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Joe Philbin puts foot down with Chad Johnson release

In terminating the contract of Chad Johnson on Sunday, Joe Philbin made the first substantial move of his NFL head coaching career.

The Miami Dolphins had a one-strike arrangement in effect with Johnson, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Of course, if you watched the season debut of "Hard Knocks," you already knew Johnson was finished.

In that episode, Philbin had a firm, honest conversation with Johnson following the receiver's expletive-loaded first press conference with Miami media.

"But I want you to know if I have something, I'm going to come to you," Philbin said in a prophetic in-practice chat captured by HBO. "You need to be ready to deal with that. Do you know what I mean?"

Later, Philbin crystallized his feelings during a one-on-one with a "Hard Knocks" producer.

"We all have an obligation; we all have a responsibility," he said. "He needs to either fall in line, or not. It's pretty simple."

With his threat on record -- in the world of print, online and premium cable -- Philbin would've appeared weak to look the other way following Johnson's arrest. His reputation as an NFL head coach remains in its embryonic stage. He had to act.

Knowing the background, it made Sunday's announcement inevitable.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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