2. Miami Dolphins hire Joe Philbin
Miami owner Stephen Ross craves the big name. He wanted Jim Harbaugh to be his coach
two offseasons ago, even while he was still employing Tony Sparano
. This offseason, Ross wanted Jeff Fisher
to take the Dolphins
job, but Fisher picked the St. Louis Rams
. So enter Philbin
, a long-time, well-respected assistant with the Green Bay Packers
I liked the idea of Philbin as a head coach, but not for Miami. I didn't think Ross would give him much time to grow, since he wasn't that coveted big name. I loathed the fit.
Ross has to like what he's seen since. I know I do.
Though he's working with a thin and young roster, Philbin has been incredibly impressive, from the character he showed on HBO's "Hard Knocks" when he jettisoned receiver/clown Chad Johnson to the way he's developed rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill
. Philbin also put together a good coaching staff, highlighted by offensive coordinator Mike Sherman
and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, whose unit has been strong and consistent all season.
Philbin comes on SiriusXM NFL Blitz every week, and I appreciate his candid approach. He has challenged his "work-in-progress" receiving corps, which out-kicked expectations early on, and he's raved about the dedication and leadership of running back Reggie Bush
are now 2-3 after beating a good Cincinnati Bengals team on the road
, and they could be 4-1, had they won close games against the New York Jets
and Arizona Cardinals
. The roster is relatively weak, but Miami plays incredibly hard for Philbin. He's doing a great job coaching. It won't result in a trip to the playoffs this season, but if the owner stays out of the way, the Dolphins
can build something. I hope Ross is paying attention.