Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Some head coaches in the NFL will have too much of an ego and will demand that the players listen to them and it will be their way or the highway. One such example of this was former Dolphins head coach Nick Saban. He demanded things be done his way and caused a lot of tension in the locker room and front office. Coincidentally, or not, he wasn't successful during his two years as head coach when he was working with professionals that he didn't have full control of.
That's why Joe Philbin has really taken to listening to his players in his third year as coach. Philbin, who is on the hot seat, understands he needs to do everything he can to get this team into the playoffs and that starts with him.
Peter King of the Monday Morning Quarterback asked Cameron Wake what kind of coach Philbin was like to play for and relate to. Here's what Wake had to say:
“He’s probably one of the most interested coaches I’ve had as far as what you think or how you feel about certain things. Some coaches are like, It’s a dictatorship—this is how we’re gonna do things. Take it or leave it. He’s like, Well, we’re thinking about doing this schedule. What do the vets think about it? What would make you feel more prepared for the game or for practice? Having the input from the players to kind of organize or get the logistics to a lot of different things—not only does it actually help us as far as recovery and translating to getting your plays down, it also gives you a different sense of ownership. This is our program. This is our team. All of us are working to keep it together, versus the general standing on top of the steps and barking out orders.’’
Some of those changes have already been noticeable. For one, the team now plays music instead of white noise during the team portion of practice. Philbin has also changed the dress code for walkthroughs to a more lighter uniform. We've all seen the TSHIRTS that the players came up with and he is also considering a more player-friendly practice schedule as the season gets going.
Philbin will need to continue to lean on his players in order to be successful. If he is, he could be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins for a long time to come.