Dolphins coach Joe Philbin had a conference call with season ticket holders on Tuesday and he used it to outline how things will work when he gets his first chance to put his players through their paces next week.
Philbin and his staff will be installing new offensive and defensive schemes — he called his offense “easy to learn” — during the offseason training periods. With the draft still to come, there will still be a lot of change to the roster between now and the start of the season but Philbin said that his first priority is getting the most out of the players already on hand.
“Your job as a coach is to get the maximum out of the players you have,” Philbin said, via Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We have a broader perspective at this point in time. We’re excited about getting started. We think we have a lot of character. The key is how quickly we can forge this group into playing like a team.”
Philbin went on to say that all of the holdover players will be starting with a blank slate and that the entire team is starting from square one. Those phrases, as well as the broader perspective Philbin mentioned in the quote above, make it sound like the Dolphins are setting a low bar for themselves in terms of expectations for this season. It’s not a bad idea, although it would be a lot easier to pull off if they had totally cleaned house during the offseason.
Even though Philbin had nothing to do with previous teams, Jeff Ireland’s continued presence in the general manager’s office makes it hard to separate this year’s results from what went down the last few seasons. The players might get a blank slate, but the same probably isn’t true for the franchise.