The announcement from Stephen Ross that Joe Philbin would be returning as head coach in 2015 seemed to come out of nowhere. It was nonchalant, buried in a media session, with Ross not saying it directly at first then ending the session by telling reporters that Philbin would be back. It was odd in the sense that Ross hadn’t even told Philbin yet nor had he told the players.
In the locker room after the game, it was the reporters breaking the news and they seemed excited about it.
Cameron Wake said that it’s good news and that Philbin is a big part of the franchise and a big part of the success of the team. Jason Fox said that the Dolphins knew they were fighting for Philbin and possibly his job in these remaining two weeks.
“Players love Coach [Joe Philbin]. The guys fight for him,” Fox said. “He’s one of us and he’s part of this football family. We fight for him every game, not just today. He’s the leader of this football team. He gets guys going. I mean he won a football game today, so hats off to him and this team.”
Jelani Jenkins talked about how important it was for them to get this victory and to head into the last week of the season with a chance to finish with a winning record.
“It’s huge. We’re coming off a tough loss last week and we wanted to make a statement on our home field,” Jelani Jenkins said. “We wanted to play a 60 minute game and keep scratching and clawing until the end, and I think we were able to do that. It was very important, obviously we wish we could have more, but any time we can get a win on our home field that’s a big deal for us, so we’re very happy about it.”
With the Dolphins officially eliminated from the playoffs with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, Philbin said have work to do to and that he’s going to make this right.
“I want to compete for championships while I’m the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. That’s what I told Mr. (Stephen) Ross I was going to do and I’m disappointed that we’re not in it. I told the team we’ve got one week and an opportunity to play our division rival at home and that’s what’ I’m really concerned about at the moment.”
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs