Joe Philbin is serious. Joe Philbin has jokes. Joe Philbin was hired as the new Dolphins coach to bring answers to an organization troubled by critical questions for nearly a decade.
Joe Philbin admits he doesn’t have all the answers.
The Dolphins coach has so far been an interesting study for those near and around the team. The man hired to change the franchise’s direction is a pretty complex guy who doesn’t follow one set course.
Sometimes he’s humble and often confident. Sometimes he’s headstrong but often he’s self-examining. He is certain he knows how to win. But he admits he’s not always right.
Philbin is supposed to save the Dolphins and that’s exactly the point a group of supporters made to the coach the first day of training camp when he was signing autographs.
“At the end of practice, I signed a couple autographs, and some fans said that I am the savior,” Philbin said, adding a pause for perfect comedic timing, “so I kept them after and introduced them to my wife. I’ve been telling her that all along.”
Ba dum chhh.
Philbin’s understated sense of humor peaks through easily. And very often it strikes a humble, almost self-deprecating tone that makes him likeable.
During one press conference this preseason he forgot the name of a player who had made an otherwise memorable catch in practice. A reporter reminded him of that player’s name.
“Thanks for being so astute and making me look bad,” Philbin quipped.
Early in training camp, veteran players gave rookies the worst and most embarrassing haircuts possible as a form of hazing. The worst happened to offensive lineman Josh Samuda, who lost his eyebrows to a razor and had a Mohawk shaved into his head in the shape of the male sex organ.
“Glad we’re such a first-class organization, Josh,” Philbin told the player in a meeting as the room filled with laughter.
“He has his moments,” defensive end Cameron Wakes said. “I’m more about business than play but you get him on the side and every now and again, you get his touch of his humor. He can be funny.
“I would say he’s business when it’s business time and play when it’s play time.”
Philbin apparently isn’t all about anything all the time. He doesn’t believe in sleeping in his office or working in the middle of the night. That’s NFL coach caricature stuff.
His business side
But whenever the Dolphins are working, Philbin demands a business atmosphere on a business schedule.
“We try to create an environment that, when they’re in this building, they’re working and, when they’re on their own, they do as they please, but, when they’re here, it’s work,” Philbin said. “It’s not about being on Twitter or checking the Internet. We took the TVs out of the dining room.
“We don’t want them watching ESPN. We don’t care what’s going on with everybody else. All we care about is when they’re in this building, we want them focused on themselves, how they can improve, how they can contribute.”
Philbin is clearly a confident person. Against the advice of some within the organization he decided to engage in the all-access exercise that is appearing on Hard Knocks.