Omar Kelly: ‘Dolphins Were Soft Under Philbin’

That Joe Philbin was fired following Miami’s 27-14 loss to the Jets in London should come as no surprise. In fact, the only surprise is that Philbin wasn’t fired sooner.

“Steve Ross today (said) he was thinking abut firing Joe Philbin after that Buffalo game,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel sports columnist Omar Kelly said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench, referencing Miami’s 41-14 home loss last weekend. “He knew something had to change. I’ve been saying this consistently all year: All the issues that they had, nothing got fixed from Week 1 up until Week 4. It was the same consistent issues – can’t stop the run, won’t stay committed to the run game, poor play by the linebackers, the offensive line can’t protect Ryan Tannehill, the passing game is too conservative. None of the issues changed. Slow starts. None of the issues changed. That’s what Steve Ross said. It was the same old, same old, and he realized he needed to change.”

The Dolphins rank dead last in the NFL in rushing defense (160.5 yards per game). The next-worst rush defense? That would be the Browns, who are allowing “just” 141.5.

“The Dolphins were a finesse team,” Kelly said. “They’re a soft team and that wasn’t going to change until you got rid of Joe Philbin. Here’s what you do when you’re in the NFL. You go from one extreme to the other and you say, ‘Okay, we have a finesse, soft coach. Let’s go to Dan Campbell, who’s a hard you-know-what, who’s going to play aggressive. I want to be right at the line. I don’t want to worry about late this. I just want my guys to compete, play hard. We’re going to be aggressive. We’re going to win the line of scrimmage.’ Which is a complete contrast to who Joe Philbin was.”

Campbell, 39, played in the NFL for 11 seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Saints. He played for Bill Parcells and Sean Payton, among others, and has coached in the Dolphins’ organization since 2010.

“It’s funny because I think Bill Parcells is probably the reason why he has that job,” Kelly said. “If you’re still on that Bill Parcells coaching tree, you still got a lot of roots in the NFL and doors open for you. Even Steve Ross said he talked to Bill Parcells about the decision. I have to think that Steve Ross talking to Bill Parcells and talking to Mike Tannenbaum – another Bill Parcells protege – they know the personality type. They know exactly what was needed for the team, and they felt like Dan Campbell would have been the best guy. I knew he was a star on the staff because all of his tight ends have done well that he’s coached, but I didn’t expect that he’d be a head coach this quickly.”

Miami (1-3), which has a bye this week, plays the Titans (1-2) in Tennessee on Oct. 18.

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