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Tag:Joe Philbin
Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:27 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 4:31 pm
 

Michael Philbin was intoxicated, had marijuana

PhilbinBy Josh Katzowitz

About two months after the body of Michael Philbin, the son of new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, was positively identified after he drowned in the Fox River in Oshkosh, Wis., toxicology reports show Michael was intoxicated and had marijuana in his system.

According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Philbin’s blood alcohol level was 0.176, more than two times the legal limit, when he fell through the ice and into the freezing river.

His death has been ruled accidental.

"The loss of a child and sibling is absolutely heartbreaking to a family," Joe Philbin said in a statement released in conjunction with the Oshkosh police department. "Ours is no different. We hope that the results of the recent toxicology report serves as a reminder to us all that the mixture of alcohol and marijuana can be extremely dangerous, potentially even fatal.

"Michael was alone when this incident occurred. For us as a family this has been the most difficult thing to deal with. Had he been with someone this would have been avoided. The message is clear: practice moderation in the consumption of alcohol, avoid illegal drugs, and if someone appears to be in need of assistance, help them so that this situation doesn’t occur again."

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:50 am
 

McCarthy on Flynn: 'It's his time to play'

After playing behind Rodgers, Flynn's in line for a starting job in 2012. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

As is the case most years, the 2012 combine is all about the quarterback. Sure, there are plenty of other players to evaluate but the NFL is a passing league. To win consistently, teams need franchise quarterbacks. (Just take a look at the recent Super Bowl winners for proof -- Eli Manning (twice), Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger (twice), Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.)

While much of the focus falls on Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there has been plenty of talk about current NFL QBs -- old faces possibly playing in new places in 2012. Peyton Manning tops that list even if no one can speak to when he'll be healthy enough to return to the field.

After Manning, there's Matt Flynn who has often been compared to Kevin Kolb for his lack of on-the-job training followed by what's sure to be a big payday to be some team's starter. The comparisons are probably unfair, especially if Flynn can play in a system that fits his strengths (like, say, Miami).

First things first, though; after the Packers signed tight end Jermichael Finley to a two-year deal this week, the speculation was that the organization would then franchise Flynn with the plan to then tag and trade him before March 5.

On Friday, Packers general manager Ted Thompson wasn't interested in speaking in particulars, telling the media that “I’m not going to stand here and tell all the 31 other teams what I think about Matt Flynn.”

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, however, was much more forthcoming.

“Matt’s had a chance to play versus New England (in 2010), versus Detroit (in 2011), so based on what I’ve seen in the every day — classroom, practice field — he’s ready,” McCarthy said via NFL.com. “It’s his time to play.”

“You don’t ever know if that backup quarterback can take that next step and go out and play 16 games. I know mentally, he’s ready; emotionally, he’s definitely ready,” McCarthy continued. “But until you play the position and go play those 1,100, 1,200 snaps, that’s when you really find out. I think Matt’s ready for that.”

On Thursday, NFL Films' Greg Cosell made the case for Flynn to the Dolphins and it came down to this: "It would make good sense for Flynn to join his former offensive coordinator in Miami. [New head coach Joe] Philbin understands from personal experience Flynn’s strengths and limitations. If he gets the chance, he will take a page from the Bill Walsh book, and cast Flynn in his rightful role: an efficient passer in a multi-dimensional passing game in which the scheme rules, not the quarterback."

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is reportedly "infatuated" with Manning but Sports Illustrated's Peter King thinks Peyton-to-South Beach doesn't make a lot of sense.

"As one GM told me today, problem with Peyton to Miami is Philbin wants to control his team and his offense -- not cede it to Manning," King tweeted Friday.

General manager Jeff Ireland said the organization would be okay with a "short-term solution" at quarterback but added that "Obviously you'd like a long-term solution, but you can do both."

The pool of free-agent quarterbacks is pretty thin. In fact, if you're willing to accept that Manning's future remains uncertain, Flynn is easily Miami's best option. If they agree, then the question becomes whether they can get him for a good price.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:27 pm
 

Dolphins OK with 'short-term' fix at QB right now

The Fins are open to a long- or short-term fix at quarterback. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Perhaps you've heard already: the Miami Dolphins are in the market for a quarterback. There are myriad rumors about who they want; Matt Flynn works because Joe Philbin's his old coach. Peyton Manning works because, well, he's Peyton Manning. What about Robert Griffin III? And don't sleep on Ryan Tannehill, who Mike Sherman coached at Texas A&M.

According to Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland, the team is in fact open to a short-term solution at the position, despite having never successfully filled the role since the departure of my esteemed colleague Mr. Marino many moons ago.

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"I don't think it has to be a long-term solution," Ireland said. "I think you can get a short-term solution. Obviously you'd like a long-term solution, but you can do both. You can certainly try and get both in that regard. But it's my job to try and grow the team for today and for the future. And Joe's responsibility is to try and win today with a mind to the future as well."

Philbin echoed Ireland's sentiments, saying that there's "not necessarily" a preference when it comes to acquiring a quarterback for the future or a quarterback who can step in right now and win.

"Not necessarily," Philbin said. "The quarterback is an important position in the offense and an important position on the football team. We've got to have a player perform with success at that position. But we don't have a mandate that the player has to be 24-years-old or 33-years-old or 29-years old.

"We're looking for a manager, a leader, an accurate passer, a decision maker and a guy who can make a play when we need it. And however that shakes out, it's fine by us."

Since Marino departed, the Dolphins have rolled out the following quarterbacks as starters: Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels, Brian Griese, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Matt Moore.

That's sixteen quarterbacks since Marino last played in 1999. The Dolphins, more than almost any team in the NFL (with the possible exception of the Redskins) need a long-term answer at quarterback.

But that long-term answer might not come this year, especially whatever short-term solution they're eying gives the Dolphins a chance to win now.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:07 pm
 

Report: Browns will go after Matt Flynn

Flynn

By Josh Katzowitz

The list of potential suitors for Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn continues to grow. Already, you know the Dolphins are interested, and Green Bay probably would like to bring him back so the team can then (possibly) trade him away.

But according to the Canton Repository, the Browns also will make a play for the fourth-year veteran who’s made exactly two starts in his career (though he admittedly was pretty awesome in both those starts).

As Steve Doerschuk writes, “There will be a budget that will not be exceeded in the play for Flynn. Peyton Manning’s presence on the market drives down his price.  … That still leaves the Dolphins as a suitor … and as the likely lander of Flynn.”

The paper also notes that Browns president Mike Holmgren is “no great fan” of quarterback competition, and if Cleveland can land Flynn, the team would make him the starter instead of Colt McCoy.

It’s still unclear whether the Browns, who hold the No. 4 spot in April’s draft, will try to trade with the Rams to move up to the No. 2 position to grab Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, but on Wednesday, Browns coach Pat Shurmur had some nice things to say about McCoy*.

In like Flynn?
"We're looking forward him to improving through the offseason," Shurmur said. "I think it will make a big difference in year two (of) me being here.  I told him to prepare himself to get as much out of this offseason as possible. I'm expecting him to attack this offseason and get as good as he can get within our system. He really works at things and that's going to help him."

*Basically, it seems like nobody has any idea what the Browns will do.

Flynn, meanwhile, is looking forward to striking out on his own as a potential starting quarterback.

"I'm a confident person but the element of the unknown makes you wish March 13 was tomorrow," Flynn said this week. "I've loved being a Packer, and it's not 100 percent sure I'm leaving Green Bay, but as a competitor and football player, that's what you play the game for -- to be a starter in the league. Hopefully some teams will be interested in me and I can find a good opportunity. I want to lead a team and I'm excited about it. But I can't talk to teams now. I don't know if I'm on their radar. It's going to be a long month leading up to that time -- waiting and wondering."

While you still have to consider Miami the favorite to land Flynn (even if there are no billboards of him on I-95) because of the connection with new Dolphins coach/former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, it will be interesting to see if the Browns actually can make themselves a player in this lottery.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 4:27 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 4:28 pm
 

Are Dolphins best fit for Matt Flynn's skills?

Green Bay might franchise Flynn but only to trade him to a team in desperate need of a QB.  (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Packers inked tight end Jermichael Finley to a two-year deal Wednesday night, which means that they can now use the franchise tag on backup quarterback Matt Flynn. The organization isn't interested in paying Flynn $14.4 million to watch Aaron Rodgers in 2012, but instead are hoping to trade him to a quarterback-needy team.

" If (the Packers) franchise Flynn before the March 5 deadline, they would be on the hook for a $14.4 million salary, but their intention would be to do a sign-and-trade," Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote late Wednesday.

"In other words, they would shop Flynn to those interested in him and take the best offer. Flynn would have to agree to renegotiate the one-year deal into a long-term contract before any team would be willing to make a trade. Then, once he was dealt, he would restructure the contract."

The Patriots did something similar with Matt Cassel in 2009 -- franchising him before eventually trading him to the Chiefs for a second-round pick.

So who might be in the market for Flynn's services? The Dolphins seem like the most logical destination; new head coach Joe Philbin was Flynn's offensive coordinator in Green Bay and Miami has no intentions of re-signing Chad Henne. Then there are the Redskins, Seahawks, Cardinals, and the Browns.

We went into painstaking detail about Flynn's future (as well as that of Peyton Manning, the other quarterback who will draw plenty of interest in free agency as soon as he's released).


NFL Films' Greg Cosell, who watches more game film than anyone whose not an NFL coach, wrote Thursday about Flynn's strengths and weaknesses. Many of the concerns scouts had about Flynn coming out of college remain (size and arm strength chief among them), but he still has the chance to be pretty good.

"Flynn, at 6-foot-2, does not possess prototypical size. He has above-average arm strength, nothing more," Cosell said. "There are power throws he will struggle to make, like deep digs at 18-22 yards, or deep comebacks. In fact, these are not throws you would ask Flynn to make. The bottom line: Flynn is not a top-level passer.

"His attributes, based on film breakdown of his two NFL starts, derive from his talent as a timing and rhythm passer who’s decisive with his reads and throws, and has shown good accuracy in the short to intermediate areas. …One thing I liked was his pocket movement. He showed the ability to slide and maintain his downfield focus. That’s a far more important trait than running out of the pocket."

So what are Flynn's long-term prospects? "Flynn, I believe, can be a successful NFL starter, but he must be carefully manipulated by the schematics of the passing game, and helped by the play-calling," Cosell said. "He’s not Aaron Rodgers simply because he put up better numbers in a late-season start. Rodgers is an exception, a supremely talented passer with rare traits. Few quarterbacks in NFL history have thrown with Rodgers’ combination of velocity and accuracy."

Cosell concludes that "It would make good sense for Flynn to join his former offensive coordinator in Miami. Philbin understands from personal experience Flynn’s strengths and limitations. If he gets the chance, he will take a page from the Bill Walsh book, and cast Flynn in his rightful role: an efficient passer in a multi-dimensional passing game in which the scheme rules, not the quarterback."

Flynn has drawn comparisons to Kevin Kolb, who was miscast in the Cardinals' scheme last season  (they run a completely different offense than the Eagles' version of the West Coast). The difference: if Flynn lands in Miami, he'll have a much greater chance for success.

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said he hadn't heard about the grassroots South Florida "Manning to Miami" push until someone told him about it at the combine in Indianapolis Thursday morning, but said that "I don't think it has to be a long-term solution (at quarterback) -- I think you can look at a short-term solution."

Hopefully, Ireland meant that in the physical sense (Flynn's 6-2) and not in the "we can get a year or two out of this old-timer assuming he's completely healthy (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, we're getting Peyton!)" sense.

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 5:31 pm
 

Group purchases 'Manning to Miami' billboard

Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Local10.com*)

By Ryan Wilson

It's no secret that the Dolphins need a franchise quarterback. We've mentioned it before, but the list of successors to Dan Marino in Miami is one of the saddest things you'll ever see. The team's top passers since 2000: Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne and Matt Moore (see, we told you).

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is reportedly "infatuated" with Peyton Manning for obvious reasons: assuming he's healthy enough to play in 2012, Manning immediately makes the Dolphins competitive and, perhaps more importantly, he'll sell tickets, something the team struggles to do when it's not Tim Tebow Appreciation Day.

Free agent Matt Flynn might make more sense -- he's younger, healthier, and is familiar with new head coach Joe Philbin's offense (Philbin and Flynn were together in Green Bay). But Flynn ain't Manning when it comes to cachet or resume, which explains the South Florida billboard visible from I-95 relaying a simple message: Manning to Miami.

There's also a website for the like-minded to sign a petition and "Be part of 'The Movement' and make history -- bring Manning to Miami."

The site asks some important questions:

"How many wins is Manning worth? When's the last time we the fans have had an 'impact' quarterback? What about the most cerebral quarterback of all time?"

The only problem is that Manning, in his current state, is worth zero wins. But this is what desperation smells like when you've been subjected to names like Frerotte, Culpepper, Harrington and Henne in recent years.

* The screenshot above is courtesy of Local10.com. You can watch the compelling video here. (Apparently, the camera has zoom capabilities -- both in and out.)

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:42 pm
 

Report: Dolphins won't attempt to re-sign Henne

Henne's career in Miami ends after four uninspiring seasons. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

We spent a good part of the latest Pick-6 Podcast talking about where Chad Henne will play in 2012 because while Miami's front office hasn't come out and said it, it's a foregone conclusion that he played his last game for the Dolphins in Week 4 before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

On Tuesday, a league source told the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly that Dolphins won't be making Henne an offer. Which means that the unrestricted free agent will be free to hawk his wares to any of the other 31 NFL teams.


In early January, Henne, the Dolphins' 2008 second-round pick, said he would "love" to return to Miami. But the 13-18 career record as a starter and the career-best 79.0 passer rating through four games of the 2011 season were two good reasons for the organization to continue its search for the next franchise quarterback.

“Chad has done what we’ve asked him to do," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said at the Senior Bowl last month according to Kelly. "I like Chad personally very well. He’s very smart. Very intelligent. Very tough. A football guy. He loves being around the game and is a very good teammate. But this football team didn’t win enough games when he was quarterback here.

"But that doesn’t mean he did everything wrong, or right. If he goes somewhere else, Chad’s a good football player. He can play in this league.”

While Henne won't have trouble finding work, barring an extraordinary set of circumstances, it won't be as a starter. (CBSSports.com's Will Brinson pegs the Chiefs, Jets and Broncos as possible destinations.)

As for the Dolphins, two names are often mentioned at the top of their wish list: Peyton Manning (who owner Stephen Ross is reportedly infatuated with) and Matt Flynn, who knows new head coach Joe Philbin well from their time together in Green Bay.

Flynn might make the most sense because he's familiar with Philbin's offense and hasn't had four neck surgeries. But Manning would give the Dolphins something they haven't had since Dan Marino retired: one of the league's best quarterbacks. The only difference is that Manning's best days could be behind him. Exacerbating matters: we won't know one way or the other for weeks, maybe months.

One thing is for certain, however: Henne's career in Miami is officially over.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:52 am
 

Sherman likens Tannehill to Favre, Rodgers

New Fins OC Mike Sherman thinks Tannehill is a Favre-like leader. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

When it comes to quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft, the general consensus out there is that Ryan Tannehill is the No. 3 signal caller behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. But that doesn't mean he's doomed to falling in the draft, as there are plenty of potential suitors picking in the top half of the draft.

One such suitor, the Miami Dolphins, recently hired Tannehill's coach at Texas A&M, Mike Sherman, as its offensive coordinator. And Sherman, speaking to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, said that Tannehill reminds him of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

"Like all good quarterbacks he had great poise. Very confident in any system, west coast or not," Sherman said of Tannehill. "Any quarterback has to be confident in his own skin and believe in himself. They always say a great quarterback makes those around him better. I thought [Brett] Favre did that. I think Aaron Rodgers does that. I think Tannehill does that as well."

We'll forgo debating the comparisons between Favre and Rodgers, made only on the premise that Tannehill is a leader. Instead, we'll point out that it was actually Sherman who moved Tannehill to wide receiver before the 2008 season. Tannehill lost out in the competition for quarterback to Stephen McGee and Jerrod Johnson and remained a wide receiver in 2009.

Tannehill caught over 100 passes for more than 1,400 yards in two years before being moved back to quarterback, and completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 5,388 yards, 42 touchdowns and 21 interceptions over the next two years.

But again: Sherman's the guy who moved him to wideout. It's impressive as hell that Tannehill was a dominant college wide receiver, and even more impressive that he transitioned back to quarterback, but if he was "like Brett Favre," the move to wide receiver is an indictment of someone here.

Oh yes, and Sherman was fired from his job as Texas A&M head coach after this past season.

Having said all that, we tend to agree that Tannehill's stock is on the rise and that he's highly unlikely to even fall towards the end of the first round. NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler slotted him as high as sixth to the Redskins in the latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft. (Rob Rang has Tannehill going 22nd overall to the Browns.)

But if new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin feels the same way about Matt Flynn as Sherman apparently feels about Tannehill, it won't matter much that the Dolphins OC is that interested in his former wideout/quarterback protégé.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com