Dolphins' Philbin regrets distraction

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

DAVIE, Fla. -- Dolphins coach Joe Philbin says he regrets the distraction he created by being noncommittal on whether quarterback Ryan Tannehill will start Sunday in London against the Oakland Raiders.

Philbin was contrite Thursday, though still didn't announce his starter.

"One of the functions of the head coach is to create an atmosphere free from distractions,'' Philbin said. "And to the degree that I contributed to any of those distractions, intended or not doesn't really matter, that falls on me. It's my responsibility, so certainly I accept that responsibility as a head coach.

"Really, that's all I have to say on it.''

When asked if Tannehill will start Sunday, Philbin said only that he had already covered the topic.

Tannehill said Wednesday he expects to start and has been practicing with the first team all week. Backup quarterback Matt Moore confirmed his routine hadn't changed from Week 1.

"Obviously, it doesn't feel good," Tannehill said Wednesday of how Philbin publicly handled the quarterback questions. "It creates a bunch of stir [and] a bunch of distraction in the locker room -- mostly from the outside coming in and guys having to deal with the distraction of it. So it's not a good feeling."

The heat is definitely on Tannehill after two-plus seasons and 35 career starts. He is on pace for career lows in passer rating (74.1), completion percentage (56.5) and yards per attempts (5.0). Tannehill has not responded well in the first three games in a new offense under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

Tannehill is 16-19 as a starter for the Dolphins, including 1-4 in his past five games dating to last season. Miami (1-2) will try to get back to .500 with a win over the Raiders (0-3).

"We're going about our normal week," Tannehill said Wednesday. "It's all this stuff on the outside that seems like the world is collapsing. ... I think the guys in the huddle are confident, not only in their abilities, but in mine."

The team is scheduled to depart for London early Thursday evening.

Information from Dolphins reporter James Walker is included in this report.

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