The Miami Dolphins are rumored to be considering a big change that could be leaving London without head coach Joe Philbin.
As the Dolphins plan to take on the New York Jets in a London showdown, reports indicate that the foundering Dolphins could be prepared to fire Philbin. The Dolphins, who many considered a playoff contender coming into the year, have sputtered to a 1-2 start that includes a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The situation apparently has the team considering a big change, with Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald passing along a rumor that the Miami Dolphins are ready to make a change at the top.
With a bye week coming up (as the NFL gives to all teams after a London trip), it could be the perfect time for the Dolphins to make such a big move, Salguero wrote.
“The fact of the matter is if the Dolphins lose to the Jets on Sunday to drop to 1-3, owner Stephen Ross will not necessarily replace Philbin during the bye week. It’s possible the Dolphins could lose and yet show enough encouraging signs of improvement to save the coach.”
“If the Dolphins start this game poorly again, suggesting their preparation is lacking… If the Dolphins show little fight again — as they did at times in the second half of the Buffalo game… If the Dolphins are dealt a loss this week similar in size and scope to the one they suffered in that 41-14 thrashing by the Bills…”
“Then Joe Philbin’s job will definitely be in jeopardy during the bye week.”
If the rumors are true, the Miami Dolphins would not be the first team to leave London without its head coach. The Raiders fired Dennis Allen last year a rough loss (ironically, it came at the hands of the Miami Dolphins).
Pro Football Talk noted that Joe Philbin has been on his way to being fired for some time now, with the Dolphins underperforming under his watch and now on the verge of blowing what appeared to be a promising season. The team made the biggest signing of the offseason, picking up Ndamukong Suh in a move that has failed to make the defense much better.
Now, it seems that players are ready to give up as well.
“We’ve been going out there, and practicing our (tails) off every day, but as players, we’re tired of being embarrassed,” said one member of the Dolphins (via Rand Getlin of NFL.com). “If we get beat in Europe, (players) are going to throw in the towel. It isn’t the players. We have all the talent in the world.”
Since finishing 11-5 in 2008, the Dolphins have never been better than 8-8. If they fall to 1-3 this season with a loss to the New York Jets, the team would likely fall far out of playoff contention entirely, even at this early point in the season.
With the New England Patriots again looking like a juggernaut, the best the Dolphins could hope for is a wild card bid, but it already looks difficult. The Buffalo Bills seem destined to be a 10 or 11 win team, and already hold a head-to-head win over the Dolphins.
If the rumors about the Miami Dolphins firing Joe Philbin are true, then it would mark a major change of course for owner Stephen Ross. He has been very loyal and stood by Philbin when others thought the Dolphins coach might be fired, but now the situation has changed. A source close to the Dolhpins owner told Getlin, “I don’t think that loyalty is limitless.”
[Images via Rob Foldy/Getty Images]