When the Dolphins failed to hire Jeff Fisher it become obvious to me that Joe Philbin was the only real choice left. They needed someone that was a strong offensive mind coach. I just had one burning question about it.
Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross had said that he wanted to "find a young Don Shula." No Dolphins fan would hate that idea. Shula is the winningest head coach in NFL history. He is a legend and a Hall of Famer. Dolphin’s fans, including yours truly, long for the days that Shula roamed the sidelines.
Joe Philbin at 50 years old is not a young Shula though and for the record Jeff Fisher is not young either. He is actually three years older.
But the statements that were made after the hire puzzled me.
Ross said: "We are thrilled to have Joe Philbin join the Miami Dolphins as our head coach. Joe has all the attributes that we were looking for when we started this process. 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."
I agree that he is the right choice and that has what it takes to bring back the success that the Dolphins enjoyed years ago. But this is what you were looking forward to when you started this process? What happened to finding a young Shula?
Was Joe Philbin the right hire?
Simply put there was not a young Shula out there to hire. The truth is that a veteran coach was needed—not necessarily head coaching experience but someone that has a good track record.
Philbin defiantly has that. Since taking over as offensive coordinator in 2003 the Packers offense has not finished worse than ninth in total offense or 10th in points scored.
Anyone that has watched the Dolphins lately will tell you that side of the ball has been horrible. Now the quarterback position is still a HUGE need. Whether it is Matt Flynn, Peyton Manning or whoever they find is going to need to cement his name in as the starter and quickly.
Brandon Marshall, Devone Bess and the other wide outs should flourish in this scheme. Plus, do not forget that Reggie Bush is coming off his best season ever and will be a huge weapon.
Philbin will name someone as offensive coordinator, which most likely will be Mike Sherman, and now with Bowles gone the defensive coordinator according to reports will be Kevin Coyle.
Is Philbin the next Don Shula? No he is not. Like all legends there is only one of them.
But can he be the guy that restores glory to, as he put it "one of the premier franchises in professional sports"?
I believe the answer to that question is yes, but more importantly Philbin believes it.