BY SEAN DONOVAN
New Dolphins coach Joe Philbin spoke with the media on Tuesday and covered a wide range of football-related topics. Most of it was the positive, non-specific coach-speak that the media has grown accustomed to, but there were some interesting points made by the rookie head coach.
Here are five key things to take away from Philbin's interview:
There will be a QB competition
Starting quarterback is the number one issue in the minds of the Dolphins' fanbase. Philbin praised incumbent starter Matt Moore, saying that he "He’s not necessarily a by-the-book quarterback, but he was very productive... He kind of has that ability to move the team." He also heaped compliments on new aquisition David Garrard for the impression he made when the team brought him in for a workout.
Philbin was clear that there would be a competion for the starting job. He told the media that he made this clear to both of the top two candidates. This was not exclusive to the quarterback position, however. He emphasized a 'no-job-is-safe' approach to the offseason and training camp programs.
Flynn 'made own decision' to go to Seattle
When Joe Philbin was hired, it was almost implied (at least in the minds of the fans) that free agent quarterback Matt Flynn would follow him to South Beach. Many were shocked when Flynn signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Seahawks right after his visit to Miami.
When asked about the pursuit, or lack there of, of Flynn, Philbin said that the visit went well but the quarterback made his own decision to go to Seattle. "You need to ask Matt Flynn why he’s in Seattle," said Philbin. He continued to praise Flynn as a person and a player, but deferred all reasons for the choice to the quarterback.
His politically-correct answer actually didn't answer the real question; whether Miami chose not to compete with the deal Seattle offered, or whether Flynn actually chose to play in the dreary Northwest.
Offensive line needs some work
When asked a general question about his concerns with the team, Philbin mentioned two areas. The obvious one, quarterback, and also the offensive line. "My feeling as I watched the  tape the offensive line needs to get better if our quarterback position is going to play better and so that’s going to be a priority," he said.
He indicated that he was not happy with the current state of the offensive line depth chart, and emphasized the fact that there would be an open competion for starting spots. He went on to praise John Jerry, Lydon Murtha, and Jake Long, among others, when he spoke at length about the unit.
Matchups key for WRs, not star power
A move that surprised many was the trade of Brandon Marshall, leaving the Dolphins without a true No. 1 reciever. Philbin downplayed the impact of losing the Pro Bowler while explaining that he truly felt it was in the best interest of the team to unload Marshall. He explained that matchups were the key to having effective reciever play, and not star power.
Tough to argue with the guy who orchestrated the attack in Green Bay, where no receiver would necessarily be considered a number one target.
Building offense through draft
Another philosophy that Philbin seems to be carrying over from the Packers is the emphasis on the draft. Many fans were upset with the lack of big name signings during free agency, but that may be a part of an overall change in Miami's approach. The Packers are winning a ton of games with a roster almost built entirely of Green Bay draft picks.
Speaking to this point, Philbin said that "You’re talking to a guy that I think in nine years offensively in Green Bay we never had one guy come in there as a free agent and really contribute. So my mindset is more let’s get guys into our culture. Let’s develop our own people. Let’s have faith in our ability to teach and develop and motivate guys. We’re still going to look to improve this club anyway we can, but that’s kind of the gauge I’ve used over the years.”
You can read the entire transcript of the interview here, courtesy of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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