ORLANDO, Fla. – Former Green Bay Packers assistant coach Joe Philbin is entering his third season as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, and there is some feeling that he is on the hot seat and must guide the Dolphins to the playoffs to keep his job.
The Dolphins have missed the playoffs for five consecutive years, with Philbin’s teams going 7-9 in 2012 and 8-8 last year.
When asked at the AFC coaches' breakfast at the NFL's annual meeting on Tuesday whether the Dolphins must make the playoffs in Year 3 of his program for him to keep his job, Philbin said: “I’m not thinking of what year I am, what year I’ve been here, what year I got here, how many more years I’m going to be here. I’m concentrating on doing as good a job as I possibly can.”
Philbin spent six years working under Packers coach Mike McCarthy and served the last five of those seasons as the Packers’ offensive coordinator.
Philbin endured a tumultuous 2013 season with the Dolphins when the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying controversy erupted. Perhaps Philbin has taken some lessons from McCarthy in how to maintain an even keel through adversity.
When asked for the most important lesson he learned from McCarthy, Philbin said: “I think his ability to stay focused through the ups and downs and stay balanced and keep perspective on things. I think that’s one thing. And then I thought he always, his relationship with the players, I thought it was outstanding. I thought he always did a great job.”
Philbin was an assistant when Mike Sherman was head coach of the Packers. He brought Sherman on as his offensive coordinator in Miami but let him go after last season, and he said that was difficult.
“Mike’s an excellent football coach,” Philbin said of Sherman. “(He’s) got a great record as a head coach in the National Football League, tremendous person. It was not very easy at all.”