A few short hours ago, media sources announced Joe Philbin as new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. This is, arguably, the most important hire in franchise history. The team needs coaching stability very badly and it is imperative Philbin stay around for a while, which will only happen if he succeeds. I am a diehard Dolphin supporter and, therefore, wish Philbin the very best in his new position. That being said, I am not very optimistic about the decision to hire him.
The most annoying thing certain individuals continually mentioned about Dolphin coaching applicants was who the applicants would bring from their previous teams. For example, some pushed for Philbin because "he will bring Matt Flynn with him". A coach should be hired on his own merits, not on the possibility he "might" bring quality players with him. Assistant coaches and coordinators often do follow others but players are quite different. They tend to follow dollar signs. Other non-football issues play a significant role in their decision as well. How many quality players did Sparano bring from the Cowboys? Anthony Fasano? Kevin Burnett (whom Sparano knew from his Cowboys days)? Not much there. There are a number of teams (e.g. Browns, Redskins, Titans, Seahawks, etc.) who are desperate for a QB, some of whom will overpay for an unproven QB such as Flynn. Recall how the Chiefs overpaid for Matt Cassell and the Cardinals overspent on Kevin Kolb. Flynn, due to the dearth of QBs, will command a huge salary on the open market. Is it really worth blowing one's salary cap on an unproven QB, one who has only played in a handful of NFL games? I think not. Flynn is, in no way, a "can't miss". I strongly object if this was the reason for Philbin's hire.
It disturbs me that Philbin, who is not a young man and has been in the coaching ranks for a significant period of time, was never considered to be an "up and comer" as a future head coach. He was never in the running for head coaching positions until this year unlike Todd Bowles, who everyone knows will be a head coach someday. Even some Green Bay sources seemed surprised when Philbin's name was tossed around as a head coach consideration.
Philbin didn't call plays in Green Bay. This was not necessarily his fault, as that was the scenario designed by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. But it doesn't leave one with a track record, an ability to gauge Philbin's offensive preferences. All we know is that he worked in a west-coast offensive system.
Philbin has a reputation as a "nice guy" which is certainly a great change from the open hostility toward Dolfans that Sparano showed. Was the hiring of Philbin a "public-relations" hire that Stephen Ross is utilizing to get the fans on his side? I don't know. I hope not. Again, the winning of football games is my only priority. I also hope that Philbin wasn't chosen because he might keep Todd Bowles on as defensive coordinator. A new head coach should be permitted to choose his own staff based on his comfort level only, without having others "forced upon him".
I hope my pessimism is proven wrong. Welcome to south Florida, Joe Philbin.