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     It’s the smell of a putrid defense rotting in the Florida Sunshine.  While everyone has an opinion on how to fix it… I strangely do not. In order for the defense to be this bad, it has to be the scheme. I’ve heard everything from blown assignments to penalties to poor tackling. Let me say this: If your scheme has one guy making the tackle.. the offense will start winning those battles. When I coached young players we had one motto “Swarm to the football”. Coyles defense usually has defenders arriving late on the scene (out of position due to the scheme) then missing the tackle because they’re not in a good position. So , my fix is to fire the DC however I need to expand on that. Coyles defense was ranked fairly high through 10 games last year. When injuries hit the LB and DL, it dropped significantly.  Very simply put, his defense is so complex the players coming in were not playing, they were thinking. Philbin decided to tell his DC to “simplify” his defense obviously to make it easier for subs to come in and play at a higher level. This entire process has failed miserably. The defense is so simple now that the opposing offenses obviously can pick it apart. We’re not talking the likes of a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers here either. We’re talking Kirk Cousins, Blake Bortles and Tyrod Taylor…. Hardly all pros.  So ultimately, Philbin has to take responsibility here for the failure.

     If the defense wasn’t so bad, the OL would be again the subject of a good blistering. The interior line is a joke. I’m not even sure the OL coach in Miami has been called out but he should be. I have to ask myself the same questions. I’ve got an all-pro center, pretty decent LT and RT, yet the guards are as putrid as they come. It really doesn’t matter who they plug in it doesn’t get any better. I’m beginning to suspect scheme here. It is supposedly a zone blocking scheme. I’m not seeing that. I’m seeing one guy after the next getting pancaked into the backfield. Again, I have no choice but to think this is due to a poor coaching philosophy which again lies right at the feet of Joe Philbin. 

     Finally, I see a ton of panic. People are upset. Last year when they dropped to 1-2 against KC at home I called for calm. Although I’m going to take the same approach here, I don’t have the same confidence that the ship will be righted this week. The Jets are 2-1 and playing good, hard football. Miami is 1-2 and playing about as poorly as I’ve seen the team play. I have zero confidence they can win this game. Here’s the reason: Miami sucks against small ball. They can’t stop the quick pass. The QB takes a 3 step drop, throws a practice out or in to his WR or TE and viola! We have a 7-10 yard gain that turns into a 10-20yd gain later when tackles are being missed. Miami’s interior line is being cut block, lanes created, no one gets their hands up, CBs are 12 yards off the WR … it is simply small ball, pitch and catch. They’ve had 3 weeks to try and solve it… they  haven’t changed a thing. They keep expecting the players to play better. Well, if they don’t make changes this week to their approach defensively..  the Jets will roll to an early 10-20 point lead and their defense will eat up the interior of our OL trying in vain to pass block. It is the same story… because nothing changes. Getting better doesn’t just mean tackling better…. It also means changing up the scheme to stop it. I’m not holding my breath. 

You'll notice I change the title of my blog up a bit.

 

I am not putting the blame on the players of this team. That is why the score does not read "Dolphins 14". This is officially now becoming the Fire Joe Philbin Blog. Because it needs to happen.

 

I am as patient as anyone. I was never a supporter of hiring Joe Philbin. An offensive coordinator who never really called plays in Green Bay and who was praised by his former boss for helping out with the gameplan during the week... that didn't really inspire a lot of confidence in me back in 2012. He seemed like a "safe" hire. A guy who wasn't too "hip hop" or wouldn't be a controversial loudmouth with a foot fetish. So while many on the Phinfever forums were hoping he would be the guy, because he helped develop Aaron Rodgers and that Green Bay offense, even though he barely had anything to do with developing Aaron Rodgers and that Green Bay offense... I was hoping we went in a different direction. I was actually hoping for Mike McCoy, who has actually led his team to the playoffs and won a game despite being "too young" to be a head coach.

 

So yes, I have never been a Philbin supporter and now I am publicly calling for his firing. Since he has been the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, here are his lists of accomplishments:

 

1. During his tenure, this team has for the most part played uninspired, dispassionate football. They start slow, they crumble late. Its a bunch of guys with their heads down and their hands on their hips. Remember these three words - ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP

 

2. He hesitates to fire his assistant coaches because he hires hid buddies, not necessarily the best guy for the job. Mike Sherman was a terrible offensive coordinator. Kevin Coyle has taken what was once a top 10 defense and turned it into a unit that can't refuses to stop someone. Even when they win on third down, they make sure they get a penalty out of sympathy for the other team. Or out of sheer stupidity. Or maybe that's saying the same thing. Regardless, Kevin Coyle should have been jettisoned a long time ago.

 

3. He brings a girly man brand of football to Miami. The basics still work. Power running games still win games in December. Stopping the run is still priority number 1. A power running game creates play action opportunities to attack downfield. This has always worked in football. This will always work in football because those are the fundamentals of the game. Instead, Philbin prefers a shotgun offense and has no commitment to the run. Or at the very least, he does not hold his offensive coordinator accountable for continuing to run the ball to protect his most valuable asset.

 

4. He fixes things that ain't broken. The Dolphins had great success running a 3-4 base defense for many years. Here comes Philbin and decides to hire a guy that will implement a 4-3. But they didn't just implement a 4-3, they implemented a read and react 4-3 with a ton of zone concepts that strangely enough involve leaving opposing players wide open. Like I said earlier, Kevin Coyle needed to be fired before this season. Philbin saved his job and got him one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the game and the result is that somehow our defense got worse!

 

5. This goes back to #1, he is dispassionate, therefore his team is dispassionate. This is a man that cannot motivate or lead men. There is all types of leadership. Rex Ryan is a vocal, animated coach. Bill Bellicheck is a cerebral coach who doesn't express a lot of emotion. Then you have the nice guy like Tony Dungy. There is more than one way to skin a cat. None of these ways involves lacking passion or fire or the ability to connect with players and get them to buy into you and your system. Players love Rex Ryan because he brings swagger to a team. Players love Bellicheck because he is no nonsense and you can see that all those players and former players believe in the Patriot way. Players saw Tony Dungy as a father figure. What do they see Joe Philbin as? A man who knows how to organize a schedule. We need a head coach, not a secretary!

 

So, no good, bad or ugly today guys. There was nothing good to speak of in that game. It was all bad. So now you know where I stand on everyone's performance.

 

The bottom line is this team is too talented to get blown out like that. I know there are holes at certain positions, but the overall talent is the best we've had in a longtime at key positions. It's not the talent. It is the coaching.

 

As if losing to the bottom dwelling Jaguars was not bad enough, losing to the hated Bills in such embarassing fashion should be the end of Joe Philbin.

 

The countdown has begun.

 

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