Its getting repetitive and youre probably getting tired of hearing me say it, Philbin said, but the starting point in any passing game is protection.
Philbin said hed grade the protection as, Not very good. Not good.
So right there he was previewing what hes probably going to tell his offense once the giddiness wears off. Thats what a good coach is supposed to do.
And thats what Philbin must do.
He knows if the Dolphins, young and still largely inexperienced, can perform a little more like they did in the second half at Cleveland, in the second half at Indianapolis and in the second half against Atlanta, the ceiling for the team is high.
Remember, the Dolphins were losing in two of their first three games and tied against the Colts. They werent impressive in any of those first 30 minutes.
So what happens when this team starts to play a full 60 minutes? What happens when Sundays winning 75-yard drive happens two or three times a game?
What happens when this team arrives?
Obviously, the question that lingers is whether the Dolphins can indeed get progressively better. It might be argued the team will remain what it has shown itself to be good enough to win but still not great.
I dont think thats likely. I dont see stagnation in this teams future. If Tannehill and Mike Wallace can connect so well in one game, we have to believe it can happen in many more games to come. If the defense can play good run defense with a full complement of players, as it did in Cleveland, it suggests better days ahead when Soliai returns.
If the offense can suddenly protect Tannehill and move down the field on Sundays defining drive, it suggests it can do that more often in the weeks ahead.
We can play with anybody now, center Mike Pouncey said Sunday.
Thats true. But will other teams be able to play with the Dolphins once they actually get good?