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.