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Albert: FOX broadcast will side with keeping Philbin

Broadcasters walk a delicate line between telling you what is happening within the game they are covering and discussing the news surrounding the teams playing.

For the NFL on FOX crew covering the Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the broadcast will eventually include a conversation between play-by-play man Kenny Albert and analyst Daryl Johnston about coach Joe Philbin's future in Miami.

"That will be a point we make," Albert said by phone Friday afternoon. "Last week we did the Giants-Redskins and with so much in the media having to do with the coaching situation for Tom Coughlin and the Giants it had to be discussed.

"During the game it's a balance because you don't want to dwell on that stuff all game long. Last week we brought it up in the fourth quarter and had a conversation about it. I feel comfortable speaking for Moose on this because we've talked about it so many times: We're both big believers in stability. Last week we were both pro keeping Coughlin for a number of reasons."

And this week, when it comes up, the duo will be in favor of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross keeping the status quo with Philbin.

"With coach Philbin, we're aware of everything written this week," Albert said. "We know it's out there and people are talking about it. But number one, our job is to call the football game. You do have to mention it at some point. We'll certainly give it the attention it's due.

"And again, we seem to be both in favor of stability. We both like coach Philbin. We both liked him in Green Bay and the job he did there. And we think he's doing a good job with the Dolphins."

The last time Albert did a Dolphins game was a dark time in team history as he called a Dallas beating of the home team in 2007 -- yeah, the year Miami won one game.

Things have improved for the Dolphins since then but after nearly 60 hours of studying the team, meeting with the coach and some players, and watching previous games, it is no surprise to Albert the Dolphins are what their record says.

"Looking at it from the outside in, for the Dolphins it's been an up and down year," Albert said. "It obviously came down for them the last few games. They obviously had a rough third quarter last week. But they haven't been eliminated yet. They're going against a Minnesota team that has been eliminated but is playing well. They seem to be on the upswing."

And so Albert is boldly predicting a whipping.

No. Kidding.

"I think it'll be a close game. I do," Albert said. "I think the Vikings are excited about this game. Teddy Bridgewater is returning home, their coach, Mike Zimmer has them playing better lately. 

"Amazingly, this is year 21 for me doing this. We go in and sit down with the home team on Friday and visiting team on Saturday. No matter what we think, we have all this information, spend 50-60 hours a week studying, and it never goes how we expect."

Albert nonetheless is expecting a one or two possession game into the fourth quarter.

"I think they're pretty even," he said of the teams. "I really do."