Monday, September 9, 2013
Joe Philbin reacts to Mike Wallace, Starks
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin addressed two in-house issues Monday involving wide receiver Mike Wallace and defensive tackle Randy Starks. Both players showed frustration following Sunday's 23-10 victory against the Cleveland Browns.
Wallace was upset after the game because he was not involved in the offense. He caught one pass for 15 yards and was primarily used as a decoy who drew double teams from Cleveland's defense. It was Wallace's regular-season debut with the Dolphins, which probably led to his frustration.
Philbin wouldn’t confirm whether he addressed the issue with Wallace. But Philbin showed some level of support for his receiver on Monday.
“I want our players, all 46 players who dress, to want to make an impact and want to contribute and make a difference in the football game,” Philbin said. “Any discussion I would have with Mike would be a personal nature.”
Starks’ situation was interesting, as well. Following a third-quarter sack, Starks put up his middle finger to his own sideline. Starks, who has a one-year franchise tag, lost his starting job to Jared Odrick this offseason after skipping organized team activities because of a contract dispute.
Although it's unknown if that was Starks’ motivation for the gesture, Philbin made light of that situation.
“It was probably at me directly,” Philbin joked, which sparked laughter in the media. “It’s important for all our players to act the right way on and off the field. ... I am aware of it, and it’s important that we do that.”
Update: Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman also offered support for Wallace. "Mike's a competitor. He wants to feel a part of the game, as I hope that he would," Sherman said Monday afternoon. "He came here to be a factor in our season and our success. The fact that he's disappointed he only caught one ball, that's expected. I have no problem with that."