Dolphins players buy into what Dan Campbell’s selling

Getty Images

When we last saw the Dolphins on the field before Week Six, we saw a lifeless team getting run over by the Jets in London in an effort that led to the firing of coach Joe Philbin.

The Dolphins that were on the field against the Titans on Sunday were a very different looking bunch. There was aggressiveness on both sides of the ball, balance on offense and an easy win for Dan Campbell in his debut as the team’s interim coach.

Defensive end Cam Wake, who snapped a season-long slump with four sacks, said Campbell’s “different mentality” led to players bringing more energy to the field. Wide receiver Rishard Matthews concurred about the message the players have gotten from Campbell.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to knock anybody, but coach Campbell gets you fired up,” Matthews said, via the Miami Herald. “When he speaks, he gets in your blood and gets your hairs up. You just want to go out there and battle for him.”

Matthews doesn’t have to be explicit while trying to knock anybody because his point is clear enough. The Dolphins needed someone other than Philbin giving them their marching orders if those marching orders were going to result in better performances than they had in the first four weeks.

Campbell stressed that this was “just one” game after the victory and the rush that came with the coaching change will likely wear off over time, but you’ve got to start somewhere and it’s hard to imagine a much better starting point for Campbell than Sunday’s win.

65 responses to “Dolphins players buy into what Dan Campbell’s selling

  1. Finally some passion, a dedication to the run game and a defense with a pulse.

    Now end that winless streak against the Texans and the arrow will be pointing up. Not expecting the playoffs but play above .500 the rest of the way and at least we can be optimistic that the talent isn’t as bad as it has looked.

  2. The Dolphins, who rolled over and died through the first five weeks of the season, should be looking in the mirror instead of looking for a scapegoat. They’re not kids. They’re grown men and have only themselves to blame for the lack of heart they showed until yesterday afternoon.

  3. This was the Dolphins teams that us fans have been waiting for… great execution… great commitment… and a fire the their stomachs that nothing could put out!! Fins Up, Foes Down!! Naysayers and fair weather fans can exit now!!

  4. This was not just a lucky win by Miami. The Dolphins have too much talent on their team to be playing so badly. Miami will be a danger team for their opponents who expect an easy win.
    While Joe Philbin wears the brunt of the terrible start to the season, his stoic loyalty to Defensive Coordinator, Kevin Coyle was probably also a big reason.

  5. Dan Campbell’s style makes him the ideal interim coach. Come in, shake things up, motivate players who had quit on their old coach. Scratch out a few wins you probably wouldn’t have gotten otherwise strictly on momentum.

    However, that same style makes him a lousy choice as a long term head coach. Players get tired of it quickly.

    Ask Mike Singletary.

  6. Come on Jags follow the Dolphins and cut ties with Gus. 8-30 is disgusting and no reason why he should still be our coach. The fans deserve more.

  7. This is why all those talking heads are full of it when they say you should never launch a losing HC midseason. Granted it was only against the Titans but that Fins team is a visibly different outfit than they were at the beginning of the year and Campbell’s only been on the job a couple of weeks.

  8. As a Titans fan, I admired the tough physical play the Dolphins put on display yesterday. (Reminded me of the Jeff Fisher years in Nashville.) That said, I don’t ever recall seeing a player injure a QB on an illegal hit to the knees and then that same player try to do the same thing AGAIN in the same game. Toughness is one thing, but playing trashy like young Pac-Man Jones or Albert Haynesworth is another. Vernon should have been ejected for sure.

  9. one good game against one of the worst teams in the NFL does not a good team make.

    The energy level was up huge and execution was much better.

    Tannehill still had some major screwups but he looked more like a 2nd year QB than a college QB this time. He threw a couple of decent semi deep balls, which was nice… but we’ll see what happens against a team that matters and has a great pass rush.

  10. As a longtime Dolfan it was great just to see them look like they were enjoying just competing & playing football again,Who knows where it ends but it is encouraging to know there might be hope! With Philbin there was none.

  11. Campbell’s got a long road ahead of him to getting that long-term HC gig, but what he seems to excel at is promptly identifying his own weaknesses. He promoted Rizzi to assistant HC to help him with game management decisions, he puts faith in the staff around him, and faith in the players. He knows he’s not a wizard at everything, but he has a strong desire to lead through thick and thin, something Philbin always remained too awkwardly quiet when his team needed him to step up the most.

  12. Calm down! They had a bye week and played a bad titans team…not saying a win isn’t good, but let’s be real almost any coach could’ve pulled this off…

  13. Still trying to figure out what the owner expected going in to the year. Philbin was a terrible coach from day 1 wit no personality. He never coached a winning season. This year would be different? I could have coached better than Philbin.

  14. No SB talk yet. But if you have the right ingredients, without a good chef the meal is crap. Now that Campbell is heading up the kitchen expect some more awesome cuisine!

  15. Calm down? Why calm down? Who said anything about a championship or playoffs here? After the first 4 dreadful games, this win is reason to be excited for next week’s game. Hell, at this point, that suits me just fine.

    Campbell said in his post game speech to the team that the sleeping giant is awake… but it had better not nap again. He’s turning things up on Wednesday/Thursday again. Offense vs Defense. He also credited the guys that sold out last week in PRACTICE that didn’t make the game day roster yesterday. It all starts at practice. If you don’t practice with intensity in this league, you’re probably not going to play well on Sunday.

  16. In the 20 years since Don Shula retired the Dolphins have had nine head coaches. Campbell is only the second who played in the league. The other was also an interim coach who went 2-1 in his three games. Guy named Todd Bowles, now the head coach of the Jets.

  17. UH OH… Hello is it Dan Campbell we were looking for… I can see it in your eyes…LOL…. Energy was pumped into the Dolphins Defense…. O-Line run blocked a whole lot better and what to me is a pretty decent/solid front seven in Tennessee… Moving on up… Indeed

  18. They played the Titans. Besides, it’s BS that these guys suddenly find passion for the game. That game check should be one of their primary motivators, but hey if you need someone to inspire you to do your well compensated job then yay.

  19. .
    These players are professionals and have an obligation to the league, ownership and fans to give a reasonable effort no matter who the coach is. It was pathetic to see such a talented team give such lackluster efforts in their first four games.
    .

  20. Ran the ball effectively on offense and stopped the run on defense. Its what it takes to win in this league (unless you have Tom Brady) Fins need a linebacker and some o-line depth and they might have something.

  21. Attitude was a big plus but the major reason the defense looked better was because the offense gave them a lead for the first time this season since a late punt return in game 1. The defensive line is built to attack but have been reactionary all season until the second quarter of this game. Maybe they adjusted the scheme but I wouldn’t downplay the importance of an early lead.

  22. As a Texans fan (only really because the Oilers left) I should remind you all that it is just a game against the Titans.

    The (average) Colts and the (below average) Texans have been making themselves look like real NFL teams for years by picking on the Titans and Jags, so I wouldn’t think that much of it.

  23. Teams always get a little bump when there is a coaching change. Usually it doesn’t last unless the roster gets changed too. Plus, teams usually fire a coach the week before a game with a weak opponent so that they get positive press coverage the first Monday morning. Having said that, I like the new coach. I liked the old coach too. Most NFL coaches are pretty darn good coaches. They just get fired when they have crummy players. Let Philbin get his hands on a QB like Aaron Rodgers and I bet he’d do pretty good.

  24. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Oct 19, 2015 8:28 AM

    Dan Campbell’s style makes him the ideal interim coach. Come in, shake things up, motivate players who had quit on their old coach. Scratch out a few wins you probably wouldn’t have gotten otherwise strictly on momentum.

    However, that same style makes him a lousy choice as a long term head coach. Players get tired of it quickly.

    Ask Mike Singletary.

    Ask Jim Haslett too. He had the Rams fired up for a game or two when he took over for Linehan, but there comes a point when you have to be a little more than “fiery” and show that you can, you know, actually coach. As his stint as the Redskins DC showed- he actually couldn’t./

  25. deathmonkey41: I agree, but you can flip that and look at Ryan, Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, etc.

    The point is that motivation is one equation to the success of a team. Coaching and Talent are the other two. These won’t be answered until the end of the season.

  26. Did the Dolphins play yesterday? I don’t recall seeing anything about it on PFT with all the other early games, just an injury report about a quarterback. I was wondering how that “corny” interim coach did. Obviously, the pft staff just can’t hardly bring their biased selves to make mention of the impressive victory until the next day.

  27. crewchief15 says:
    Oct 19, 2015 9:44 AM
    Calm down! They had a bye week and played a bad titans team…not saying a win isn’t good, but let’s be real almost any coach could’ve pulled this off…
    ————
    With the possible exception of Andy Reid and the 1-5 Chiefs.

  28. campcouch says:
    Oct 19, 2015 10:18 AM
    They played the Titans. Besides, it’s BS that these guys suddenly find passion for the game. That game check should be one of their primary motivators, but hey if you need someone to inspire you to do your well compensated job then yay.
    ————-
    If you’ve ever worked for an ineffective boss, you know how demotivating that can be.

  29. Dolphins at Titans

    MDS’s take: Dan Campbell’s tough-guy act is swell, but it’s going to take more than the Oklahoma drill to turn around a bad Dolphins team. The Titans are playing better football than they’re getting credit for, and they’ll take it to the Dolphins.
    ——–
    OR not. LOL!

  30. Philbin did have his hands on Rodgers and the Pack let him pursue jobs elsewhere.

    Philbin made it to this level due to his football acumen and probably because he’s a likeable guy.
    But a motivator he’s not.

    Just like the gifted kids at school that take accelerated classes to be challenged & learn more –
    NFL players are the best players there are and need to be challenged to improve.

    Campbell gets that – and unlike Singletary who yelled AT his players – Campbell challenges them and praises them – even practice squad players – because in Campbell’s eyes yo win as a team.

  31. Attitude was everything in this game!!! Campbell got this team to play with intensity!!! IT IS ABOUT TIME!!! Wake finally WOKE UP, now if only Suh can get going & get our secondary to cover anybody!!! JUST WIN FINS!!! Beat the Texans 7 then the patsies!!!

  32. TheWizard says:
    Oct 19, 2015 12:37 PM
    Couple more weeks they’ll go back to being who they are again.
    —————–
    What you saw yesterday is who they are, assuming you actually saw the game.

  33. I hope this is a change of things in Miami, but remember this is only Tennessee

    ——

    True, but remember they looked terrible against “only Jacksonville” and “only Washington”.

    Even on plays they didn’t record sacks, they were getting tremendous pressure, something they didn’t do in the first four games at all…

  34. It is shocking how Philbin turned these players into zombies, and Campbell woke them up again. Two totally different teams… Same players. This is pro football, right?

  35. keep on winning Campbell because there’s nothing to lose & just makes you look awesome when we win!!! Toughness is just what this team has needed for going on 5 years & I sure hope Ross sees this!!!

  36. Least the Dolphins were fortunate to have Daniels to make a coaching change and a new voice to fire up the Dolphins Defense…Seattle, is a dumpster fire at the moment giving up 4 quarter leagues since the SB!

  37. I hope this is a change of things in Miami, but remember this is only Tennessee.
    ——-
    Didn’t the Titans lose by just one point to the awesome juggernaut that is the buffalo bills the week before?

  38. The Dolphins will be better with the new coach. Having said that, he will need all of this team to do there best,I think the play off will be how every team performs, so we are still in the mix, and its up to them to get the job done, we play the Colts after Christmas, perhaps there coach will do what he did last night. Bill

  39. Wake had 4 sacks in the second quarter. Two of which resulted in turnovers. An all around good game played. Enough about how OV is being a bonehead. Fins fans are already well aware of that.

  40. I am usually very critical of the Dolphins. Not today! It was a great performance! Very good story about a team buying in to what young coaches are selling! Great performance!!

  41. Congratulations, you beat whiz and the Titans. turn up the Gloria Estephan sound machine. 4 and 12 at best.

  42. From what I understand the players spoke to management and said they wanted Campbell as the coach with that being said true or not there were two things that stood out to me in that game. The first is when we were up 31 -10 late in the fourth and we threw a TD pass. That was a message from Dan to the team. 60 minutes never quit. The other thing was after the players dumped the ice on Dan they each came up to him and gave him a hug. Didn’t shake his hand or pat him on the back but gave him an embrace. I was at the game and I know what I saw and I am telling you these guys love Dan. These guys will play hard for him from here on!!! Everyone says it was just the Titans but compared to who we already played and how we played this was more than hoorah. The Titans have been in every game this year and on top of that they were ranked third in total defence before we came to town and we put up 38 points on them!! Now I am not saying we are playoff or Superbowl bound but I will say we now have a little hope. Here is how I see it. This game was huge for us it gave the players and coaching staff a little confidence. Next up is the Texans. We have never beaten the Texans 0-7!!! If we play like we did against the Titans and beat the Texans then we go into Foxboro with a swag with the confidence like never before since the Shula days!!! If and it is a big if we come out of New England with a win then I think we can hop on the we can make the playoffs bandwagon!! I really feel like our season depends on the next two games. If we win both we have a great chance if we lose just one of them then I do not think we do.

  43. As a Dolfan, Hoping to beat The Patriots at home while they are 5-0 seems unrealistic, However…

    They play the Jets this week, 4-1 and very good Defense.

    If the Jets can “beat them up”, and The Dolphins play with the same intensity in New England,

    Anything is possible.

    Go Phins!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!