Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, who enters his fourth season with a 23-25 record and no playoff appearances, is looking past simmering questions about what might happen to his job status without a playoff appearance in 2015.
Philbin and the Dolphins open training camp on Thursday, but he said has his eyes fixed on the top of the mountain.
"It's a lot bigger than just one person," he said. "This is about the Miami Dolphins in 2015 competing for a championship, which is why I came here, which is why the players are here, which is why Steve (Ross) owns the team.
"It's not about just one person."
The Dolphins, 8-8 in each of the last two years, have the type of roster that should, keep them in the playoff hunt until late December. But that was reality in 2013 and 2014.
Philbin, whose team finished 11th in total offense and 12th in total defense a year ago, is tasked with getting the Dolphins over the hump.
Ross, it seems, is getting everything else in place all over the organization. He's giving Sun Life Stadium a $400 million overhaul so it can again host Super Bowls. He signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a $114 million contract. He gave quarterback Ryan Tannehill a $96 million contract extension, and center Mike Pouncey to a $52 million contract extension. He even gave Philbin an extension through the 2016 season. And he named Mike Tannenbaum senior vice president for football operations, a.k.a., the guy in charge of major decisions.
Ross has all the pieces in place for the future. Now he just needs to win. And most of that, correctly or incorrectly, falls on Philbin, and he's not shying from the challenge.
Philbin said he's not worried about his contract status.
"You don't go into coaching, at least I didn't, for multiple-year contracts and all that other stuff," Philbin said. "That had nothing to do with it. Steve's been very supportive of me, and I'm very grateful to him.
"But it's football. It's football, and it's coaching. And I'm excited about the season."
His main goal, which he stated emphatically and somewhat uncharacteristically, is winning the Super Bowl.
"I told Mr. Ross when I interviewed I want to build a football team that consistently competes for championships," the usually low-key Philbin said.
"There's three championships out there this year I want see us compete for and win - the AFC East, the AFC championship, and then the Super Bowl championship."
July 29: All players report
July 30: First practice
Aug. 17: Camp ends
Aug. 19-20: Joint practices at Carolina Panthers