Philbin Discusses Johnson Decision

Joe Philbin

First-year Dolphins coach Joe Philbin opened his daily press briefing Monday with a statement explaining the decision to release veteran wide receiver Chad Johnson. Philbin concluded the statement by asking that all other questions deal with the players still on the roster, but he patiently dealt with plenty more Johnson questions in a press conference that lasted 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

Interestingly, Philbin mentioned Johnson by name only once, that coming toward the very end of the press conference.

Here is Philbin's opening statement, along with his answer to all the Johnson-related questions:

Opening statement

"I'd like to address the roster move that we made last night. As with any type of these decisions, it was not an easy one. It was not reactive, nor was it based on one single incident. In making these decisions, we base our evaluations on a set of criteria that supports our organizational goals. It includes a player's performance both on and off the field. Essentially, we take into account the overall body of evidence to determine whether an individual is the right fit for this organization and more specifically this football team. That's how we made previous decisions and will continue to do so moving forward. Now I'd like to focus on looking ahead and I'll take any questions related to those players who were out on the field today."

In light of Karlos Dansby's comments on the radio Monday morning, are you worried about the locker room being upset with the decision?

"Nah."

Why not?

"I just think we have a strong locker room. I believe in the character of these individuals, the men we have on this football team. And we're going to move forward."

In the end, was this solely your decision?

"Again, we all talked about it. It's not about one person flexing muscles. It's about a football team moving forward."

Did you have any issue with Dansby speaking his mind the way he did in the radio interview?

"I believe this ... let's be honest, you have a boss, I have a boss. I don't always agree with what the boss says every single time. I'm of the opinion that you should keep things in house in that regard."

Was Chad surprised at the decision?

"Again, I think I've stated my position in regard to the meeting that I had with him last night and I'd like to move on."

Was there a part of you that maybe wanted to hold off on this decision?

"It was more a body of evidence from June 11 forward. When he came in on June 11, we sat down and we talked and we were very clear, I was very clear, as to the expectations of the program. Just didn't work out. It's more about the fit. In my gut, I didn't think the fit was going to be beneficial to either party moving forward, whether in the short term or the long term. That's really what it was all about. It wasn't about one specific thing. It just wasn't going to work."

Was it more about him as a person than a football player?

"Again, I think I talked about the roster move, so I'd like to discuss all the players that were out there practicing. I think we talked about why it happened, the reasons for it, I've been pretty clear on."

Are you considering options outside the team at wide receiver?

"I'm sure Jeff (Ireland) and his staff are considering anybody and everybody. Right now, we're focused obviously, as a coaching staff, on the guys that we have, that we like. We're confident we're going to get good receiver play here."

Do you need to talk to the team about the Chad situation to keep it from becoming a distraction?

"We talked to the team yesterday, alerted them to the facts of what was going on. We have a team meeting every single day. If we feel it's an issue, we'll certainly address it. We'd like to think that we're open and honest and up front with the players. If there's an issue about it, we'll certainly get it out in the open and address it. It's not like we're trying to sweep anything under the table or keep secrets from anybody."

Does this send a message to the team about how Joe Philbin wants his players to act?

"Again, it's not about one person flexing his muscles and saying, we're doing this. It was really just about a fit. It didn't feel like to me this fit was going to be right for us as an organization or for Chad, and it was time to move on. It is what it is. It wasn't done to send a message, it was done because it just didn't feel right. That's why it was done."

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