MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Lost amidst the hubbub of a quarterback battle, the Chad Johnson experience, and the Hard Knocks cameras is that Friday night, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin will be coaching his first NFL game ever.
“I’ve said many times that I am privileged to be in this position and I consider myself very fortunate,” Philbin said Tuesday. “I think we have an excellent staff and support people in this building that are committed to bringing this team back.”
Philbin spent the last few years at the helm of the Green Bay Packers offensive juggernaut. Now, he has to revive a Dolphins franchise that has turned into an afterthought for the AFC East and for much of the NFL.
Coach Philbin will also be making his debut in the season that marks the 40th anniversary of the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season in 1972. It’s also been 38 years since the Miami Dolphins last sat on top of the NFL as the Super Bowl champions.
For now, Philbin and his staff is solely focused on the first game of the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“We’ve talked about, as a staff, how we want to operate at halftime. We have a timeline of that and what we anticipate doing at halftime. I’m not afraid of experimenting. We talked about ‘geez how long do we want to go out before a game’? Is it 72 minutes before the kickoff, and how long do we want to be in the locker room before we get called out by the TV’s? Is it 15 minutes, is that the right time?” Philbin asked.
The coach continued, “Certainly we have ideas and we have a plan for Friday, but I think we have to kind of learn about your team and learn how everybody responds. It was good for us from a coaching standpoint on Saturday to get plays in and out, get defensive calls in and out, move guys from the sideline, so I think it’s going to be a valuable experience, a valuable learning experience.”
The bottom line for Philbin is, don’t focus on his debut as a coach, focus on the team and how it is being built as a winner.
“It’s not about Joe Philbin really; it’s about the Miami Dolphins,” Philbin said.