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New coach Philbin will try to turn around Dolphins
Question of the Day
Maybe that’s why one of his predecessors, Jimmy Johnson, offered this tweet Friday: “Joe Philbin new Dolphin coach..good luck!”
The former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator became the seventh coach in the past eight years for the Dolphins, who are coming off a third consecutive losing season, their longest such stretch since the 1960s.
The hiring was the latest turn in an emotionally wrenching month for Philbin, whose 21-year-old son recently drowned in an icy Wisconsin river.
Philbin had been with Green Bay since 2003, working as offensive coordinator since 2007. Coach Mike McCarthy called the plays, but Philbin put together the game plan for one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses.
The Dolphins‘ top choice, Jeff Fisher, turned them down a week ago to become coach of the St. Louis Rams. Miami owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland then conducted a second round of interviews this week with Philbin, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Todd Bowles, the Dolphins‘ interim coach at the end of the season.
“Joe has all the attributes that we were looking for when we started this process,” Ross said in a statement. “Jeff Ireland and I felt Joe was the right choice to bring the Dolphins back to the success we enjoyed in the past.”
Despite the Dolphins‘ woes of recent years, including a 6-10 record in 2011, Philbin called them “one of the premier franchises in professional sports.” At 50, he’s old enough to remember the 1972 Perfect Season.
“The Dolphins have a strong nucleus to build around,” he said in a statement. “And working with everyone in the organization, I know that together we will return the team to its winning tradition.”
Ross fired Tony Sparano last month with three games to go in his fourth year as the Dolphins‘ coach. When the search for a new coach began, Ross said he would like to give the franchise much-needed stability by hiring “a young Don Shula.”
Instead he chose Philbin, who has 28 years of coaching experience, including 19 years in college.
“A huge congratulations to Joe Philbin,” Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley tweeted. “No one deserves it more than this guy. The Pack will miss him!”
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