Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
At the end of last season, much was said about head coach Joe Philbin and how he needs to improve as a coach if he wanted to keep his job in the long-term. Many wondered if the sometimes stubborn Philbin could change his ways. Those critics can stop because he has, as some of the players have said, improved so much since the end of the 2013 season. Take for example when Philbin was leading a team meeting and while they were watching clips of the film Animal House, the song Shout came on and he started dancing in front of everyone, according to Mike Wallace.
"One thing I know about coach is he's working to be a better man, a better coach. He's doing a lot better from last year being more engaged, conducting leadership seminars, the team building. "He's still going to get his work out of us. ... But he's looser, creating a better environment for everybody," Wallace said.
Philbin, who is one to never be hesitant to seek out advice from others, reached out to Hall of Fame coach John Madden.
"Coach Madden said, 'You have to be yourself, stick to your beliefs. You can't run your program the way somebody else wants,' " Philbin said. "This year, I've been more myself. Or who I am."
Madden, who spoke to USA Today, had plenty of praise for Philbin and thinks he can turn things around.
"When I first was impressed by Joe Philbin is when they were on Hard Knocks. Joe ran one of the best training camps I've ever seen. ... I go back to (New York Giants coach) Tom Coughlin. Remember when players talked about him loosening up and they went and won the Super Bowl? I don't know if Tom really loosened up or not. But when they won the Super Bowl, it made a pretty good story. ... That's the same type thing here," he said.
Tannehill and Brian Hartline both said that Philbin has really improved and the team wants to fight even harder for him now.
"I hate bringing up the whole scandal situation, but the team and coach Philbin really grew through that," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "We got to see him open up to us in handling the adversity. ... Now he's even more approachable. He opened up in the spring (and) not just about his schedule and rules. He really just poured his heart into the vision he has for this team. ... That gained a lot of respect."
"We want to win for him," Hartline said. "Not that that wasn't the case before. But there's more incentive now because I've never seen a head coach put so much into improving."