 at 08:31 AM

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1966445-miami-football-canes-must-go-all-in-on-david-beckhams-stadium-project

jumping on the Beckham bandwagon is the lone, tangible option if a "home" stadium is an ultimate goal. The global superstar has the name, face, brand and connections to get folks excited and focus on funding, while UM president Donna Shalala has the savvy, political background and Rolodex of her own, when it's time to shake the trees.

The tag team duo of Beckham and Shalala could be unstoppable, if both parties have a similar vision and can unite on the cause.
-- bleacher report

GIVE & GO

Mango

Its deplorable that Barry seems to encurage coaches implment a network of informants among the platers just like in nazi germany

sfsd

'Mike Ditka said Thursday he doesn’t blame Philbin because “Jonathan Martin is a sissy'

Just wanted to see it in print again!

[]_[] know it

Ricky Williams wore the wedding dress... not Mike Ditka.

TRW

Time for Philbin to find a job that he can actually do well. Maybe director in charge of picking up small pieces of paper in the locker room and on the field.

mayberd

Joe Philbin is looking more like Cam Cameron(inept,clueless,out of touch) but with Stephen Ross hiring the next coach might be Jay Leno who would be a improvement over Philbin.

Dom

Guys, I like coach philbin, but if martin is truly a sissy, its seems as this could have gotten out of hand w/o him knowing. If the coaches did know, then he is at fault and should have gone. might still b gone.

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