Don Shula endorses Joe Philbin

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MIAMI -- Despite a roller-coaster season and a highly publicized bullying scandal, the Miami Dolphins have a chance to make their first playoff appearance since 2008 on Sunday.

Head coach Joe Philbin's ability to keep the Dolphins steady is a big reason for their success.

Philbin received a very strong endorsement Sunday from former Dolphins head coach and Hall of Famer Don Shula. Philbin is 15-16 in two seasons entering Miami's regular-season finale against the New York Jets.

"I like (Philbin) a lot. He's a heck of a guy and comes from a great program, so he's been with a winner," Shula said before Sunday's game. "You can see the imprint on what's happening here, and the people he's hiring and the way that they're playing.

"I think that he's the right man for the job."

The endorsement could go a long way to Philbin's long-term prospect with the Dolphins. Shula is still very active within the Dolphins' organization and is a member of the team's leadership task force appointed by owner Stephen Ross following the Richie Incognito- Jonathan Martin bullying controversy.

Miami (8-7) can make the playoffs for the first time under Philbin with a win Sunday and a loss by the Baltimore Ravens, or a win by the San Diego Chargers.

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