AFC East: Dolphins hire Philbin

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Joe Philbin both made statements Friday evening after Philbin accepted the job to be the team's next head coach.

Here is what both had to say:

Ross: "We are thrilled to have Joe Philbin join the Miami Dolphins as our head coach. Joe has all the attributes that we were looking for when we started this process. Jeff Ireland and I felt Joe was the right choice to bring the Dolphins back to the success we enjoyed in the past. I know I join our fans in welcoming him as the newest member of the Dolphin family."

Philbin: "I want to thank Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland for giving me the opportunity to become the head coach of one of the premier franchises in professional sports. I also want to thank the Green Bay Packers for all the support the organization has given me during my time there. The Dolphins have a strong nucleus to build around, and working with everyone in the organization, I know that together we will return the team to its winning tradition. I have seen how much the fans in South Florida care about the Dolphins, and that passion is one reason why I’m really excited to be here. I’m looking forward to their support, and I can’t wait to get started."

After weeks of searching, the Miami Dolphins finally named their next head coach. ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter are both reporting former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is Miami's new head coach.

Philbin wasn't Miami's first choice. The team wanted veteran coach Jeff Fisher, who turned down the Dolphins to take the same position with the St. Louis Rams. But Miami hopes Philbin, a first-time head coach, can add energy and enthusiasm into this struggling franchise. The Dolphins started 0-7 last season and finished with a 6-10 record.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted an offensive-minded coach and got one with Philbin. He played a huge role in Green Bay's high-powered offense, which led the team to a 15-1 record this season.

Philbin is replacing former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, who was 29-32 in four seasons with Miami and has just one playoff appearance. The AFC East blog will have more analysis on this hire coming up.