Dolphins Hire Packers Coordinator Joe Philbin as Head Coach

Although Philbin did not call plays as ’s offensive coordinator — Mike McCarthy does that — he is a deeply respected coach who the Dolphins hope can rebuild a dormant offense. And they are undoubtedly hoping Philbin’s presence will give them an edge in pursuing Aaron Rodgers’s backup, Matt Flynn, when he becomes a highly sought free agent in the spring. The Dolphins have not had a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season, and they have made the playoffs just once since 2002.

Philbin takes over a team that began the season 0-7 before finishing 6-10. Sparano was fired, but Jeff Ireland remained as general manager and his presence may have cost the Dolphins a chance at Fisher. In a thin pool of coaches this year, Fisher — who went to St. Louis — was the big catch, but Philbin led a group of assistants. He also interviewed with Tampa Bay.

Philbin’s son, Michael, drowned a week before the NFC Divisional game, but Philbin returned to the team just two days after his son’s funeral. The Packers lost that game to the Giants, who face the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

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