On Sunday following the Miami Dolphins victory over the Minnesota Vikings, owner Stephen Ross announced to the world that he would be retaining Joe Philbin for at least another season. On Monday, Ross announced that general manager Dennis Hickey would also be returning.
However, there has been no official word on the status of defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. While Lazor is expected to be retained, questions remain in regards to Coyle as his defense has regressed every year since he took over the talented unit three seasons ago. When Philbin was asked about it in his press conference, he wouldn’t say one way or the other.
“We still have a game to play. Right now all my focus and attention is on the New York Jets. There will be a time and place for all that stuff.”
Philbin did say that he agrees with Coyle’s philosophy and the 4-3 defense and while he admitted he can’t dispute some of the facts that are out there, he also mentioned that the defense was in the top in regards to scoring in the first two years. He noted that stats can be skewed in all sorts of ways to prove a point.
“If you look at the last couple of games in particular, I want to say New England had 28 points off of 87 yards of offense two weeks ago, so 41 (points) looks terrible. Yesterday if you had asked me before the game my strategy would have been to make these guys go the long way. If you looked at their success when they started a drive on or inside their 20, it wasn’t very good. They scored about 10 percent of the time. Genius head coach goes for a field goal, so initially they have a 56 or 54-yard touchdown drive. They have a five-yard touchdown drive. They have a 23-yard touchdown drive. We have to do a better job in some of those situations, but sometimes we can weave those statistics anyway you want.”
When Coyle was asked about his job status, he said that it wasn’t his place to answer any of that type of stuff and that he’s focused on the New York Jets. He said that he would worry about his future when the season is over and they look at all of those things.
As mentioned, there will likely be no questions about whether or not Lazor is retained but he wasn’t proclaiming that on Monday after be asked about his job security knowing that Philbin would be back.
“I’m happy for Joe. I hadn’t really given it a whole lot more thought than that because we have to win this (week). I think you’ve got to approach it, like we’ve talked about in here anytime we’ve been asked those kinds of questions, we’ve got to beat the (New York) Jets. Then after that, the dust will settle and it will play itself out. I don’t have any information other than that.”
We’ll see what happens but it would be surprising to see Coyle let go. Philbin has been known to be very loyal to his coaches and he may see the problems on defense as something that has to do more with the lack of talent than it does with coaching. It’s something to keep an eye on but we’ll find out more in just a little over a week.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs