MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins still have unanswered questions as they prepare for Saturday's second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was ready to make a fairly bold statement on Friday.
"We have the best roster that we've had in the three years I've been here," Philbin told Dolphins fans confidently at the team's annual luncheon in downtown Miami.
Expectations are as high as they've ever been in Philbin's tenure. The Dolphins went 7-9 and 8-8 in Philbin's first two seasons. The feeling around the team is Miami must improve and make the playoffs this year to avoid potential repercussions from owner Stephen Ross.
Philbin's statement Friday makes it clear that there are no excuses. The Dolphins have talent at a lot of positions. However, it will be up to the coaching staff to maximize the talent, which has been an issue during Miami's five-year playoff drought.
The Dolphins received good fan support during their annual luncheon. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, receiver Brian Hartline and defensive linemen Cameron Wake and Randy Starks spoke at the event. There was even a session where Philbin showed off some not-so-great dance moves, which were funny and unexpected.
Philbin and players also urged fans to support the team at Sun Life Stadium, which has been an issue. According to Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel, ticket sales are up about 15 percent compared to this time last year.
“It means everything to know that we have the backing,” Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry said Friday. “It means everything to know that all our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed as a team. We’re trying to accomplish something here in Miami and bring back a championship.”