Dolphins' Philbin: 'We're not getting 53 new players'
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) Joe Philbin arrived at work at 5:30 a.m. Monday with a long to-do list.
''I didn't get a whole lot of sleep,'' he said.
No wonder. Three games into the Miami Dolphins' season, it seems to be slipping away. Philbin started the year with little job security, and in the wake of Sunday's 41-14 loss to Buffalo, there's speculation regarding whether he'll make it beyond Week 4.
The Dolphins (1-2) have looked lackluster in all three games while playing progressively worse and sinking to last place in the AFC East. Now they face a long flight Thursday to London for Sunday's game against the division rival Jets, needing a rapid rebound to reverse the direction of a season that held high hopes when September began.
Philbin said everything will be evaluated, including possible lineup tweaks, and he found nothing good about his team's latest performance.
But in keeping with the even-keel coach's nature, dramatic changes are unlikely.
''This is not a time to panic,'' he said. ''We're not getting 53 new players. We're not getting 24 new coaches. We're either going to find solutions to these problems or not, and we're either going to stick together or not.''
The search for solutions starts with the defense, which collapsed at end of 2014 and still looks awful even after the addition of $114 million tackle Ndamukong Suh.
The opposing quarterback rating is 101.8, and the passers have been an undistinguished trio - Kirk Cousins, Blake Bortles and Tyrod Taylor. Suh and the rest of the heralded defensive front has one sack all season.
Embattled defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle took responsibility for his unit's showing so far.
''I'm disappointed, but I'm mostly disappointed in myself,'' he said. ''I've got to do a better job getting guys in the right spots.''
Philbin resisted calls to fire Coyle after last season, and is doing so again.
''I believe in the coaching staff,'' Philbin said. ''I think they're the men that can come up with the solutions to the problems.''
The dismal start has tested owner Stephen Ross' faith in the coaching staff. The Dolphins' bye follows the Jets game, which will give Ross more time to mull over a potential change.
Philbin said he talked with Ross following Sunday's defeat.
''I think he's like everybody else that was there,'' Philbin said. ''I don't think any of us feel good about what happened.''
Philbin has repeatedly said responsibility rests with him. But he said he doesn't think the players have lost confidence in him or his coordinators.
''I watched the tape. I didn't see guys loafing. I didn't see issues on the sideline,'' he said.
There are plenty of issues on the field. As a complement to the defensive woes, the offense ranks next to last in the NFL in points. Pass protection is shaky, and run blocking even worse. The Dolphins have yet to rush for a touchdown.
Even kicking an extra-point is a challenge. Rookie Andrew Franks went 0 for 1 Sunday.
The consensus among players and coaches is that the drubbing by the Bills left the Dolphins at a crossroads.
''You have a loss like that, who knows what can happen,'' receiver Rishard Matthews said. ''But I feel confident in the guys to bounce back.''
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