Philbin just doing his job

After deciding to release Chad Johnson, Coach Philbin is experiencing his first dose of criticism from certain members of his team. The main problem was that Chad was extremely well liked by his fellow teammates, and some players did not feel like Chad’s arrest warranted an immediate dismissal from the team.

When Philbin addressed the media about the decision to part ways with Chad, he said “It didn’t feel like to me that this fit was going to be right for us, for the organization, or for Chad. It wasn’t done to send a message. It was done because it didn’t feel right.” After seeing the first episode of Hard knocks last week, this statement by Philbin appears to be accurate. The two times that Philbin and Chad interacted during the show, one being when Chad interrupted a coach’s meeting, and the other when Philbin had to reprimand Chad for dropping too many F-bombs, both men appeared very uncomfortable in each other’s presence. Their personalities are completely opposite, and just these two brief glimpses into their relationship, seemed to foreshadow an upcoming divorce.

However some players, such as Karlos Dansby and Sean Smith, spoke out and were not thrilled about the decision to release Chad. Dansby went as far as saying “It’s going to be a bigger distraction because we let him go. If he’s going to be our guy, we have to stand behind him.” Honestly, guys get cut all the time, but since it is the larger than life Chad Johnson, the move is blown up to cosmic proportions. It was not exactly like Chad was playing like a pro bowler last year, and he was not exactly blowing the doors off of training camp and the first preseason game. Sagacious sports gambling fans would say that if Chad can’t put up productive numbers with one of the best QB’s of all time in Tom Brady, then what is to say he can do anything with more pedestrian QB’s like Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill. Also with the promise of the younger wide receivers like Julius Pruitt, and Roberto Wallace, there was an outside chance that Chad was going to be cut regardless of his legal issues. All I say is onward and upwards, and lets focus on the players that are on the team, not the ones who are not.


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  • oavery

    While Chad is a likeable figure who was quite a sympathetic figure on Hard Knocks – a guy who authentically seemed to know he had overstepped the bounds and blown it – and while Philbin was inarticulate and vague, Philbin made the correct decision on football and team grounds. On football grounds, Miami has a good group of young, inexperienced decent but not good or great WR who have significant upside. The only reason to keep Chad Johnson, an older figure with no long term upside, is if he was head and shoulders above them. My impression was that he was probably a tad better but not much and not enough to retain him and cut one of them. On team grounds, Philbin is a new coach of a very young team and this is the time where he defines what kind of organization he wants. Had he given Chad, a guy who he set straight on hiring him, a guy in love with celebrity who used language and talked about drugs and porn then managed to get involved with head-butting a woman, another chance the signal to all the young players would be that anything goes. This standard worked for the Raiders in the past. But my sense is that Philbin and Ross are much more aligned with the Shula standard – players should be team-minded, football-focused, disciplined and intent on succeeding on the field and should not be throwing the organization into disrepute. Given that Miami has deviated from the Shula standard since Shula left and the results have not been good, from a team point of view Philbin is right on track.

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