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The Most Important Thing We've Learned About Joe Philbin from 'Hard Knocks'

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The Most Important Thing We've Learned About Joe Philbin from 'Hard Knocks'
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When the NFL chose the Miami Dolphins as the subject of HBO's Hard Knocks this year, Joe Philbin took the responsibility for allowing the show to showcase the team.

As the head coach, Philbin would also be the main focus. His story is one of loss (his son Michael earlier this year) and of gains (his job with the Dolphins).

We've learned a lot about the former Packers offensive coordinator during the last four episodes, but most importantly we learned one thing about Philbin: his ideas are good, but the arrogance he has shown in the execution is a problem.

His decision to jettison Chad Johnson was a good one. Johnson was struggling in camp and had shown signs of decline, while his personal life had become a distraction.

The execution of the release was very clumsy and arrogant. Philbin looked more like someone trying to break it off with a significant other.

Contrast this approach with Jeff Ireland's approach in episode four, when he alerted Vontae Davis that he would be traded to the Colts; Ireland was business-like in his approach, telling Vontae why he was being traded and explaining how he hoped for the best. There was no awkwardness to it. Did it come off a bit cold and callous? Yes, but it was to the point, something that Philbin couldn't be while releasing Johnson.

Philbin also showed some condescension when talking to Karlos Dansby, Reggie Bush and Jake Long about forming a "leadership council" in episode three, after Johnson's release. Philbin seemed to only suggest this to get the three veterans out of his hair. This is an attitude that a coach can not have with the guys who he expects to be the leader of this team.

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Philbin has come off a bit arrogant during the series. This is most seen when he told his players during episode three (after Dansby's rant about Johnson's release): "You're not going to agree with every decision that Jeff (Ireland) makes or the input I have in it, but ultimately, you have to be supportive."

The idea (not complaining about things to the media) was right (Dansby's comments on Johnson's release were a bit more distracting than the release itself), but the wording came off very arrogant and I'm sure a few other observers felt the same way.

Philbin has to change this. If he doesn't, he will lose his players quickly.

 

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