5 Questions I Wish I Could Ask Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin
5 Questions I Would Ask Joe Philbin
The Miami Dolphins had a season filled with ups and downs. They started off undefeated with three wins. From there, they lost four in a row before winning another game. The bullying controversy broke open and they lost two of their next three before going on a three-game winning streak. With the playoffs on the line, they lost their last two games in what can be described as one of the worst collapses in recent memory.
Between their final record of 8-8, the bullying controversy with Jonathan Martin, the cold relationship between former general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin, the suspension of Richie Incognito and so much more, these situations raise questions that need to be answered.
Those scenarios, which could be turned into a reality show, got me thinking. If I was able to sit down with Philbin and ask him any five questions, what would they be and why? There are so many things I could ask him – whether it’s about his personal life, his football life, the way he moved up in coaching ranks, his lack of head coach experience, and more.
However, to really understand the essence of last season and the state of the Dolphins moving forward, I had to narrow it down in what would be an effort to get specific answers to see if Philbin has learned from his past mistakes and if he is ready to turn the corner in his third year.
Here are five questions I would ask Philbin if I had the chance to do so.
5. What do you really think about Jonathan Martin and the bullying controversy?
The Dolphins were not very proactive when dealing with the bullying situation. However, that's because many people inside the Dolphins' building thought the situation was overblown, as I have reported for the past several months. I would ask Philbin what he really thought of the whole situation. Did he think it was overblown? Did he think that it was just normal locker room antics? More importantly, what does he think of Martin and the way he has ruined careers and lives of others around him?
4. What are your specific plans to get more involved with the team?
After the Wells report came out, Philbin said that he plans to get more involved with the team. I would ask him what is going to be different this time around. It's been reported and confirmed that Philbin was a CEO type head coach where he oversees everything and truly allows his coordinators and assistants to run their sides of the ball. Will he be in on more meetings now? Will he be taking more trips through the locker room? Will he be holding more meetings? The answers to these questions are essential to knowing whether or not Philbin will change his style and if he has learned from his previous mistakes.
3. Why does it seem that when players leave, they blossom elsewhere?
It seems that when players leave the Dolphins via free agency, they do much better in their new home. Take a look at Karlos Dansby, who many wanted out. However, when he went to the Arizona Cardinals, he had one of the best years of his career. Reggie Bush, who at times struggled to find a comfort zone in Miami's offense, had a great year with the Detroit Lions. Sean Smith went to the Kansas City Chiefs and was one of the best cornerbacks in the league in 2013. I would ask Joe Philbin why this is happening, if he is aware that it is happening and if he plans to make sure his coaches spend more time working with their players.
2. Were you 100 percent on board with drafting Dion Jordan?
The Dolphins went into the 2013 draft with Martin in place as their left tackle. It has been reported that Philbin and other coaches didn't feel comfortable with Martin at the left tackle position. However, Ireland ignored their concerns in free agency and stuck with Martin on the most important position on the offensive line. It was widely assumed the Dolphins would draft a left tackle. When they traded up to the third spot, many believed it was to do just that.
They shocked the world when they selected Dion Jordan. I would ask Philbin if he was fully on board with this. With Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, this was obviously a luxury pick when they had many other needs. Did he want someone different or did he agree that Jordan should be the pick? Furthermore, what is his plan to get Jordan on the field more in 2014?
1. Did your rift with Jeff Ireland affect the team's performance on the field?
After Ireland was fired, reports came out that there was a lot of tension between him and Philbin. There was so much tension that there became a point during the season where they stopped talking to each other. I would ask Philbin if this rift impacted the team's performance on the field. The Dolphins went into a slide once the bullying controversy broke and then were able to pick themselves up only to fall apart the last two games.
We already know that Philbin didn't feel comfortable with Martin. When the bullying scandal broke, you know all heck must have broken loose in the front office and that Philbin must have been irate knowing this could have been avoided if Ireland had listened to him.