Joe Philbin’s NFL journey has brought him back to where he started as an offensive line coach.
The Indianapolis Colts announced Friday the hiring of Philbin, formerly the Miami Dolphins’ head coach for the past three and half seasons before being fired in Week 5 of 2015 after going 24-28.
Twenty-one of Philbin’s three decades have been spent coaching offensive lines in some capacity in college and the NFL. Prior to his time in Miami, he spent nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers, where he worked with O-lines for four seasons before being promoted to offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2011.
He’s accepted a challenging task with the Colts, who have allowed their quarterbacks to take 450 hits in the past four seasons while also struggling to establish a consistent rushing game. The Colts haven’t had a 100-yard rusher in 56 consecutive games. Free-agent newcomer Frank Gore was unable to rush for 1,000 yards last season, finishing with 967, the third-lowest season total of his 11-year career.
Known for his offensive successes with the Dolphins and Packers, Philbin was instrumental in the development of Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who in 2014 became just the second quarterback to surpass 4,000 passing yards in a season with 4,045. Hall of Famer Dan Marino was the only other one.
Running back Lamar Miller rushed for 1,099 yards to become the first Dolphins 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2011 (1,086 yards). Tannehill and Miller became the first duo in team history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.
The Dolphins finished the 2013 season with an 8-8 record as Philbin became the first Dolphins head coach to improve the team’s record two consecutive years since the 1997 and 1998 campaigns. Offensively, Tannehill threw for 24 touchdowns in his second season and became only the second quarterback in team history, joining Marino, to throw for 24-or-more touchdowns in a season.
In his first season as head coach in 2012, Philbin guided the Dolphins to a one-game improvement of 7-9. Miami finished tied for first in the AFC in touchdowns allowed on defense (32), as their 42.6 percent of red zone touchdowns allowed was the lowest in the NFL. Defensively, Miami ranked third in the AFC in points allowed per game (19.8). Tannehill set franchise rookie records in several offensive categories and became the first quarterback in team history to start all of the team’s games in his first year in the league.
In his five seasons as Packers offensive coordinator, he directed a unit that ranked in the top 10 in both total yards and total points, joining the New England Patriots as the only teams to accomplish that feat during that period. Green Bay’s point total (2,263) was third in the league over that five-year span, trailing only New England (2,457) and New Orleans (2,283). Green Bay reached the playoffs in four of Philbin’s five seasons as offensive coordinator as 12 Packers were selected to the Pro Bowl.
Prior to the NFL, Philbin coached at the collegiate level at Iowa (1999-2002), Harvard (1997-98), Northeastern (1995-96), Ohio (1994), Allegheny College (1990-93), U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1988-89) and Worcester Tech (1986-87).
Philbin, 54, won two Division III National Championships at Allegheny while serving as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach.
A native of Springfield, Mass., Philbin graduated from Washington & Jefferson College (Pa.) in 1984, where he played tight end (1980). He has a master’s degree in education from Tulane University (1986).
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