Blog Entry

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:36 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 5:23 pm
Former Green Bay OC Joe Philbin is Miami's new head coach. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Dolphins have hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their head coach,'s Mike Freeman has confirmed through a team source. Philbin, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Todd Bowles, the Dolphins secondary coach who served as the interim head coach after Tony Sparano was fired in Week 14, were thought to be the favorites.

“We are thrilled to have Joe Philbin join the Miami Dolphins as our head coach,” owner Stephen Ross said in a statment released by the team. “Joe has all the attributes that we were looking for when we started this process. (General) Jeff Ireland and I felt Joe was the right choice to bring the Dolphins back to the success we enjoyed in the past. I know I join our fans in welcoming him as the newest member of the Dolphin family.”

Miami settled on Philbin after Jeff Fisher accepted St. Louis' offer last week (and the $7 million-a-year salary that came with it). The organization is expected to hold a press conference after Philbin signs his contract in the coming days. Details of the deal aren't known but the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero writes that it's for no less than four years.

Philbin becomes the 10th coach in Dolphins history and the seventh in eight years. He takes over a team that started the 2011 season with seven straight losses before winning six of their last nine games. Miami missed the playoffs for the ninth time in the past decade. It has been 19 years since they reached the AFC championship game, 27 years since they reached the Super Bowl and 38 years since they won an NFL title.

"You don't replace people like Joe," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein.  I'm going to miss him personally a whole lot, forget as a professional. ... He brings a lot to the table..His resume speaks for itself. But the No. 1 thing is ... he's an excellent communicator."

Packers tight end Jermichael Finley added via Twitter: "A huge congratulations to Joe Philbin. No one deserves it more than this guy. The Pack will miss him!"

Former Packers executive Andrew Brandt tweeted: "Worked five years with Joe Philbin. Calm, cerebral, humble and a skilled offensive mind. His style will resonate with players."

When Ross began the job search he said that he would like to give the franchise much-needed stability by hiring "a young Don Shula." Instead he chose the 50-year-old Philbin, who has 28 years of coaching experience, including 19 years in college.

“I want to thank Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland for giving me the opportunity to become the head coach of one of the premier franchises in professional sports,” he said. “I also want to thank the Green Bay Packers for all the support the organization has given me during my time there.

"The Dolphins have a strong nucleus to build around, and working with everyone in the organization, I know that together we will return the team to its winning tradition," he continued. "I have seen how much the fans in South Florida care about the Dolphins, and that passion is one reason why I’m really excited to be here. I’m looking forward to their support, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Miami's offense ranked 20th last season, according to Football Outsiders (20th pass, 27th rush). Owner Stephen Ross wanted to bring in an offensive-minded head coach and Philbin is certainly that. He served as the Packers' coordinator from the 2007-2011 seasons, which includes the entire Aaron Rodgers era.

Assistants becoming first-time NFL head coaches have had mixed results in recent years. The group includes the Ravens' John Harbaugh, the Saints' Sean Payton and the Steelers' Mike Tomlin, but also three coaches recently fired: Jim Caldwell by the Colts, Todd Haley by the Chiefs and Steve Spagnuolo by the Rams.

Before joining the Packers, Philbin was Iowa's offensive line coach for four years. The former small-college tight end has been an offensive coordinator at Harvard, Northeastern and Allegheny College.

Philbin will now begin assembling a staff. Bowles might remain as a replacement for defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who took the same job this week with the Atlanta Falcons.

Freeman writes that Rodgers' backup and soon-to-be free agent Matt Flynn could be an option in South Beach. (Chad Henne, the Dolphins' former second-round pick, suffered a shoulder injury during the '11 season and was placed on injured reserve. He'll be a free agent this spring and isn't expected back.)

"A source close to Flynn told me that Flynn would 'love to the challenge of being a starter' but emphasized he's loyal to the Packers," said Freeman Friday evening. "But if you had to wager don't put a lot of cash on Flynn staying in Green Bay."

Flynn, who completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 480 yards and six touchdowns against the Lions in Week 17, could be one of the most sought-after quarterbacks in free agency in the coming months if the Packers don't chose to re-sign him. We've already drawn the Kevin Kolb comparisions, and the Redskins have been mentioned as possible suitors. Now we can add the Dolphins to that list.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:24 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

This might just work for the Dolphins, especially if Flynn defects as a FA ? Pieces of GB's offense, whether Philbin called plays or not, they'll bring knowledge and a playbook with them. Sorry to the nay-sayers, but you don't spend that kind of time in a winning system and leave totally stupid and incompetent. And as usual it all comes down to whether the players learn & execute that system. Perhaps Ireland & Philbin work together to piece a winner out of this. To be honest, I still smh, they had Ted Ginn Jr., let him get away and leave to the 49ers after getting Brandon Marshall. Ginn Jr was another quality wr that would've benefitted from landing Marshall, not to mention the punt returner they lost. But to be fair about it, the Dolphins lost a lot last season to FA moves. They didn't keep anyone around and in the end accepted that it was a rebuilding season and would take time for this group to just learn how to play well as a team. With axing Sparano, this rebuild might be wasted with a new coaching staff coming in ?

Since: Jan 20, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:02 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

Doesn't matter who is coaching with Ireland still in the picture it won't matter. I would love to know what kind of dirt he has on Ross to keep his job!!!

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:47 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

and I'd like to add to that guys you don't want Matt Flynn in Miami...Why?  Matt one system as a back up to a great QB he looks great on his own he never measures up and really doesn't amount to anything.  I'd be very very aphrehensive about a coach that wanted to bring in a back up QB with him.  History shows that in the NFL you don't find, statistically speaking, diamonds in the roughs as back ups...QBs are drafted not as back ups.  Matt Flynn the next Matt Cassel. 

Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:45 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

Guess we'll get to find out if hiring a Packers OC is like hiring a Patriots OC. 

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:43 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

How do the Dolphins Justify hiring an OC that didn't even call the offensive plays for his team? McCarthy is the one calling the offensive plays in GB.  If I were a dolphins fan I'd be pissed. 

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:23 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

If he does better than .500 and beats the pats at least once, im sold!

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:53 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

Sounds like a class act, doesn't he?  It will be unavoidable to compare Fisher's and Philbin's records this year, but if Flynn becomes part of the Miami mix, then life REALLY gets interesting.  And how will Green Bay recover from the huge upset AND the loss of not only their OC, but a leading spirit among personnel?  You have to believe Philbin will draw some high-caliber assistants. This hire really creates some interesting scenarios in a number of markets. The off-season has started even before the Super Bowl.  

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:47 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

I think this is a good hire.  Jeff Ireland needs to be fired though, he is terrible at evaluating talent and doesn't know what he is doing...

Since: Mar 1, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:33 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

Not too many getting excited down here in S Fla. Fish need to dump Ireland and start from there. I really hope this isn't another Cam Cameron type hire. What a disaster that was.

Since: Feb 18, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:17 pm

Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

Thank you very very very much Mr Ross this is our guy...hes alot better then Fisher no doubt in my mind...Now lets go and get Perry farewell from the Giants as our DC then were set for the draft. This is a good day down here in south Beach...Go Fins

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