Philbin: We Are Going To Have Great Competition For The 53 Spots

Posted Apr 27, 2013

Coach Joe Philbin wraps up the Draft weekend and looks ahead to the off-season program.

(On how much he feels the roster has improved from last season talent wise) – “I like the additions we’ve made. It’s been a thorough process. Jeff and his staff, our coaching staff contributing to that effort and everybody putting their two cents involved in the porce3ss. Obviously we like the guys we’ve added to the football team. We’ve lost some guys that were good people and good football players from last year’s team, so we’ve just begun the offseason program and we’re two weeks into that. So, we’ve got a long way to go, but I like the composition of the football team at this point in time.”

(On the complications of getting the roster to work together with so many new players) – “Transition is a thing that all 32 teams in the NFL deal with, some more than others, some years more than others. You know this appears to be a year where there could be quite a bit of transition in terms of starting spots on the football team. I know our staff, myself, we are excited (because) on Monday we get to go out on the field for the first time in phase two for 45 or 50 minutes. I know we are excited about coaching these guys. They seem to be a hungry group, they want to be good. But yes there is no question that part of life in the NFL is dealing with transition and we’ve got to do a great job teaching our guys and getting them up to speed from a schematic standpoint an how we do things in Miami.”

(On what he gleans from Dion Jordan being a full-time starter on defense for Oregon and also playing a large role in the special teams unit) – “He likes football. I think one of the things that we heard resoundingly through the evaluation process is this kid was a football player. He liked to play the game, he is passionate about it. He is willing to make a contribution any way he could. We’ll see; certainly I wouldn’t rule anything out with him in terms of his contribution on special teams.”

(On what he looks for in competition for starting jobs between players and what he is looking for from the kicking competition) – “Absolutely. I spoke on the phone with Caleb Sturgis this afternoon and I said to him, ‘you’re going to learn that lesson number one in terms of realities in the National Football League, this is a competitive industry.’ I told him we have an excellent person in the locker room in Dan Carpenter. He is an excellent kicker; he's been a productive kicker in the National Football League. He is a respected teammate and I said, ‘you are going to learn what life in the NFL is all about.’ He answered that he understood and he was very optimistic about coming in and competing. So, absolutely it is going to be a great competition.”

(On where he feels the strength of the wide receiver position on this team lies) – “We have some different types of guys. Obviously I haven’t noticed it first hand, but I am anticipating that Mike Wallace might bring us the speed dimension that we haven’t had in the past. Brian Hartline is coming off the best year of his career. We anticipate him to play very, very well, and Brandon Gibson is a guy who we liked an awful lot when we watched film in the offseason in terms of evaluating free agent wide receivers. Rishard Matthews has come back in very good shape and finished the season strong. Armon Binns is a guy who obviously came to us a little bit later. Jeff Fuller, Brian Tyms has been working hard. So I expect it to be a good group.”

(On how he plans to fast track the transition period of his team so it does not affect them in the early part of their schedule) – “It’s called the Hall of Fame Game (laughing). One of the reasons…I was sitting around during the course of the season, I was actually sitting in the defensive meeting room during the course of the year, and Kevin (Coyle) was going. It was early in the season, and one of cut-ups was New Orleans playing Arizona in the Hall of Fame Game, and so I’m thinking to myself, ‘geez I know we’ve got 11 draft picks, I know we’ve got some free agents on the football team, it might be good for us to get an extra game.’ So it was kind of in my mind back in the Fall that we could potentially get into that game.”

(On whether he feels that this is now his team with all the personnel changes) – “You know this the Miami Dolphins. It’s not about one person or my team or this. This is about the organization coming together and helping players reach their potential. I like the group of guys that are going to be assembled and sitting in these chairs, and I think we are going to have great competition for the 53 spots that are going to be available, But certainly I don’t think about it in terms of me or myself.”

(On whether he thought it was important to create competition at positions where the team did not have incumbent starters) – “You know, again as Jeff mentioned I think, he mentioned that, and this might seem like a revelation, but we like good football players. Certainly sometimes you look at your own depth chart and you would like to get a position here, a position there. But then you’re looking at somebody else that you’ve watched, you’ve evaluated and you really like as a player. So, I don’t know that you necessarily start out by saying, ‘okay, we’ve got an incumbent who is going to be complacent, so let’s go get somebody else. I’m not saying that it’s bad that it happens like that, but I don’t know that that was necessarily at the forefront of our thought process. Ours was more, let’s do as good a job as we can evaluating these guys and pick the players that fit our scheme, fit the culture that we’ve established here and contribute to our success.”

(On how he would characterize the tight end position with the addition of Dion Sims) – “Yeah you have a lot of different types. We have a lot of different types. You know, Dustin Keller who has been a productive player in the league. You’ve got obviously a young player in Dion Sims, you’ve got a young guy in Michael Egnew that we are excited about working with this spring. Obviously training camp and the preseason is going to be very important for him. Charles Clay has done a lot of jobs since he has been here. He has been a valuable player, and Kyle Miller is a guy we picked up. I liked what we saw of him even though he didn’t see a lot of action, I kind of liked what I saw on the practice field. So it’s going to be fun to see that group evolve.”

(On whether he thinks he has a mix of blocking and catching tight ends) – “I certainly hope so. We’ll find out.”

(On how he would describe his involvement in the pre-draft and draft process this year compared to last) – “I had a little more time, but I think our staffs worked very well together. Obviously the personnel staff does a tremendous amount of work year round. It never stops for those guys. And then coaches jump in and really since the season ended, I think Jeff’s staff did a fantastic job and our coaching staff worked their tails off as well and contributed. We’re kind of the supplement. Those guys run the personnel department. We can certainly chime in, ‘yes he fits this scheme or this concept that we like.’ We certainly want to have a sense for type of individuals they are, but hopefully we contributed and helped out.”

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