Philbin calls out kicker, punter


The up-and-down Dolphins are currently up.  But the head coach is down on the kicker and the punter.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that coach Joe Philbin called out kicker Caleb Sturgis in a team meeting for missing a field goal against the Bears.  For the year, Sturgis has made only 78.6 percent of his kicks, putting him at 28th among all kickers.

“We told him today, we were in the team meeting today and we said we’ve got to make those field goals,” Philbin said, via Salguero.  “We kind of went through that sequence where we took a sack and knocked ourselves back, and made the field goal more difficult.

“That being said, I said to him right there in the whole team meeting, we’ve got to make those field goals.  He knows that and I suspect that he will work at it and he’ll get better at it.”

Philbin also has concerns about punter Brandon Fields.

“Early on we got the punt blocked in Buffalo,” Philbin said. “He just hasn’t looked as comfortable quite yet back there, as he has in the two years that I’ve been here, the previous two years.  I’m confident he’ll work his way through it and he’ll get back to being the outstanding punter that we all know.

“For his standards, it’s not quite what we’re used to. I think he would acknowledge that, but I’m very, very confident that he’ll get back to that soon.”

As Salgueo points out, Fields gross punting average of 43.3 yards ranks 31st among all punters.  His net of 31.8 ranks last among all NFL punters.

34 responses to “Philbin calls out kicker, punter

  1. Not a Dolphins fan, but punting stats are almost always misleading. If a team has a sucky place kicker and you are always punting from midfield (meaning the snap is at the opponent 40 yard line) it is impossible to have good punt stats. Sure you might be able to get a high number of punts inside the 20 but even downing it at the 10 is a 30 yard punt. And if the coverage screws the pooch and it goes into the end zone you get yourself a net of 20 yards. So using stats as a way to measure a punters performance isn’t a smart way to go about it

  2. Brandon Fields is looking awful this year. He is paid an average of $3.3m per season, so he shouldn’t be coming last among all NFL punters.
    Almost time to put a fork in him…

  3. I thought sturgis would be a stud when he came into the league…not so. Calling a kicker out in a team meeting doesnt work on improving performance……bringing in 2 or 3 kickers during the week for a friendly tryout DOES THE TRICK.

  4. The most interesting punting stat is the 11.5 yards of difference between his punting average and his net average, which is a far greater gap than any previous season. It would definitely help if he can improve his personal punting production, but for any team there is a tremendous value to gain from doing everything you can to make sure all 10 players on the punt team are making the most out of their opportunity to do something constructive and technically correct with each opportunity they have to cover punts.

    The coverage unit is more important than how the ball is kicked in most instances.

  5. Maybe tannehill should try hitting wide open recivers instead of taking sacks.

  6. I agree that they need to work out a few kickers. They need to do something to light a fire under him. I know, I’m not the only dolphin fan that cringes every field goal opportunity. I have very little confidence in him that he will knock it through.

  7. The coach telling the punter and place kicker they have to be better always works.

    Good grief.

    Let’s make it worse and tell the reporter too…

  8. Miami special teams have been helter-skelter all year.

    Sturgis struggling isn’t much of a suprise, he was up and down last year. But Fields has been a real weapon for the past seven years, this year it is 50:50 whether each punt is solid or a shank. His final punt against Green Bay netted about 25 yards and set up Aaron Rodgers at the 40.

    I know how Brandon Marshall would describe the Dolphin kicking game: unacceptable.

  9. That is a blatant failure of Leadership 101. Effective leaders praise publicly and chastise in private. Public call outs create resentment and show weakness in the coach by his attempt to shift blame off of himself onto his players. Poor effort by him and exposes his lack of character and moral courage.

  10. Philbin needs to call himself out!!! When you gonna beat opponents in our division!!! I’m thankful we beat the patsies but he just can’t seem to get a game plan together for beating the jills or the junk jets!!!

  11. Philbin is a soft coach, he doesn’t run the locker room, it runs him. He has no control over the players, which leads to a lack of respect. The fans are frustrated and bitter that they can’t run with the big dogs.

  12. Look ST coach Darrin Rizzi was no kicking coach at Rutgers. His kickers were terrible. He may know ST’s but a kicking coach is all together different. It’s not surprising to me that their kickers are going downhill.

  13. “I wonder what the team thinks of the head coach taking locker room business to the media.”

    That’s what I was thinking. Philbin seems like a nice guy and a basically good person, and when he took over the Dullphins he was portrayed as a ‘class act’, but everything he’s done since indicates that he’ll do or say whatever it takes to gain approval at any particular moment, without considering the long term. If he’s going to share ‘team meeting news’ with the press, why not just allow the media to attend all team meetings?

    To say his behavior is erratic would be an understatement. Since his arrival in Miami he has displayed the classic signs of a ‘people pleaser’ cracking up under a high-stress load: Inconsistency, poor judgement and rationalization of inconsistency and poor judgement.

    I wish him well but I can’t see him as an NFL head coach for much longer, or again.

  14. I tend to agree about Philbin not being a strong enough presence, either on the sideline, or in the locker room, and I miss the J Johnson type coach. However, as I live close to Tampa, I remember the Exact Same Things being said about him, when he was the head coach of the Bucs. And then he assembles a great team, which he didn’t get to the big one, but did go one hear after he left. And he did get his SB with the Colts. So, with that, maybe it’s not impossible to have an X’s and O’s guy getting there again. What is really the MOST important thing in today’s NFL, with the turnover of players, is good scouts, and an eye for Good, not necessarily always great players. The great ones aren’t affordable after a few years anyway.

  15. Hey Philbin, teach Tannehill to throw the ball away instead of taking a sack and that 50 yd FG would have been good. Would have had another attempt before halftime if Tannehill doesn’t take a sack and move it out beyond the 40.

    Fields has always been overrated.

    Fins game time coaching decisions SUCK.

  16. Philbin needs to call himself out!!! When you gonna beat opponents in our division!!! I’m thankful we beat the patsies but he just can’t seem to get a game plan together for beating the jills or the junk jets!!!
    Philbin’s record against the east
    3-1 Jets
    2-3 NE
    1-3 Bills

    As far as the Patriots are concerned you would be hard pressed to find to many coaches with a win rate of 40 percent against Brady

    Bills are the type of team the dolphins struggle against. Easy to see the dolphins carry themselves respectfully against the packers and struggle against a ball control run team. We will see if it continues in 2 weeks.

    East record 6-7 and that’s with Brady and the Pats at the helm.

  17. bubbybrisket says: Oct 22, 2014 10:12 AM

    Hey Joe, when are you going to call out Tannehill?
    For those that are not following along
    CMP% 78.1
    YDS 277
    TDs 2
    INT 0
    QBR 123.6

    The real question would be when Philbin is going to call out some of the receivers. 2 weeks ago the dolphins were near the top in dropped passes.

    For the second time this season on his way to break the team record and maybe even NFL record for most consecutive completions the streak ended with an easy catchable ball that was dropped

  18. “That being said, I said to him right there in the whole team meeting, we’ve got to make those field goals. He knows that and I suspect that he will work at it and he’ll get better at it.”
    This quote shows two huge issues I have with Philbin. #1, do not bragg to the media about calling out a player in a team meeting. Nothing good can come from it. #2, he says “I suspect that he will work at it”; that’s too passive. He should mean “I expect” or “I demand”. That attitude means he will be surprised if it didn’t happen. He needs to take a more active and authoritative role.

    I like Philbin but he has some areas to fix himself. Chief among them, game management (go win the game instead of hoping not to lose it) and not calling timeouts for the other team. (Twice vs. GB and at least one other time in each of his first two seasons). He gets too worried that something isn’t planned right and his lack of confidence helps the other team when he calls a TO to “fix” a problem that is not there. If the defense is gassed, I can live with it but that was not the case in the instances I am referring to.

  19. So help me god if the Dolphins ever draft another useless Florida Gator. They are a college organization that just does not produce NFL talent at any position other than center and guard for the last 20 years.

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