Dan Campbell changing Dolphins with Tug O War, Michael Jordan Videos

miami-dolphins-dan-campbellThere may not be a more disappointing team in the NFL this year than the Miami Dolphins. Considered a darkhorse Super Bowl contender, they sit at just 1-3, with a one-touchdown victory over the Washington Redskins as their season highlight. So it’s little surprise that head coach Joe Philbin was fired, giving tight ends coach Dan Campbell the reigns as interim head coach.

This is no easy job, given that Campbell has to essentially fix a talented, but broken team that’s dealt with plenty of embarrassments, including everything from Ndamukong Suh’s underwhelming play to Ryan Tannehill’s disparaging comments to practice squad players. So Campbell has decided to go off the beaten path on his mission to improve the team culture.

Interestingly enough, this has included a game of tug o war, 1-on-1 contact drills and Michael Jordan videos. As for the Michael Jordan videos, Campbell wanted to inspire his team to be more competitive and reach for greatness. The 1-on-1 contact drills and tug-o-war game were about instilling competition among his players.

One more change that Campbell has instituted in his short head-coaching tenure includes having the first team offense and defense going against each other. Normally, first-team units only face each other in training camp; then the scout teams take over during the season to reduce the chance of top players getting injured.

But in trying to change the competitive nature of the Dolphins, Campbell is having his first-team offense and defens face off for a portion of practice.

ndamukong-suh-dolphins“You need a couple of periods of that,” said Campbell of his philosophy. “You get two or three plays on each other, good-on-good, where now they’re coming off at each other and you set a tempo and you make it competitive where, hey, there is a winner and a loser. You understand that. To me that helps.

“It helps your sense of urgency and urgency is going to help you obviously when you walk out there for play one versus Tennessee on Sunday.”

So far, the players are buying into the system, which seems a change from Philbin, who at one point told practice squad players to go easy on starting QB Ryan Tannehill.

“It definitely helps,” middle linebacker Kelvin Sheppard told the Miami Sun Sentinel, “because I think guys are changing their mindsets without even realizing it.”

Suh is another player who appreciates the measures that Campbell is taking at practice.

“I love Dan’s opinion,” said Suh. “I love his motto of toeing the line and just being a physical and downhill team, setting the tempo and setting the tone of the game. I think that’s what we need to do on the defensive side of the ball. If we want to be successful, we’ve got to go out there and set the tone.”

The new-look Dolphins will play their first game in two weeks this Sunday, as they face off against the Tennessee Titans. Here at GTBets.eu, we have the home-team Titans at -1.5 on the spread. But given how Campbell is doing his best to turn the team around, this game could just as easily go in Miami’s favor too.

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