Dan Campbell says leaders need to step up on the Dolphins


The Dolphins underwent a major change in leadership style when they fired head coach Joe Philbin and hired interim coach Dan Campbell. But Campbell says there needs to be a leadership change in the locker room, too.

Without naming names, Campbell indicated that there are players who need to do a better job of holding their teammates accountable.

“I think that just overall leadership is something that we’ve got to get better at,” Campbell said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “We do have leaders in that locker room. We’ve got good guys. We’ve got guys that work, but just as a whole for those guys to take ownership of how they handle their business and go about things and what they accept and don’t accept. That’s where it’s got to come from, and that’s the next step. That’s the step we’ve got to get to.”

Campbell said one of his goals as a head coach is to get the team leaders to recognize their responsibilities.

“We’ve got some good guys in this locker room and we do have some guys that have leadership qualities,” he said. “To take that next, uncomfortable, step to where you challenge your teammates on what you think is right and what’s wrong, and for me that answer right now, if you’re saying right now, what do you do? You lead the leaders. That’s what I’m charged with. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to get those guys to somewhat open their eyes to that.”

It’s too late to make any meaningful changes this season. But Campbell’s comments suggest that the changes the Dolphins will make in the offseason should extend beyond the coaching staff, and to finding better leaders on the roster as well.

37 responses to “Dan Campbell says leaders need to step up on the Dolphins

  1. This team is a rudderless ship, and it starts with the owner who needs to sell the team. A new owner needs to be brought in, and an entire house cleaning is in order. Blow it up, and start from scratch. Other teams have done it and been successful.

  2. If the Dolphins wanted a true leader to step up with the right foot, they should have hired Rex Ryan. It could still be a good idea, so that he would do nothing with the third team of the AFC North in his career, for the joy of his beloved Patriots.

  3. Been a Phins fan my whole life, down here in SoFla.. I like Campbell, but I stopped drinking the Kool-Aid after the first couple of games.. He can definitely get the team pumped up when things are going good, or great.. Sometimes during the games, Coach Campbell looks lost… I’m not sure he has reached his full football IQ capacity, but after the season he will be a great asset to some other team as a Cordinator.. Somewhere down the line he will be a head coach again, but he still needs to be groomed.. Even if we had finished 9-7, i’m pretty positive he would have been back.. But it’s hard to sell to a Fanbase without a winning record.. Don’t want to say it, but that front office/organization will hire Shula’s son from Carolina

  4. So the Dan Campbell reign is over? The same guy who laid in the cut for years, towing the company line, suddenly found his voice in time to take over the HC job.

    Now he’s discovered that the job is way more than the Oklahoma drill. I guess the question to him is, “whatcha gonna do when the novelty wears off of yo stuff?”

    Parliament Funkadelic

  5. Coming from a coach who makes sure Miller their most productive and explosive option on offense especially at RB doesn’t stay on the field

  6. We are going to get Sean Payton and he will turn Tannehill into a franchise QB and we will be back in business, people need to relax. We will draft the top corner and go o-line an LB. let’s revisit this and u will see I am right

  7. Dan Campbell was a blessing in disguise for this team and organization he might not be ready to be a head coach but he has told it LIKE IT IS since he took over. He’s been with this dead team for 6 years he knows that there is no leadership and how soft this team really is. Tannehill might be a tough kid but he will never be a true leader. Hopefully someone in this organization is listening to what Dan Campbell is preaching and realizes they must hire a coach that is the leader of men. The Dolphins have not had a coach like that since Jimmy Johnson.

  8. It takes a while to recondition those traits. Many of these players ‘grew up’ under Philbin, who did not want player leaders for fear of an uprising in the locker room. Leadership is not measured by paycheck or position and it seems that is what the front office has been trying. Tannehill might have leadership qualities but he is very tentative when he steps on the field. You can see it even with his running style, tiptoeing around the end instead of committing and running with authority and purpose. This team has lacked true leaders for a long time. (At least as far back as that 3 and out against the Patriots that allowed them to come back and take the division back in 02 or 03)

  9. What’s Campbell supposed to say, surely he’d like to stay on in the head coach role.

    This team has no leaders, Suh is a joke and he’ll be the reason MIA remains a doormat until he’s gone.

  10. Hmmmm…that’s one of the major problems team has lost. Thanks to Joe “no one is the leader but me” Philbin. We have traded all our “Leaders, talent” to other teams. Ex. Reggie Bush, Karlos Dansby, Brandon Marshall, Vernon Davis etc.. Character issues? We fix them, then trade them. A la, no one left to fire them up. Now it looks like they are doing the same with Lamar Miller. There should be a Dan Campbell at each position, what a wonderful idea that would be?

  11. We are going to get Sean Payton and he will turn Tannehill into a franchise QB and we will be back in business, people need to relax. We will draft the top corner and go o-line an LB. let’s revisit this and u will see I am right

    Oh man, I’m still laughing. Cut it out. Comedy.

  12. Now that Landry has been outed as Beckham ‘ s lover, it would be hard for him to step up as their leader.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  13. Guy excels at the “rah rah” but seems to lack leadership skills himself as well as the intelligence to run an NFL team. Probably better suited to run a high school team. Actually, he probably is the perfect coach for the Phins.

  14. You have to draft leaders. You can change coaches all you want and give speeches til the cows come home, but you can’t force people to assume leadership positions.

  15. @dolfan72
    This team is a rudderless ship, and it starts with the owner who needs to sell the team. A new owner needs to be brought in, and an entire house cleaning is in order. Blow it up, and start from scratch. Other teams have done it and been successful.
    Yes, Mr. Ross wants to be an NFL owner in NYC. He bought the wrong team. The Jets/Bills/Giants were not for sale. The Bills were closest for a sale and even then he would have wanted them in NYC. His mentality is like the cooking commercial “set it and forget it.” You can’t do that. He needs to sell the team OR, fire all the executives he has, get new coaches, get rid of over inflated contracts starting with the QB. It’s exasperating. Dolphins are in a hell hole.

  16. So as the head coach he doesn’t seem to take responsibility for these guys allegedly not leading. Gotcha. Sounds like great head coach material there if he is going to continually pass the buck.

  17. Think its another veiled hint that Suh has been a bust in trying to help this team on the field. Got his money and that’s it, don’t expect him to step up and lead, don’t expect him to stay conditioned enough to perform well on the field, just another guy who got paid.

  18. Hey Coach, tell the OC that it would help the team compete if they gave their best player, Lamar Miller, an opportunity to tote the rock 20 times a game. I watched the game against the Giants recently and Miller was lighting them up in the first half, about 90 yards and two scores before the break. Then in the second half he disappeared. Why? Fannyhill tried to force feed the ball to Landry. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And Miller damn sure wasn’t broke !!!

  19. Ross isn’t gonna sell the team. Get over that point.
    He’s willing to spend the money necessary, BUT he hires
    people with poor qualifications in decision making positions.
    Ireland, Tannenbaum, Cameron etc..
    Last year looked promising with Hickey, but looks like we took a big step back with Tannenbaum at the helm.

    Campbell is a good guy. His approach was a fresh breathe of air.
    But he seems to lack the tactical side that Belichick, Bowles of Ryan bring to the position in our division. He’s in an no win situation, with basically a minuscule chNce to be ghe coach again this year. But he’s done the necessary dirty work to fire coaches, assess starters and bench players. Tells it like it is even when he sees his exit clear as day.

    We got rid of Bush, because we though Miller was ready to step up.
    He wasn’t. Campbell was right to bench Miller the last game.
    7 carries 12 yards is not a good performance from a healthy back, add in a quad injury and you can see your starting RB is struggling (most likely due to injury. Furthermore our bad OL was getting worse with Albert and Pouncey going down. So yeah let’s throw our struggling, injured #1 into that bad situation

  20. Dan Campbell’s message for players to show better leadership is not directed at Albert or Suh or the Special Teams captain, it’s a not so subtle hint to Tannehill that he has to do more. Ryan is a decent QB, very high character and pretty tough but for $19M a season, the team expects more than just 5 wins.

  21. I’ll say it … he’s talking about Suh. When Suh was a Detroit Lion, I loved the guy. But, failing to be a leader in the locker room was always one of the knocks against him.

  22. Dan Campbell seems like a great guy. He tells it like it is without being cruel or offensive. Ross hired Philbin and allowed the coaching staff to become a cadre of employees that were not qualified to take Joe’s job away from him. Philbin also purged the team of its player leadership. There was no one to keep Richie Incognito in check and there were no players left that might show Joe up for the spineless leader he really was. Remember the Jets game in 2014. Michael Wallace went berserk and refused to play because Joe had lied to him one to many times. The 2015 roster that Campbell is littered with players who don’t pay any attention to a coach. They survive by causing no waves, staying out of the limelight and protecting their own health rather than worry about wins and losses. This Dolphin team has their bags packed and are eagerly looking toward another bland season next year. Everyone gets paid!

    Ross will be lucky to have 30,000 season ticket holders after the novelty of the new roof wears off.

  23. First let me say Thank You for taking shu. We almost got stuck with him. We could tell that he was just another piss pour player and all wanted him gone. I can’t believe you paid so much for him… Thank you again.

  24. The best thing the Dolphins can do is play the back up guys and hope they play to win, however that will do little to help in 2016…what they need is to move up on the draft board, at #7 they have a good chance for a top player, so I hope the teams above us win this week and next week. Bill

  25. #1 Any clown that says a NFL team should tank for a higher pick should go back to collecting football cards.

    #2 Don’t forget part of the reason our GM is Hickey, who really didn’t do that bad in the draft, is because all the other up and comers (not a word, I know) declined the offer to come to Miami. The reasons are obvious.

    #3 It starts at the top. Ross needs to blow this up, open his check book and shut up. The main Tanny everyone should be worried about is Tannbaum. The guy ruined the Jets. Yes, he makes a good pick, pick up, etc, every now and then, but over all, he is a disaster. Blow up the front office, ALL OF THEM, and start fresh. That is the ONLY way you are going to have a shot at turning the Phins around.

    #4 The next GM/coach starts DRAFTING a QB every year until we hit. Tanny’s ceiling has already been shown and it is not worth his contract, in my opinion.

    It’s hard being a fan of them, really hard, but real fans never leave their team.

    Happy New Year, Miami Fans. To the rest of the arm chair GMs, go back to your real jobs.

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