Over the past several days, a lot of the focus around the Miami Dolphins has been about free agent offensive guard Evan Mathis and whether or not they have any real interest in him. After he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles last week, which was somewhat of a surprising move in regards to the timing, stories began popping up not only with the Dolphins, but with numerous other teams around the NFL.
Following practice on Tuesday, head coach Joe Philbin was asked about the Dolphins' interest in the Pro-Bowl guard but he didn't reveal too much information about whether or not they would pursue him.
"I like what I see so far, but it's early. There hasn't been a ton of live contact, there hasn't been any. So the speed up front, it's hard to get a great assessment as to where everything's at. I believe we're going to have enough opportunities in training camp and the preseason to get a really good evaluation. I like the guys that we have. There's no question in my mind that they'll be capable of doing the job. I think they just need experience, they need repetition, they need exposure, they need to work with (Mike) Pouncey and the guy next to them and get it figured out. It may not be as pretty as we want it day one of training camp, but I think they are great guys, football is important to them. These guys have been working extremely hard."
When fans heard this on Monday, many began to panic and wondered why Philbin would say he has so much confidence in the offensive line. However, one must realize that it doesn't do anyone any good if the head coach comes out and publicly bashes a player and/or throws him under the bus. Philbin said all the right things and is making it a non-story instead of turning this into a controversy. Behind closed doors, I'm sure the conversation is much different so it's important to keep his in perspective.
With that said, we'll find out sooner rather than later whether or not the Dolphins truly are confident in their offensive line but my guess would be that they have serious interest in Mathis and are just letting things play out to see if they will become serious bidders in a multi-team race to land the guard's services.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs