People often say that NFL players are professionals. That they should have enough self-motivation to play with energy every Sunday.
This is true.
But does it put players at a disadvantage to not have the benefit of an energetic coach? Does it put them at a disadvantage to have to hype themselves up instead of having the luxury of relying on a motivating coach to get them pumped for the very first snap?
Does having the lethargic Joe Philbin as a head coach put Miami Dolphin players at a disadvantage? To be clear, this is not a conversation about X's and O's or football knowledge.
Let's look at the evidence.
Miami has started slow in each of the team's five games this season. The Dolphins have scored only 10 combined points in the first quarter of games this season. That's five quarters with only 10 points. What may be worse is that the Dolphins defense has allowed 30 points in first quarters this season.
This could mean that Philbin and his staff's scripted gameplan is no good and that success starts to come when the coaching staff adjusts. But that's not the way it translates on the field. Dolphin players are often times simply out-executed early in games, which shows lack of preparation throughout the week and lack of intensity.
The lack of energy and intensity early reflects on Philbin. It exposes one of the many holes in his coaching style. The man is not fiery. His team does not play with desire and passion.
Motivation comes in many forms. But the most foolproof form is by being loud and animated (remember, these people are playing a game). Just ask Mike Dikta and Jim Harbaugh, who have both had controversies involving their locker rooms but always found a way to get their guys ready to go.
Philbin's inability to fire his team up early shows on the football field. The team reflects his idle attitude early in games. Calculated and controlled can (and does) win football games. But it must come with intensity in a league as violent as the NFL.
Joe Philbin knows how to run a disciplined team, as evidenced by the Dolphins being top five in least amount of penalties committed in each of his three years with the team (and his notorious bed checks during training camp). But does he know how to coach a winning team? How to motivate his troops for battle every Sunday? How to be a major contributor to the team's success instead of an easy target after losses?
With the evidence that has been presented I ask you-- does having Joe Philbin as head coach put the Dolphins at a disadvantage?