Philbin hopes to turn Dolphins around

New Miami coach Joe Philbin (center) shakes hands with general manager Jeff Ireland. Philbin hopes to return the Dolphins back to their winning tradition.



New Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin takes over a team that hasn't been to the Super Bowl since 1985 and missed the playoffs nine of the past 10 years.

Maybe that's why one of his predecessors, Jimmy Johnson, offered this tweet Friday: “Joe Philbin new Dolphin coach..good luck!”

The former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator became the seventh coach in the past eight years for the Dolphins, who are coming off a third consecutive losing season, their longest such stretch since the 1960s.

The hiring was the latest turn in an emotionally wrenching month for Philbin, whose 21-year-old son recently drowned in an icy Wisconsin river.

Philbin had been with Green Bay since 2003, working as offensive coordinator since 2007. Coach Mike McCarthy called the plays, but Philbin put together the game plan for one of the NFL's most prolific offenses.

The Dolphins' top choice, Jeff Fisher, turned them down a week ago to become coach of the St. Louis Rams. Miami owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland then conducted a second round of interviews this week with Philbin, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Todd Bowles, the Dolphins' interim coach at the end of the season.

"Joe has all the attributes that we were looking for when we started this process," Ross said in a statement. "Jeff Ireland and I felt Joe was the right choice to bring the Dolphins back to the success we enjoyed in the past."

Despite the Dolphins' woes of recent years, including a 6-10 record in 2011, Philbin called them "one of the premier franchises in professional sports." At 50, he's old enough to remember the 1972 perfect season.

"The Dolphins have a strong nucleus to build around," he said in a statement. "And working with everyone in the organization, I know that together we will return the team to its winning tradition."


COLTS: Owner Jim Irsay says the Indianapolis team expects to decide on a new head coach next week. Irsay made the announcement on his Twitter account.

Irsay’s tweet read: “The (hash)1 pick debate will rage on,what a great year to have it..the HC search is wide ranging n thorough,decision by mid 2 late next week.”

According to reports, Irsay flew to Florida on Friday and discussed the team’s head-coaching job with former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel for a second time.

The Colts fired coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday after three seasons. The team went to the Super Bowl during Caldwell’s first year, but finished a dismal 2-14 this season.

The day after they locked up the No. 1 overall draft pick, Irsay fired team vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, general manager Chris.


COURTS: Lawyers for Ben Roethlisberger and a woman who accused him of raping her at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino in 2008 have reached a settlement that ends her civil lawsuit against the Steelers quarterback.

Cal Dunlap, the lawyer representing the woman, confirmed the deal but declined to discuss the terms of the agreement.


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