Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:30 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
All too often, the head coach, quarterback and coordinators get all the blame and all the credit for a team’s failure or success. Assistant coaches almost always fly under the radar, whether they are good or bad. However, it’s important to give them credit where credit is due. Two such coaches are linebackers coach Mark Duffner and offensive line coach John Benton, who were both hired in the offseason.
“John (Benton) and Duff (Mark Duffner) are pros. They are veterans,” Philbin said. “They’ve been in the league for a while. They understand stuff happens and guys get injured. Just because in July your lineup may not be the same as it is in late October, and I think they roll with the punches good. It’s a staff that doesn’t get way, way high or way down low. They just keep working and stay focused on what’s really important and that’s coaching players and developing players.”
Philbin said he loves the energy that Duffner brings and said he has been instrumental in the development of second year player Jelani Jenkins.
“I think he’s brought a lot to the staff. He’s got a lot of energy and enthusiasm, passion for the profession and passion for players and coaching guys. Jelani Jenkins is a guy that has stepped up and performed well. He’s a guy that really had played much last year and Mark’s been instrumental with that. He’s a guy I wanted to hire a couple of years ago actually when I first got here. We’re just delighted that he and his family are down here with us.”
With all the praise for Duffner and Benton though, Philbin refused to single anyone else out as to who’s done a great job of preparing the players to get ready for the game each week.
“I wouldn’t want to single anybody out. I’m really delighted and feel very fortunate to have the type of quality individuals that I do have on this coaching staff. I think they are very passionate about football. I think they care about the players. I think they care about this organization. They are good family men. I’m really proud to be associated with those guys. I wouldn’t want to single out any one individual. They are hard workers. They will do whatever it takes to prepare these guys to play.”
It’s always nice to see the assistants get the credit they deserve as they are the future coordinators and head coaches of the NFL. Let’s hope the Dolphins continue their recent success starting on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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