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Philbin hired by Miami

MIAMI -- Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has become the Miami Dolphins' seventh head coach in the past eight years.

The Dolphins announced the hiring Friday night and plan a news conference today.

Philbin landed his first head-coaching job less than two weeks after his son drowned in a Wisconsin river. Philbin spent a week away from the Packers, then rejoined the team last Sunday for its divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants.

Philbin has been with Green Bay since 2003, serving as offensive coordinator since 2007. Coach Mike McCarthy called the plays, but Philbin put together the game plan.

The Dolphins' top choice, Jeff Fisher, turned them down a week ago to become coach of the St. Louis Rams.

The Dolphins fired Tony Sparano last month with three games to go in his fourth year as their coach. When the coaching search began, owner Stephen Ross said he would like to hire "a young Don Shula" and give the franchise some much-needed stability.

Instead he chose the 50-year-old Philbin, who has 28 years of coaching experience, all as an assistant, including 19 years in college.

With Philbin's help, the Packers have ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in yardage each of the past five seasons, including third in 2011.

The hiring might give the Dolphins an edge if they decide to pursue Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who becomes a free agent this offseason. Flynn set Packers records with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns in their regular-season finale.


Around the league

*The St. Louis Rams took the first step toward becoming Britain's "home" team Friday, agreeing to play a regular-season NFL game in London in each of the next three seasons. The Rams will play the New England Patriots on Oct. 28 at Wembley in the first game of the deal.

*Kansas City Chiefs director of college scouting Phil Emery has interviewed for the Chicago Bears' general manager job. The Bears are looking to replace Jerry Angelo, who was fired after an 8-8 season.

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