New Dolphins’ coach wants culture change

The Associated Press
Steven Wine

MIAMI—The new Miami Dolphins coach says talent is not their problem.
Dan Campbell thinks the Dolphins need a more aggressive, intense, competitive environment—and he plans to provide it.
Campbell was promoted yesterday from his job as an assistant when the Dolphins fired Joe Philbin just four games into his fourth season.
Campbell’s only coaching experience is with the Dolphins, who hired him as an intern in 2010, and he has been their tight ends coach since 2011.
“This is my sixth season with the Miami Dolphins and this is the most talented roster we have had in those six years,” Campbell noted.
“We have plenty of talent,” he stressed. “I feel there’s a lot more we can get out of these guys.”
Campbell, a former NFL tight end, said the prospect of replacing Philbin and becoming a head coach was “a little surreal.”
But he expects to retain the job beyond his interim stint.
“I’m not here just to finish the season up,” Campbell said. “That’s not my plan. We’re coming here to win games.
“It’s still early,” he added. “We have time to turn everything around.
“But we can’t wait.”
Campbell said the Dolphins (1-3) need to show more aggressiveness, stopping just short of dirty play, and he looks forward to breaking up a few fights in practice.
His passionate, fiery demeanour is a big change from the even-keel Philbin.
“My vision is a bunch of hard-nosed guys that go out every day for practice and are ultra-competitive,” Campbell said.
“We are going to play by the rules but we’re going to be much more aggressive,” he vowed.
“I don’t want us playing on our heels. I want us playing on our toes.”
Owner Stephen Ross fired Philbin one day after a flop on an international stage helped seal his fate.
The Dolphins lost their third-straight game Sunday with their fourth-consecutive lacklustre performance—a 27-14 loss to the archrival N.Y. Jets in London.
Few will accuse Ross of impatience. He ignored calls to fire Philbin in December after the team faded to finish 8-8 for a second-successive season.
Doubts only grew this season regarding Philbin’s ability to motivate players.
“I don’t believe we were performing at the potential we have,” Ross said.
“My goal is still to make the playoffs,” he added.
“I felt this was the best opportunity we have—to pick Dan Campbell as our head coach.”