The Indianapolis Colts today filled a crucial coaching staff position with a big-name, as the team announced that they have hired former Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin as their offensive line coach.
Philbin takes the place of Hal Hunter, who the team announced yesterday wouldn't be retained as his contract was up. Hunter had served as the Colts' offensive line coach last season after being an assistant line coach for the previous few years. Philbin isn't the only coach currently on the staff as an offensive line coach for the Colts, however, as Joe Gilbert - who has been in the position for the past three years - is also still currently on the coaching staff as an offensive line coach as well.
Philbin was the head coach of the Dolphins for the past four seasons, though he was fired just four games into his fourth season in 2015. He went 24-28 (.462) during his time in Miami, and the Dolphins went 8-8 in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014. He clearly didn't work out as a head coach, as the atmosphere around the team wasn't very good at all, but before he was hired by the Dolphins he was the offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers for five years (2007-2011), helping Green Bay win a Super Bowl and running a very successful offense. He also was the offensive line coach for the Packers for several seasons before that and has coached tight ends before too. He coached the offensive line at Iowa for four years (1999-2002) and was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for Northeastern (1995-1996) and Harvard (1997-1998) as well, in addition to various other collegiate coaching jobs.
A report surfaced yesterday saying that Philbin would be heading to the Giants to serve as offensive coordinator under new head coach Ben McAdoo, but at his introductory press conference today McAdoo didn't disclose his coaching staff. It now makes sense why that is, as Philbin is heading to the Colts to be their offensive line coach. Earlier this week, the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson said that the Colts had reached out to Philbin, so this hire isn't completely surprising. Either way, Philbin now faces the challenge of coaching a unit that has received a lot of attention from pretty much everyone in recent years, and not in a good way. It is widely known and acknowledged that the line needs to get better, and Philbin - whose lines weren't anything special whatsoever in Miami - now takes over the task of helping them do just that.