By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on May 31, 2014
Head coach Joe Philbin enters his third season with the Miami Dolphins. Despite entering the final week of each of the last two regular seasons with an opportunity to enter the postseason, the Dolphins have still failed to clinch a playoff berth over the past five seasons. If Philbin wishes to remain the head coach past the 2014 season, he'll have to lead the Dolphins to a playoff berth. Here are five reasons why Philbin is on the hot seat.
As mentioned before, the Dolphins have yet to make the playoffs in each of Philbin's first two seasons with the team. In 2013, the Dolphins had a grand opportunity to clinch their first postseason berth in five years, but they squandered that opportunity when they lost their last two games of the season. No head coach in today's NFL goes three years without making the playoffs in his first three seasons with a team, and ends up not getting fired.
The Dolphins didn't just lose their last two games of 2013, they lost in uninspiring fashion. They were soundly dominated by the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets, two sub .500 teams with inexperienced quarterbacks starting for each team. All the Dolphins had to do was win one of those two games, and they would have entered the postseason as the AFC's No. 6 seed.
Most of the blame was attributed to former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman who was promptly fired after the 2013 season for the offense's struggles. The offensive unit during Philbin's tenure ranked 27th in 2012 and 26th in 2013 in scoring. In offensive yardage, the team ranked 27th in the league in both years. There is no positive way to spin it -- the offense has been lethargic during Philbin's tenure.
Although Philbin has only been around since 2012, the Dolphins' lack of recent success will play a role in the franchise's patience with Philbin. Since 2000, the franchise has made the playoffs just three times. In those 14 seasons, they've had just six winning seasons. The Dolphins also haven't won a playoff game in 13 years.
During the 2013 offseason, the Dolphins went on a collective spending binge on free agents, including Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler and Brandon Gibson. Of those four players combined, the Dolphins handed out 1 million in contract money. How did those four players improve the 2013 squad? They improved the Dolphins' win total by one game from 2012 to 2013.
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