Philbin Sees Great Opportunity With 2015 Schedule

Posted Apr 22, 2015

In a special conversation with Greg Likens of The Finsiders, Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin opened up about the unique aspects of the team's 2015 schedule.

After getting a look at the Miami Dolphins’ 2015 regular season schedule, Head Coach Joe Philbin came up with an interesting way of characterizing it.

“It’s a little unique.”

The NFL announced all the dates and times for the 2015 season Tuesday night, and the Dolphins’ schedule indeed has some interesting twists.

Among those are consecutive road games to open the season; six of the first nine games away from Sun Life Stadium, including a stretch of three consecutive road games; closing out with four of five at home; and no December or January games in the North.

Among the schedule topics Philbin addressed in an interview with The Finsiders was the heavy tilt toward road games early in the season.

“Let’s face it, it’s different,” Philbin said. “We know the importance of playing well on the road. We’re certainly going to get experience with that early in the season, but the flip side of that, the positive is, we’re going to have a great opportunity to finish the season on a positive note at home. There’s always trade-offs when you look at the schedule. There’s certainly trade-offs.”

This will be the second time in the past three seasons the Dolphins will open with two road games. They won at Cleveland and at Indianapolis to start off the 2013 season.

The Dolphins also will begin their 2015 preseason schedule with consecutive road games, at Chicago and at Carolina.

“I think that’ll be a benefit to us, and then we’ll come home toward the end,” Philbin said. “We have to play well on the road in the National Football League to be a championship-type football team. It’ll be a good challenge. We’ll put that right out in front when we get to training camp. Right now we’re most concerned about the offseason program, but when we first assemble at training camp we’ll talk about how important it is to play well on the road.”

The Dolphins technically will play nine games away from Sun Life Stadium this season because of the game against the New York Jets at Wembley Stadium in London, England, on Oct. 4 where they will serve as the home team.

It will be the second consecutive season the Dolphins will play in London, but this game will start at 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET) instead of the 6 p.m. local start time last year when Miami beat the Oakland Raiders 38-14.

“We’ve got a different kickoff time over in London that we didn’t have last time we went,” Philbin said. “We put a lot of time and effort and thought into the plan that we had last year when we went over and not to say I’m superstitious, but our team did play well over there. We haven’t finalized every last detail, but I think for the most part it’s going to look very similar.”

Other Philbin thoughts on the 2015 schedule:

• On what he first checks when he gets the schedule: “The first thing you always look for is the opener as the most important because you’re devoting your offseason program, your training camp, preseason games to getting ready to play that first football game. We’ve got a great opponent in the NFC East and we’re going to go up to Washington, play in the nation’s capital against a good Washington Redskins football team.”

• On playing on “Monday Night Football” against the New York Giants: “The players love being the, quote unquote, only show in town. You get a great franchise with a lot of tradition in the New York Giants that are obviously a good football team that made improvements toward the end of the year. Certainly by that point in time, we’ll be deep into our season, both teams, but I think it’ll be a great opportunity for our fans and our players.”

• On closing the season with four of five games at home: “It’s going to be huge, it’s going to be a big part of the season. We’ve kind of been a .500 team the last couple of years at home. We’ve played .500 football on the road and .500 football at home. It’s important for us to take the next step and defend our turf. We’re going to be in a great brand new stadium almost next year that I know all our fans are looking forward to, our players, everybody in the organization is looking forward to. We’re going to have some outstanding opponents coming in.”

• On not having a December game in the North: “You always look at it. You kind of noticed that yesterday when the schedule came out. That’s rare because, as well all know, division opponents typically arrive in December and sometimes to even things out we have to travel up North in December. But this year it just kind of worked out with the schedule. It’s a unique schedule, it’s a little bit different, and that’s certainly one of the features of it.”
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