The 2011 season is winding down after another great weekend of the sport we all know, love, and follow with a passion. Championship weekend provided us with two great down to the wire football games which clearly defined the definition of playoff football agreed?
We had pretty much every ingredient you wold expect championship weekend to have, Missed field goals at the dying moments of the games, dropped touchdown catches which could have altered the outcome of the game in the opposite direction that its outcome indicates and a toe to toe overtime game which went in to the late hours of Sunday night during a stormy night.Not to mention the opportunity to relive a 2007 Superbowl rematch Between Eli and Brady Indianapolis leading to the ? will this be the last time Colts fans get to see a Manning step on to a football field in the state of Indiana?
We are still a couple of months away from getting the answer to the 28 million dollar question, and to be perfectly honest anyone who attempts to answer that question at this point in time is not giving you any concrete information so im not going to sit here and play Rob Lowe.
However if you were to read the tea leaves they would honestly tell you there is a very high probability that this was indeed his last season in Indy. I could already feel the excitement in South beach Payton to Miami? sounds great on paper right?
However i just want to point out a few things that should not be overlooked by any stretch of the imagination. We all need to remember that this organization has been in this position before, and the outcome has shown varied results.
As painful as it might be i feel the need to take a trip down memory lane as we need to put some perspective in to the whole situation. Remember when Drew Brees became available? we were all almost certain that that horrendous quarterback drought was over, he would come to Miami and we would become contenders for the next 10 yrs? ( as he was much younger then Payton is now)we had the opportunity to find that QB to lead our team for the next decade. We decided at the time that Brees was coming of a crucial shoulder injury and was too much of a risk for us to take a chance on as the shoulder is an integral part of a quarterbacks throwing mechanics, if he doesn't have a strong shoulder he cant throw adequately. We just didn't believe that that shoulder can heal to a 100 percent and Brees would never be the same again.
Well a Superbowl ring, several playoff appearances later, and a revived city later we came to find out that investing on all those Culpepper jerseys wasn't exactly the best way to go. Fast forward to the 08 season it was the start of a new era we drafted th so called quarterback of the future in Chad Henne, brought in CP10 at the last second to replace Mcown and everything seem extremely promising at the time remember?. CP10 was great and all and I'm sure we are all very grateful for he key role he played in the biggest turnaround in franchise history.
There was just one " minor" issue which clearly turned out to be of no small significance. Pennington was released from the jets for a reason, he also had dealt with not only one but several shoulder issues enough to waiv a red flag but we took a chance anyway.(Don't get me wrong im glad we did you never really know the outcome of any particular situation i.e Brees) anyways Pennington went on to struggle with that injury which pretty much ended his career in 2010. Fast forward to today, im not by any means comparing Chad to Manning but it does seem like deja vu doesn't it? BIG difference here is now we are talking about nerve damage to the neck area, an area that can not only end a players life as a professional QB, but can also cost unimaginable damage that can impact his life after football. No one really knows the extend or severity of the injury except Payton and the Colts. Anyone that tells you otherwise including Rob Lowe is basing their statements on pure speculation. I will say this though, even if the Colts do select Luck in this years draft and follow the script, it doesn't mean you release a healthy Manning that can give them at least 3 to 4 more years at a high level. Of course there is other factors that go in to the equation such as Manning's personal decision does he want to be released, what team would he like to play for? or even better does he even want to continue playing? there is a not so far fetched possibility he pulls a Marino and retires.
Manning obviously doesn't have any economical issues to worry about and his life after football is basically written down in pen as a success. One last thing i do want to point out is that that i firmly believe there is a difference between a franchise quarter back who will lead your team for over a decade and a top tier franchise qb nearing the end of his career with less then 5 yrs at the most left in the tank.
While most of us were busy watching the AFC and NFC championships and hanging on every last play, the Miami Dolphins were busy with offseason preparation.
Jeff Ireland's day probably consisted of getting his scouts ready for the Senior Bowl.
Newly hired coach Joe Philbin is in the process of moving his family to South Florida and putting together his coaching staff as well as meeting with every staff member currently in Miami.
In yesterday's press conference Jeff Ireland was adamant that Joe Philbin would select and hire his own coaching staff and it was Ireland's job to find players for him.
So far the search has turned up a couple of coaches as possible offensive and defensive coordinators.
Just this morning Chris Mortensen of ESPN (quoted by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald) mentioned that Andy Heck met with Coach Philbin this morning about the Offensive Coordinator Job. Heck was recently the Offensive Line coach in Jacksonville and served in that role since 2004. Heck's background is offensive line and has been around the NFL as a player and as a coach. It is also conceivable that two things jump out when looking at Heck's résumé, one he served as O-line coach in Virginia from 2001-2003 about the same time that Al Groh was coach. It is no coincidence that this name might have come from Jeff Ireland who has ties to Groh through Bill Parcells.
However, it is also possible that with Tom Clements being mentioned as a possible replacement for Philbin in Green Bay, Coach Clements may have referred Andy Heck over to Joe Philbin since both are graduates of Notre Dame. Of course this is just a hunch, but it is entirely possible that if Clements is the new OC in Green Bay then Andy Heck could have been a referral to help Philbin.
Nonetheless, Andy Heck is a young and spirited guy that had NFL playing experience at O-line for the Seahawks, Bears, and Redskins.
Next, Barry Jackson mentioned that Philbin planned to meet as well with Defensive Backs coach Kevin Coyle of the Bengals. He's been in his position for 10 years. Kevin Coyle has also been rumored to be named the Defensive Coordinator should Mike Zimmer be hired elsewhere.
In addition, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post listed Darren Perry (DB Coach Green Bay), Winston Moss (Raider coach candidate and current GB assistant head coach), and Tom Clements are all in the running for positions in Miami and could talk with Philbin.
The last candidate Mike Sherman was Philbin's boss and Head Coach in Green Bay in 2000-2005. Sherman was the Offensive Coordinator in Houston in 2007 as Offensive Coordinator. Sherman just recently was fired at Texas A&M, but is also a possible Head Coach candidate in Tampa. It should be noted that according to Ben Volin, Mike Sherman is closest to Philbin than any other candidate as Mike Sherman coached and taught Philbin in high school and worked together in college.
Should anything new emerge with Philbin's staff, we will all be here at PhinsPhocus to break it down!
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As most of us football fans sit on our couches waiting for some playoff football, two pre game tweets might have caught the eyes of many Dolphins fans.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, #Cardinals interest in Peyton Manning is "the real deal." Arizona will pursue Manning if released by Indianapolis.
This tweet probably upset many Dolphins fans with the dreams of bringing in the great Peyton Manning to help bring this team back to the glory days. But a couple of minutes later a much more optimistic tweet followed.
Mort seems to believe that Peyton Manning (if healthy) will be the number one priority for the Dolphins this off season. One thing that is very clear and that is the Dolphins will make a very very strong push at finding a true franchise QB.
A franchise QB that is available can be summed up into 3 players: Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and RG3.
I also believe that is the order in which the Dolphins will pursue a QB this off-season. I have no doubt that Stephen Ross will be willing to dump every penny out of his pocket to land one of 2 free agents or allow Ireland to do what it takes to land Griffin.
There will be competition from the Cardinals, Redskins and maybe even the Jets this off season but lets all hope Stephen Ross will be able to get his way and Quaterback.
Either way it will be a very exciting off season for the Dolphins.
Here is a report from Pro Football talk to confirm the Dolphins interest in Manning
After the press conference introducing Joe Philbin, I had a chance to soak in the excitement and reflect and collect on some of the main points that he shared with all of us Dolfans, media, and players.
The new coach in Miami spelled out what could unequivocally be the end of some of our favorite players that don the aqua and orange.
Joe Philbin does not want diva guys. He doesn't want "me" guys. This is the no "I" in team philosophy that is synonymous with some of the NFL teams that have had Miami coaches reaching for the Maloxx after football games and stomaching tough losses.
He wants players that want to win and do not care about statistics. I can certainly think of guys on the Miami Dolphins that are this way or appear to be this way. Even some guys with large contracts such as Brandon Marshall might be in this category of selfish or statistically driven. We will certainly see how this pans out. (Could be a sign on draft direction either up or down.)
Philbin absolutely wants to win first and foremost and wants his players to believe they can win and practice to win. Every week, the Dolphins will be focusing on winning each and every opponent.
I found his comment about what scheme the Dolphins plan to run quite interesting. He first mentioned that on the defensive side of the ball, the team would have a fundamental focus on tackling, taking the ball away, and getting pressure on the quarterback.
Will the Dolphins switch from a 3-4 to 4-3? Is a BJ Raji type nose tackle needed to be the stalwart of the defense? Are more explosive pass rushers like a Clay Matthews type needed?
On offense, Philbin is not going to copy the Green Bay Packer playbook and teach the current Dolphin players to play the same explosive offense. No, he is going to look at the offense and find out what they do well, get them focused on doing well, and hide any of the negative attributes that might exist. (It is possible to install the west coast offense in Miami with the talent that is presently there. Guys like Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley couldn't hurt that installation of this "South Beach Offense" as perspective Dolphins.)
Philbin truly is a man that is all about the game. He is a football coach. He is a teacher and he is quite the speaker and leader that a lot of people were clamoring for in South Florida.
I have seen many Miami Dolphin coaching press conferences and if the Dolphins expect to rise in the standings next season then today was a monumental day in Dolphin history and a first step toward success in 2012 and beyond!
At 4 pm on Saturday the 21st, the Miami Dolphins introduced their new head coach Joe Philbin to the public at a press conference live on MiamiDolphins.com
The press conference started with Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins, who was just as awkward of a public speaker as he is.
Ross stressed how there were 6 different head coaches interviewed, with 5 of them who expressed interest in joining the Miami Dolphins. (A shot at Jeff Fisher)
Stephen Ross specified how Philbin comes from a winning background and how that was very important to him, and stated you can’t help but be impressed with Joe Philbin’s track record. Ross did add that Carl Peterson did sit in on all the interviews. Ross also noted that the Dolphins aren't allowed to talk about any Packers which includes Matt Flynn. However expect the speculation to continue.
Next Jeff Ireland took the podium, giving a little explanation of how the coaching search was structured. Ireland informed everyone how the Dolphins looked into all different forms of coaches from college coaches to coordinators.
Ireland stated that Philbin has 100% power in choosing his coaching staff.
Philbin then took the podium with a stern and calm domineer, confident and direct. Philbin stated he was honoured to become the next head coach of the Dolphins.
Philbin said the Dolphins are embarking on a journey to get the Dolphins to the top of the national football league. Philbin said the Dolphins must acquire talented players. Philbin said the team will be comprised of players who care more about winning then statistics.
Philbin set a very strong example at the podium how he can become a great leader of men and take control of a locker room.
Joe said I’m 50 years old, I anticipate this being the last head coaching job I ever get.
Philbin said he hasn’t made up his mind on any coordinators yet.
Philbin’s goal is to put his players in the best place to succeed not just brining the Green Bay Packer play book to Miami.
“The play of the Quarterback is very important”. Philbin echoed as he spoke about the importance of the position but also about how he doesn’t believe any team is one player away.
Philbin spoke with the Finsiders and stressed, decision making, accuracy and velocity are the top 3 things he looks for in a QB. Mobility/Pocket presences and football IQ are also things he looks for in a QB.
Philbin said he is just getting his feet wet with learning the roster and finding out the team’s different strengths and weaknesses.
Philbin hinted that the offensive coordinator will call the plays for the team however that will be based on who is hired.
The new Dolphins head coach finished the press conference in a very encouraging fashion, leaving a very solid first impression.
Here is the link to enjoy if you want to watch Joe Philbin's press conference
It might not have been the sexy hire that Stephen Ross and the Dolphins fan base were looking for but it sure does make a lot of sense.
At around 6:30 on January 20th, after 3 weeks of waiting the Dolphins decided to hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. Not to be confused with Regis, Joe will become the 10th head coach in Miami Dolphins history.
While its pretty clear that isn’t what most pictured to be a “young Don Shula” he was the guy who impressed owner Stephen Ross the most.
The hiring was a bit surprising as most speculated that Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was the favorite to land the job and Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles were the other finalists.
The Dolphins would like to keep Bowles as defensive coordinator, and Philbin was reportedly receptive, according to the NFL Network. Philbin will most likely raid the Packers coaching staff as Kevin Greene, Todd Clements are just a few names that have be brought up amongst different sources.
The Joe Philbin hire also makes the Dolphins an early offseason favorite to land Matt Flynn, as they had a very strong relationship in Green Bay.
Philbin said this after getting the job “"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.”
Joe added, “The Dolphins have a strong nucleus to build around, & working with everyone in the organization, I know that together we will return the team to its winning tradition."
The Dolphins chose wisely deciding to hire a coach who can help this teams offense grow. Philbin is 50-year-olds, who has 28 years of coaching experience, including 19 years in college.
Philbin helped the Packers have ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in yardage each of the past five seasons, including third in 2011.
Andrew Brandt tweeted. "Calm, cerebral, humble and a skilled offensive mind. His style will resonate with players."
Brandt’s sentiments pretty sum much up what the Dolphins should expect for their new head coach.
The Philbin hiring will come with questions as to whether he can form a good staff, or whether or not he is ready to be a head coach with no previous coaching experience but those questions will be answered in due time.
There is some scepticism over the hire as some believe Philbin got some undeserved credit for the Packers offensive havng not called the players however the majority of the Dolphins fan base seems to be getting behind the hire and excited for the potential change and oppertunity it might come with.
Overall my thoughts are that despite a long and generally gruelling coaching search the Dolphins brass might have actually got it right. Philbin brings in a fresh offensive mind who will demand respect from his players and hopefully will be up to the task of turning this franchise back to the glory days.
Here is to a new Dolphins era ! Fins Upno comments
There is a lot of comparison going around between Flynn and Kolb or Cassel but there is several things that should be taken in to account in this particular situation. Number one is the history of the franchise where Flynn is coming from the Packers have historically build a reputation of developing top quality qbs such as Aaron Rodgers, Brett Farve, Matt Hasselbeck and a few others. In addition to that it should also be noted that if Philbin is named as the future head coach of these Franchise Matt Flynn would likely be considered as one of the top choices because of the fact he is familiar with the system for the fact he is been in it since 08. He is also proven to be a winner as he took LSU to a national title win.
In regards to the Kevin kolb comparison apart from the fact that they were both backups there is absolutely no resemblance what so ever in each individual skill set. if you take your time to look at Kolb closely he doesn't look as polished a Flynn has in his first two starts from an accuracy stand point. not to mention statistically 6 tds one pick 480 yards and the go ahead td with 2 min left?. Another factor is that well its the system its the weapons and such well last time i cheked that system that he is playing in is the same system which will be put in place here. We also have the option to kill three birds in one stone. First we are getting a Qb which say what you want small sample size, product of the system ext has shown the ability to do something i doubt Rg3 can do 6tds in one game coming of ot playing in a yr. This would also free up picks to compliment what we have such as Blackmon, Fleener and a right tackle. Finally i would bring Tom Clemens or Mike Sherman in as OC the Packers qb coach who has been one of the top in the business when dealing with QBS.
All in all this is just personal opinion but we all ready have a solid Defense wouldn't it make since to bring someone in who is a part of one of the most prolific and modern offenses in the NFL? change for the sake of change is sometimes harmful and personally Fisher is flashy and sounds tempting but is really the right fit from a need standpoint? yes he gets his players to play hard but so did Tony right? Finally something to keep in mind is the fact that this is a new much needed fresh start not only for this franchise whos ego and reputation has been battered and bruised throughout the entire past decade, but also coach Philbin who is showing us just what kind of characte, strength and mental tougness is all about. This can almot certainly be cause for the Phins to rally around him. Bottom line if this team can show just one 4th of the resilience their new lleader has shown off the football field in his personal life and put it on display in his personal life i believe we are great shape moving forward.