NFL AM: Practice Issues Cost Philbin


Dolphins practice squabbles could have cost Philbin:

One of the big messages of the day when new Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell was introduced as the man who would take over the reins for Joe Philbin was that there would be a change in culture in Miami.

One of the big changes the Dolphins will likely see is a very different atmosphere in practice after reports suggest Philbin had asked practice squad players to take it easy on starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

According to National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson, frustrations have been building between Tannehill and practice squad players who had been creating turnovers on the Dolphins’ starter in practice.

Saturday at practice in London, those frustrations finally boiled over, with Tannehill reportedly lashing out at some of the practice squad players, including allegedly yelling, “enjoy your practice squad paycheck. Enjoy your practice squad trophy.”

NFL Media’s Jeff Darlington strongly disputed that Tannehill mentioned paychecks during the altercation, but it’s clear that something went down, and the Miami quarterback is having issues with practice squad players.

What does this mean?

If true, this is a sign of a huge lack of leadership on Tannehill’s part. He should be more concerned with bringing up the play of everyone around him, and not with jawing at guys who are trying to hang onto an NFL career. If Tannehill can’t through practice during the week without being frustrated, how can the Dolphins expect him to come up big in big situations? This has to be a concern all the way to the top of the organization after the team just gave the quarterback a big extension last season.

Campbell didn’t mention Tannehill, or anyone in particular when talking about the culture change that would undoubtedly include changes to the way the team was practicing, but he made it clear, nobody would be taking it easy on anyone under his watch.

“To me, the best teams that I’ve been a part of are the ones that, during the week, they go after each other,” the Dolphins’ interim head coach explained. “Whether it’s practice squad versus the defense. They’re giving the look of practice squad versus offense, but it gets heated. And it’s intense, and it’s people that are fighting to win. they want to get noticed or they want to do their job. It’s not just going through the motions.”

While Campbell spoke about his appreciation for Philbin, keeping him on staff when Philbin took over in Miami, his comments made it pretty apparent that he didn’t necessarily agree with how the now former Dolphins head coach went about getting his team ready to play. Now Campbell will get his opportunity to show he can change the culture and get the Dolphins’ most talented roster in years actually playing like it.

Pagano says Luck trending in the right direction:

Who knew Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was so up on social media lingo? Tuesday, Pagano wouldn’t say whether or not starting quarterback Andrew Luck would start Thursday night, but he did say Luck was, “trending in the right direction.”

Well that’s good to know, or something.

For his part, Luck made it sound like he thinks he’ll be good to go, adding “I’m preparing to start and play.”

While Luck believes he’ll go Thursday night, he also told reporters, he’s not yet where he wants to be, in a perfect world.

Luck was asked about his reportedly separated throwing shoulder, but declined to confirm the injury, stating that he had been told he had so many different injuries by so many different people that he wasn’t going to take the time to address any one injury.

Of course, the question of Luck’s health isn’t the only question surrounding the Colts superstar quarterback. Luck has struggled mightily this season even before suffering the injury.  He is tied with Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterback Jameis Winston with a league high seven interceptions. Luck, throwing those seven picks in just three games after missing last Sunday’s overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The reality is the Colts just aren’t playing well. As much as we like to put everything on the quarterback’s shoulders, we’ve seen this story before. In the past decade we’ve heard that Eli Manning was awful, and Philip Rivers was finished because of how poorly they played behind poor offensive lines on below average football teams. A season ago, the New England Patriots got off to such a slow start that a reporter actually asked Bill Belichick if he was going to evaluate the quarterback position.

Luck is off to a poor start, but you can take any hall of fame quarterback in the history of the league and find a three-game-stretch like the one Luck had to start the year. Luck is going to have to turn his play around, but it’s not yet time for a three part series about how his career has gone down the tubes.

Greg Hardy returns to Cowboys, says stupid stuff:

When some guys get in trouble they’re smart enough to be quiet or humble upon their return. Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy isn’t one of those players.  The former Panthers sack master returned to the Cowboys this week, and didn’t waste any time reminding us why most teams didn’t even consider signing him after details of his abuse of a former girlfriend became public.

I suppose we can’t expect too much from a guy who would toss a woman around because she had previously dated rapper Nelly.

Hardy is excited to return to football, and says now that he’s back, he can’t reminisce about the past.

“In the last two seasons, it’s been a blur,” Hardy said, per Dallas Morning News. “Now that I’m back, I don’t reminisce. I don’t look back. I need to get to progress.”

The last two seasons have been a blur because you’ve been in and out of court, and off of the football field because you beat your girlfriend, Greg.

Hardy wasn’t finished displaying his complete lack of understanding or tact by continuing to talk about how excited he was to get back out on the football field.

“I hope I come out guns blazing. … I’m very excited to get out there and see what I can do.”

Really? Guns blazing? Like the giant pile of guns you threw that girl onto, Greg?

Honestly, how can the Cowboys expect things with Hardy to turn out well when the guy is working with such a lack of intelligence? Every time this clown opens his mouth or his laptop, fans of 31 NFL teams are reminded why they should be happy Hardy isn’t returning to their teams.

Remember, this is the same moron who wrote, “Didn’t the Twin Towers get blown up lol,” in reply to a Carolina Panthers fan tweeting at him about the Panthers’ Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin.

Hardy was also asked how he viewed returning against Tom Brady to which he replied, “The same way I did last time I saw him, hopefully on the ground.”

This guy is so gross he actually makes you want to root for the New England Patriots and hope Brady torches the Cowboys.

Welcome back, Greg. Now please go away as quickly as possible.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.