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Wallace, Starks put Philbin's 'Council' plan to early test

The SportsXchange

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins didn't have a happy locker room Sunday, and it'll be interesting to see how coach Joe Philbin and/or his six-player Leadership Council chooses to handle the simmering issues.

Wide receiver Mike Wallace wasn't happy about only having one reception and only being targeted five times.

Defensive tackle Randy Starks shot the finger toward the sideline, and presumably the Dolphins coaches, after a sack. Starks, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, isn't happy about not starting and not having a multi-year contract extension.

Oh, yeah, and the Dolphins won their season opener on the road, defeating Cleveland, 23-10.

It was an interesting opening week for the Dolphins. Wallace, who signed a $60 million free agent contract during the offseason, was so upset after the Browns game he basically refused to talks to reporters, frequently answering questions by saying, "Ask the coach."

On Monday, he'd calmed down.

"I'm mad at myself just because I didn't have a good game," he said. "That's all there is to it."

Wallace said he had a "great" conversation with Philbin.

"It was productive and we're good," Wallace said. "We're ready to move on."

Starks wasn't in the locker room Monday. The usually stoic Philbin delivered his best line of the year when asked if he thought Starks' obscene gesture was intended for the coaches.

"Probably at me directly," Philbin said smiling. "No. It's important for our players to act the right way on and off the field. I think you've heard me say that a number of times. And I am aware of it. It's very important that we do that."

The Dolphins have a six-player Leadership Council that includes quarterback Ryan Tannehill, center Mike Pouncey, guard Richie Incognito, defensive tackle Paul Soliai, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and defensive end Cam Wake.

Philbin was asked if he'd refer the Wallace and Starks matters to the Leadership Council.

"We'll see," he said.

--Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle unveiled the "speed package" in Sunday's game, which is the way to get the fast pass rushers on the field together. It uses three defensive lineman and features end Cam Wake in the middle, Olivier Vernon at left end and rookie Dion Jordan at right end. They have linebackers Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler and Koa Misi on the field with the nickel defensive backs - Nolan Carroll and Brent Grimes on the boundaries with Dimitri Patterson in the slot, and safeties Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons.

"We'll be able to do a lot of things," Coyle said about the unit.

--CB Dimitri Patterson (groin), who had two interceptions Sunday, was pulled in the third quarter and didn't return. Patterson appeared on the injury report last week with an ankle issue.
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