Dolphins owner Stephen Ross announced at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix that Philbin will be extended through the 2016 season. In a league where perception means plenty, Ross essentially admitted he gave Philbin an extension to avoid the label of a "lame duck" coach. Philbin was entering the final year of the initial contract he signed with the Dolphins in 2012.
However, the extension is merely window dressing and doesn't change Philbin's situation. This remains a playoff-or-bust year for him and for many on his staff.
Philbin must win this season after posting an overall 23-25 record. He promised Ross upon his hiring to "compete for championships" in Miami. Instead, Philbin posted three consecutive non-winning seasons, including back-to-back 8-8 seasons. The Dolphins have been the definition of mediocre the past three years. They haven't been awful, but they haven't been consistently good, either.
Everything will fall into place if the Dolphins end their six-year postseason drought. There is certainly enough talent to make a playoff push, headlined by the recent acquisition of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
This is Philbin's fourth chance in a league where many coaches get three or fewer. The only difference after today's extension is Ross most likely would pay Philbin not to work in 2016 if things go poorly.