Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
One of the many knocks on head coach Joe Philbin his first two years as head coach was the he was out of touch with the team and his players and didn't have a true pulse of the team. Now in his third year, he has changed his approach and learned from his past mistakes.
It started this camp with the nightly bed checks. At 10:30 PM each night, Philbin goes into every room to make sure the players are in there and getting ready for bed. While there, he'll take the opportunity to discuss anything with the players. Cameron Wake said it's very welcome and uses the opportunity to usually talk about practice.
It continued when Philbin has made it a point to reach out to every player and let them know that his office is open and anyone is welcome to come in at any time.
“I think I’ve been more vigilant,’’ Philbin told me in his office Friday before the team’s 8 a.m. practice. “I am trying to do a better job communicating with players and staff. Since [the start of the offseason program] April 21, I’ve probably had every player on the team sitting on that couch you’re sitting on right now, and we just talk. About everything. I’ll ask, ‘What do you love most about being a Dolphin?’ Or, ‘Tell me one thing we could do, anything, either on the field or off, that we can do to be better as a team or an organization?’ Or, ‘Tell me one way you think you’ll be a better player this year.’
“Maybe with the players I was a little—I don’t want to say aloof, but maybe not as approachable as I should have been. They looked at this office as the principal’s office. I want them to know they can talk to me anytime, about anything. I want the players to know I have an open-door mentality.’’