DAVIE, Fla. -- How did Joe Philbin celebrate Sunday night’s news that he will return as Miami Dolphins' head coach in 2015?
“I had one Guinness,” Philbin said Monday.
Philbin can breathe easier now that his job is secure for another year. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pulled a somewhat surprising move by making the coaching announcement following Sunday’s 37-35 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
There was a lot of speculation that Philbin’s future would be determined in the final two games. However, Ross said he made up his mind before Sunday.
"Things are happening as an organization. I think everyone feels the buzz that things are changing around here," Ross said. "They say patience is a virtue, you know. But I'm expecting big things next year -- I will tell you that."
Questions about Philbin have been removed, and the mood is different this week going into the season finale.
“It’s important for the head coach of an NFL football team that the owner believes in him and what he’s doing and the program he’s instilling,” Philbin said. “It’s very, very important. If you don’t have that kind of belief and faith from the owner then it’s not going to work.”
Questions remain if Philbin will keep everyone on his coaching staff, particularly on defense, where the team has struggled in the final five weeks of the season. Ross assured Philbin will return, but it remains to be seen if offseason tweaks will be required for the assistants.
Last year, Miami fired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and replaced him with Bill Lazor, who has been an upgrade. Miami’s points per game increased from 19.8 in 2013 to 24.3 this season.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and Philbin both deflected questions about the future of the staff on Monday.
“Right now, I’m just concerned about playing the New York Jets and winning this football game,” Philbin said. “There’s a time and place to talk about staff.”
Added Coyle, “I don’t think it’s my place to answer any of that type of stuff. Right now we have one game to get ready for as the season ends. That’s not [something] I’m going to deal with.”
A victory over the Jets (3-12) would give the Dolphins (8-7) their first winning season since 2008, and it would mark Philbin’s first winning season as head coach.
A victory over New York also could provide some momentum and good vibes heading into the offseason.
“We approach this as a privilege to put the uniform on and put the whistle on as a coach to represent this organization,” Philbin said. “The goal is to win every single time you step on this field. ... That's the only way I know how to go about preparing a team to play in the National Football League. So that's exactly what we're going to do.”