One of the first hopes for the Joe Philbin era with the Dolphins is that he can help an offense that had grown stale based on his experience in Green Bay.
But one of the first things his critics would mention is the fact he didn’t call plays there.
But his former co-workers lined up to tell Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post that wouldn’t be a deterrent, and that Philbin’s offensive mind would make a huge difference in Miami this year.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider, who worked alongside Philbin and Mike McCarthy in Green Bay, called the description of the play-calling “way overrated.”
“You’re talking about a guy who’s doing the majority of the prep throughout the week,” Schneider said. “I think Mike would tell you that (Philbin) had a huge impact on what they were doing.”
McCarthy admitted he almost passed play-calling responsbilities off to Philbin at one point, but insisted his old right-hand man had plenty of input in an offense that was top 10 in points and yards each of his five seasons.
Philbin was the guy who would address the offense on Mondays, create the game plans on Tuesdays, so it could be installed through the week. Come Sunday, McCarthy was pushing buttons, but they had Philbin’s fingerprints all over them by that point.
McCarthy said 90 to 95 percent of his communication on game day was with Philbin.
“He and Mike talked about every play he would call,” Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said. “It wasn’t like Mike was in a vacuum. They did it together.”
Philbin won’t call plays in Miami either, that will be offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, but McCarthy said Philbin’s skills as a communicator would make him an excellent head coach.
“Joe is extremely organized and detailed, and that will be evident from Day 1 when the Dolphins take the field,” McCarthy said. “I think the character of the man speaks for itself, but I have always appreciated Joe’s ability to coach the whole room.”
That’s far more important than calling a play, and will determine (along with finding a quarterback he trusts) the degree of success he’ll find in Miami.