Dolphins News Archive

Away from Cameras, Dolphins Give Back to Communities

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018
Kenny Stills signs autographs for young fans. (The Palm Beach Post)

For Dolphins players, the job of a professional athlete doesn’t end when the gameday cameras stop rolling and the pads are hung up in the lockers.

During their free time, many give back to the communities that raised them, using their platforms and voices to make a difference in the lives of less-privileged families.

In addition to participating in nearly every philanthropic event the team has hosted since he arrived in South Florida four years ago, wide receiver Kenny Stills – a nominee for the 2017 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award – has spent each off day during the season working on innumerable charitable efforts.

“On any Tuesday, if you try to get a hold of him, you’re going to have to wait until five or six o’clock because he’s doing community stuff all day,” said Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase. “I’ve been impressed with how he’s made himself available, how much he tries to do.”

In the coming weeks, Stills plans to give away presents on “10 Days of Stillsmas,” an initiative he personally launched last season to spread more joy to his fans.

“This will be the second year we try and sponsor families that need help,” said Stills, who personally selects and pays for the presents. “We usually do a meal and then give gifts for 10 kids. We’re in the process of finding and selecting the families. I’m sure there are other things that will come up for Thanksgiving, too. I’ll be sure to share those things on my social media.”

Nearly a year ago, linebacker Kiko Alonso watched helplessly as Puerto Rico, his father’s birthplace, was devastated by Hurricane Maria. No. 47 immediately started a fundraising campaign to help victims in both Puerto Rico and Miami, with a goal of $150,000. Alonso pledged the first $25,000, which was subsequently matched by the Miami Dolphins Foundation; in all, the relief fund generated over $165,000.

The recovery efforts are still ongoing, and Alonso stresses the importance of lending a helping hand, whether it’s for those impacted by natural disasters or unable to find food and shelter in local townships.

“There’s just people out there who need help everywhere, and there are a lot of people out there who aren’t as fortunate as some of us,” he said. “Everybody in the NFL is very blessed, so I think it’s important for anybody in our shoes to give back. I think it’s just the least we can do.”

Hosting food drives, supporting Boys and Girls Clubs or working with police departments may not generate as many headlines as game-winning touchdowns, but players recognize that even a gesture as small as tossing a football with a group of kids can leave a lasting impression.

“You always want to pay it forward,” said safety T.J. McDonald, who has regularly partaken in team community efforts, including the Dade vs. Broward All-Star Game and the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, as well as numerous other events during his time with the Rams.

“We get a lot of fame … (for) what we do and who we are, (but) we wouldn’t be who we are without other people. So, it’s very important to be that positive influence that some of us had when we were young. Just being that face there, it lets them know that it’s possible. That was big for guys like me growing up.”

Cornerback Walt Aikens understands the importance of having that kind of support and guidance first-hand.

Beginning at age six, the Charlotte, N.C. native played youth football for the Police Athletic/Activities League, which aims to strengthen character, build bridges between police and communities, and prevent juvenile crime through recreational, mentoring and educational opportunities.

Aikens credits the organization for playing a critical role in his on- and off-field development, and for keeping him on the straight and narrow path as an adolescent.

“It helped me in so many ways,” he said. “What PAL does is help kids like me stay out of trouble.”

In May, the 27-year-old was named an official spokesperson for National PAL, and proudly serves as an inspiration for impressionable children – including his younger cousin – who faces similar kinds of hardships or roadblocks.

“I can now go and talk to kids all over the place and just share my testimony with them, because it wasn’t always easy,” he said. “I persevered and made it to where I am today, and I just want to give back to them and let them know they can do whatever they want to do. It doesn’t even have to be sports, it can be anything.”

As Stills explains, the opportunity to impact the lives of others isn’t just something that comes with the territory of being an NFL star.

Said No. 10: “It’s everything.”

Flo Rida Makes Hard Rock Stadium His House

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018
Chart-topping rapper Flo Rida performed at a Dolphins game for the first time in his career.

Backstage in a nondescript dressing room, past the players’ locker rooms at the end of a winding, field-level corridor, Flo Rida scans the crowd from behind his diamond-encrusted, orange Gucci sunglasses and motions his two dancers to join him at each side for a post-concert interview.

Over the years, the Grammy-award-nominee has performed at countless sports venues, but there’s no doubt that playing a medley of his biggest hits during Sunday’s halftime show in front of his hometown fans, decked in an aqua No. 1 jersey bearing his name, is special.

Or as the “My House” rapper himself calls it, “epic.”

“To be home in the 305, I anticipated coming out here for a very long time,” he said. “I think this may be a pre-Super Bowl halftime performance for the Dolphins, you know what I’m saying? We have it down in the 305. It was so much fun.”

Born and raised in neighboring Carol City, Fla. – located 15 miles outside of Miami – the rapper, singer and songwriter was discovered by 2 Live Crew’s Fresh Kid Ice, who signed him as his hype man and later featured him as a guest on his 2004 album, “Freaky Chinese.”

Just three years later, Flo Rida’s breakout, chart-topping single, “Low” – the most-downloaded song of the decade – made him a household name. He’s since become one of the best-selling artists in the world, topping one billion plays on Spotify, with dozens of infectious party anthems.

His international success and penchant for penning smash hits have allowed him to celebrate with the Super Bowl-champion Denver Broncos in 2016, as well as kick off the 2017 NFL season at Gillette Stadium, but if there was any doubt his football allegiance still lies with the Dolphins, the 39-year-old quickly puts that to rest.

The locally-born-and-raised musician lists off a handful of his childhood favorites with a wide grin – Dan Marino, Mark Duper and Mark Clayton – and has close ties to a Coral Gables High School graduate and University of Miami alumnus currently suiting up for the Dolphins.

“Frank Gore, that’s my boy,” the rapper said. “I said, ‘What’s up?’ to him when we were out there on the field. It’s always a pleasure to see hometown (players) out here, representing, as well.”

Like all Dolphins fans, Flo Rida has enjoyed the team’s early-season success, and hopes that the next time he returns to the big stage in the Sunshine State, his favorite team will be playing in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium.

“This is something that, being a fan of the Dolphins, we always anticipate and we want to happen, so I’m definitely enjoying (this season),” he said. “We pray that the Dolphins are in the Super Bowl.”

Dolphins Stars Appreciate ‘Awesome’ Dolfans NYC Reception

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Dolphins DB Minkah Fitzpatrick Celebrates a defensive stop.
Photo: Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post

A native of Old Bridge Township, N.J., Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick expected to see around 30 close friends and family members in the lower-level seats at nearby MetLife Stadium.

The standout rookie didn’t envision over 1,000 aqua-and-orange-decked fans cheering for him and his teammates from the upper deck, their raucous reception rendering the return to his home state even more special.

“It was awesome,” Fitzpatrick said. “I saw a lot of people out there. At one point, they were chanting, ‘Go Dolphins!’ That was really cool hearing them, and that somebody at the stadium started that chant. It was a lot of fun.”

Fellow first-year player Jerome Baker, in awe of the inescapable crowd noise, reached out to Renzo Sheppard, Dolphins Football Communications Manager, to find out why Miami had such an overwhelming presence on an opposing team’s home turf.

“Even just pulling in, you could see the tailgating, you could see our fans were there, and I was just surprised by that,” Baker said. “Being that far north and having our fans there, it’s just a blessing. In the NFL, I really didn’t expect our fans to travel that well … I asked Zo, he ended up telling me (about Dolfans NYC), and I just decided to say something.”

“We feed off of their energy just like they feed off of ours,” Baker continued. “When we – the defense – were up there doing our thing, our fans were yelling, too. I wouldn’t say it felt like a home game, but you could definitely feel our fans.”

For two of the Dolphins’ top offensive stars, the ringing celebrations following Miami’s scoring drives didn’t go unrecognized.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” exclaimed wide receiver Albert Wilson when asked if he heard the cheers after his second-quarter touchdown catch gave Miami a 14-0 lead. “After the game, I did a message to everybody who came out. It was great to get so many Dolphins fans on the road. When you get there and you quiet the crowd, and you have your fans going loud, it definitely gives us a spark.”

Running back Kenyan Drake, who found the end zone on a six-yard run in the first quarter, echoed a similar sentiment.

“It was good to score one in front of the many fans we had up there,” he said. “Dolphins fans travel anywhere and everywhere, especially for a divisional-rivalry game such as the Jets. I feel like they make it a key thing to go up there and really try to pack out MetLife Stadium. It was cool just feeling that vibe when I was up there.”

Drake, much like his other teammates, reiterated his appreciation for the support, and hopes to capitalize on the positive momentum as the Dolphins head to Foxboro for a pivotal matchup against the Patriots on Sunday.

What’s his message to Dolfans NYC?

“Let’s keep it going! We’re 3-0, baby. Just enjoy the ride.”

Dolphins Honor SAVE Executive Director, LGBTQ Activist Tony Lima

Monday, September 24th, 2018
SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima (right) poses with Dolphins senior executive Jason Jenkins.

On Sunday, in a pregame ceremony on the Hard Rock Stadium field, the Miami Dolphins named SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.

Surrounded by members of SAVE – South Florida’s leading organization dedicated to protecting people of the LGBTQ community against discrimination – and Dolphins Senior V.P. of Communications and Community Affairs Jason Jenkins, Lima proudly help up a crystal glass trophy and aqua No. 18 jersey bearing his last name on the back.

“As the longest-serving LGBT rights organization in the state, for SAVE, this is a huge honor,” Lima said. “We’ve been working so hard for the last 25 years to bring full equality to Floridians. With the Football Unites program, the Dolphins are not only celebrating and (being) inclusive of the LGBT community, but … are helping other organizations with incredible diversity, work on social justice as a whole.”

With a bigger platform to shine a light on longstanding issues of inequality and discrimination, Lima is hopeful the recognition will allow SAVE to reach an even wider audience.

“What’s most exciting for me, is that the Dolphins did this in front of 70,000 people who may not know that SAVE is out there doing the work that we do,” he said. “They may now have more of an open heart and an open mind to understand why it’s important to be inclusive of the LBGT community.”

During his five-year tenure with the organization, Lima, a Miami-born Cuban American, has focused on community outreach and advocating for policy change. Through the Prejudice Reduction Program, SAVE has spread its core mission of positive change through educational forums and business meetings.

Under Lima’s leadership, SAVE has made its most significant strides toward achieving equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities throughout the organization’s 25-year history. In 2015, Lima championed SAVE in its successful federal suit against the state of Florida to legalize same-sex marriage, and in the year prior, lobbied for nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals at the Miami-Dade County Commission.

SAVE has helped elect a record 75 pro-equality government leaders, as well as implemented a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model aimed to reduce prejudice against the community.

“The model that we came up with is a deep-canvasing model, where in 12- to 15-minute conversations with a voter, it’s been proven scientifically that we can change their hearts and minds,” Lima said. “Just by having inclusive conversations, where people understand that they may have been discriminated (against) at some point, as well, and can see the connection between that and discriminating against the community. The great thing is that model is being used now across the country for not only LGBT rights, but women’s rights and immigrant rights, on a bunch of different levels and issues.”

SAVE is a grant recipient of the Dolphins Football Unites program, created by Owner Stephen Ross and players to help South Florida individuals and organizations maximize their impact and engagement. Through the launch of the program, the team is supporting SAVE’s campaign to reduce prejudice and expand the list of supportive community members.

“In this day and age, in this political climate, it’s not only about one community,” Lima said. “It’s about all the intersections that make up our community, whether that’s being a person of color, being a woman or being an immigrant. We have to stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and help uplift each other’s narratives.”

To learn more and make a donation, visit save.lgbt or connect with SAVE on Facebook.

Dolfans NYC Support is ‘Big-Time’ for Dolphins

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

When the Dolphins take the field in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday, players know the inter-division tilt won’t feel like a typical road game.

Not with over 1,000 aqua-and-orange-clad fans spread across four sections at MetLife Stadium, whose boisterous chanting and unwavering celebrations have left a lasting impression.

“It’s big-time,” said Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills. “It’s not too often that you go on the road and you have such a heavy presence in another stadium, so we always appreciate them.’”

For wide receiver and kick returner Jakeem Grant, the warm reception from one of the most significant contingents of Miami fans he’s witnessed at an away game has inspired him and his teammates.

“We feed off them,” Grant said. “They basically give us that momentum, with them cheering if we make a big play. We’re like, ‘Man, we can continue to do this!’ With the fans traveling with us and doing all those things, we greatly appreciate that.”

Throughout the eight previous #MetLifeTakeover games – especially the six triumphs – the loudest cheers have come from Dolphins faithful in attendance, who’ve shouted after every first down and belted out the team fight song following each touchdown.

 

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“I remember in the past, we’ve seen some good support there,” said linebacker Kiko Alonso. “It’s definitely critical to have our fans come to those games.”

Alonso won’t be disappointed on Sunday afternoon, as Dolphins supporters’ voices will echo through the stadium, rooting for him to come up with a game-changing interception and Stills to beat his defender for a crucial score.

The applause emanating from Sections 344 to 347 is not only audible on telecasts, but travels all the way down to the Dolphins sideline.

“We definitely hear it,” Stills said. “It’s nice to have our fans with us on the road … I always make sure to go over there and dap everybody up and tell them face to face, ‘Thank you for being here.’”

Dolphins Aim to Unite Community Through Football

Monday, September 10th, 2018
Dolphins executive Jason Jenkins (center) greets members of NOBLE at Sunday’s Football Unites Tailgate.

Two hours before the Miami Dolphins kicked off the 2018 season on the field, the organization proudly launched the third year of its Football Unites Tailgate – a Stephen Ross-led initiative aimed to fortify relationships between local community leaders, youth and law enforcement – outside the Hard Rock Stadium gates.

Hip-hop music blared through the speakers as a throng of young fans skipped their way past the Joe Robbie Statue, around a decorative white picket fence and inside a reserved section at the North East Plaza. With a backdrop of colorful murals overlooking the festivities, early attendees lined up for lunch at the hot meal stations before spinning the knobs at an oversized Dolphins-themed foosball table.

Each year, the camaraderie, food and entertainment have brought together diverse groups to the pre-game celebrations, which also provide educational components intended to spark conversation and build positive relationships between fans of different races, genders, sexual orientation and identities.

“Our owner, Stephen Ross, created RISE – Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality – and with that, his goal is to use sports to drive social progress and make meaningful change,” said Jason Jenkins, Dolphins Senior V.P. of Communications and Community Affairs. “So, there’s going to be a lot of fun, but there are also educational opportunities designed to bring people together and learn about each other. They’re going to do a scavenger hunt, they’re going to have discussions and they’re going to talk about themselves. We want to bring all these diverse groups together that make up the culture of South Florida, with sports as that backdrop.”

Over a dozen organizations have partnered with the Dolphins, including 5,000 Role Models, North Miami Beach Police Athletic League, Urban League of Broward and NOBLE, whose leaders have recognized the program’s immense impact on their community.

“This initiative is great because it gives the kids an opportunity to come out and mingle with each other, and also meet with officers,” said Timothy Belcher, who serves as President of NOBLE, P.A.L. Coordinator and a mentor with 5,000 Role Models. “We’re trying to bridge the gap between the officers and the youth, to make this a better [community] for everybody. We want to teach our kids responsibility and direction as far as being successful in life.”

The tailgate is one of a handful of initiatives that culminated from a 2016 town hall co-hosted by the Dolphins and R.I.S.E., during which players – lead by Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, Arian Foster and Jelani Jenkins – and local leaders addressed ways to combat issues of racial inequality and community discord.

“We brought in community members, law enforcement, our players and our executive staff,” Jenkins said. “It was really about, what can we do to bring about positive change and maybe serve as an example for others throughout the country? Everyone came in with a positive vibe and an open mind. They listened to each other’s points of view, and asked, ‘What are some actual things that we can do?’”

At the suggestion of law enforcement officials, Dolphins players – most recently, Davon Godchaux and Kenyan Drake – have participated in ride-alongs throughout the community with local officers as a sign of unity.

In addition, the Dolphins have arranged cultural tours and created scholarship programs, while continuing to welcome organizations championing human rights and community justice each gameday.

“It’s really about this theme that football can unite people,” Jenkins said. “We all want the same thing. The police officers, all they want to do is come home to their families. All the community wants is to live in a society where they’re not judged by their race, sex, gender orientation or identity … We want to make South Florida healthier, educated and more united. We feel events like these can help us with that goal.”

Dolphins Commemorate Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Coach Aaron Feis

Monday, September 10th, 2018

On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins posthumously named Aaron Feis – an assistant coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High who sacrificed his life to shield students from gunfire at February’s shooting in Parkland, Fla. – as the 2018 George F. Smith High School Coach of the Year.

Greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd, Feis’ wife, Melissa, and daughter, Arielle, accepted the award on the fallen hero’s behalf during a third-quarter ceremony on the Hard Rock Stadium field.

“It’s an honor for all of us, really, for Coach Feis to get the Coach of the Year Award,” said Eagles Head Football Coach Willis May. “If you knew him, you would appreciate that he got that award, because he really was a great man, mentor, friend and dad. For him to get the award was definitely an honor and well deserved. Anybody who knew Coach Feis loved him. We miss him every day and we’re very happy for him, his family and all the MSD family.”

Feis, a one-time Eagles standout center, served as both coach and school security guard at his alma matter for over a decade, taking pride in giving back to his beloved community in every way possible.

On top of instilling knowledge to linemen, warmly welcoming recruiters, and patrolling campus grounds on a daily basis, Feis helped as many as 70 players find collegiate football opportunities by compiling highlight DVDs and YouTube videos for anyone who asked, according to an ESPN.com profile.

In addition to honoring Feis, the Dolphins also named the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football team as the Team of the Week and hosted players at the home opener.

“As far as being here today and getting to opportunity to get to be here, it’s amazing,” May said. “Our kids had a blast. To be on the field pregame, I saw mouths dropped. Everybody was just in awe and they were just incredibly touched. What a wonderful day for our kids and our program and we had a blast. We loved it and we can’t thank the Miami Dolphins enough for everything they’ve done for us since February 14. We want to say thank you and how much we appreciate it and what they’ve done for our kids, it’s amazing.”

Son’s Time to Shine at Dolphins Practice

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

It took me 26 years to earn my first press credential. It took my son less than five.

Charlie – a laminated media pass dangling from a lanyard around his neck down to his knees – joined a group of Dolphins fan website moderators for a team-organized Web Weekend Training Camp event last Sunday.

At the conclusion of a closed practice, each attendee was granted field access to interview a select group of players, wandering down a short flight of stairs from our covered riser to a walkway through the bleachers seats to a designated area behind the left goal post.

While I’d normally join the scrum during media availability sessions to ask right tackle Ja’Wuan James and center Daniel Kilgore about preseason takeaways and the offense’s progression, I took in the moment from the back of the assembled group. Standing under the Florida summer sun and scant, grey-white cloud bubbles hovering above Nova Southeastern University, I soaked in a rare opportunity to cover a sporting event with my son.

Besides, when I tried to explain the significance of the special occasion to Charlie, he asked if we’d be talking to “the dolphins that swim in the water.”

But what he lacked in football experience and knowhow, he made up for in enthusiasm and encouragement. He giddily high-fived James and Kilgore, who bent down to their knees to greet the youngest media member in attendance. As the players walked off the field, he raised his arms in the air and chanted, “Go, Dolphins!” and innocently broke a media rule by snagging autographs for his personal collection.

Before departing, we stopped to greet Kenny Stills, who’s renowned for staying long after every practice to sign and take pictures with fans, just as he did for us last season. True to form, the Dolphins wide receiver smiled and chatted with an animated Charlie, who collected his second lifetime autograph from No. 10 – except this time, on a miniature toy ukulele that rarely leaves his side.

Just then, we recognized another Dolphins player who exited the locker room – the star quarterback whose left knee brace fascinated Charlie throughout practice (“How did he get that boo-boo?” he’d asked me repeatedly).

Although Charlie doesn’t know it, he’d stockpiled his first Ryan Tannehill autograph before he was even born. Back in October 2013, during Web Weekend X, each invitee was handed a single raffle ticket, and Michelle – then five months pregnant – received a second one for the baby. The last drawing of the evening was for a mini-Fathead set signed by the Dolphins quarterback, and of course, Charlie’s number proved to be the winner.

Charlie’s first jersey was, naturally, an aqua No. 17, and we took a photo of him as a baby in his Miami gear next to the now-framed sticker collection. Thanks to a senior member of the Dolphins Digital Media Team whom we’ve come to know closely over the years, Tannehill caught wind of the adorable snapshot and inscribed it, “To Charlie, Future Dolphins QB!”

Fast forward to Sunday – nearly four years later – and Charlie finally had a chance to meet his favorite player in person. While he was too shy to ask the quarterback about his “boo-boo” – he’ll get his media chops soon enough – he did hand him that trusted ukulele. A surprised Tannehill laughed before graciously signing the slightly-peeling body of the musical instrument, and gave Charlie a resounding high five after learning the full backstory of his connection to the young fan.

Although Charlie may not have jotted down notes or gathered enough quotes to submit a full practice report, he interacted with four key offensive starters, and even walked away with a bagful of keepsakes. Not bad for a rookie journalist covering his first of what will surely be many Dolphins events.

Dan Campbell Shares Keys to Winning Culture

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Dan Campbell Shares Keys to Winning Culture
Photo: Alan Diaz/AP

Six years removed from a decade-long NFL playing career, Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell – his broad-shouldered, 6-foot-5 frame and intimidating biceps hard to miss as he rests his hands on his hips at the center of the team’s meeting room – still looks the part of a burly tight end, ready to lace up his cleats and lay out opposing linemen with crushing blocks.

“I have one more (game in me), but then you have to wait four weeks for me to recover, so that’s a problem,” he concedes with a chuckle. “If I could still play, I would be playing because I love the game.”

That same fiery, inspirational passion for football that has galvanized the rejuvenated Dolphins is unmistakable as he addresses a group of website administrators on a Friday afternoon, his booming voice echoing throughout the auditorium.

“Coach Campbell does a good job of getting (everything) out of the players,” says Dolphins fourth-year wide receiver Rishard Matthews. “He was a guy they brought up here a previous time to speak to the team. I think just when he talks – I don’t know how to explain it – you have to hear him speak for yourself … right when he’s done talking, you’re just ready to go.

“He played in the league – he’s more like a players’ coach. He understands when he needs to change it up a little and when he needs to get on us a little.”

It’s no wonder Campbell’s no-nonsense approach has quickly resonated and changed the collective mindset of his players, considering the 39-year-old – who’s younger than five current NFL starters – has experienced the gamut of exhilarating highs and devastating lows in the pros, which include reaching Super Bowl XXXV and later earning his first championship ring.

“I’ve been on winning teams,” says Campbell, a recipient of the 2005 Ed Block Courage Award. “I know what it looks like and what it should look like.”

The Texas native’s appreciation of a winning culture and yearning for on-field physicality trace back to his four-year Giants tenure, during which he helped lead the unified squad to the title game in 2000.

“First of all, we had a really good locker room – we had a majority of guys who bought in,” he recalls. “Guys would play for one another; guys would practice for one another. Our practices got heated. I remember (Michael) Strahan got fired up every day, it seemed like … Things would go back and forth (between offensive and defensive players), but we grew together and we competed, and when we rolled out there on Sunday, we were one.

“Once we got in a rhythm – I think we won seven in a row – the feeling was literally that we could do nothing wrong. At one point, I thought Kerry Collins would just throw it behind his back and it was going to be a completion. You really have a feeling of it doesn’t matter what happens today or what it looks like here, we’re going to win the game. That’s the flow that you have.”

Although Campbell was placed on injured reserve prior to his final NFL campaign, he spent the offseason and start of training camp with the 2009 champion Saints, learning the nuances of the game from an elite coach and future Hall of Fame quarterback.

“I know that head coach (Sean Payton) really well – I played under him for seven years. He is a genius, he’s an excellent motivator – he has all those tools,” says Campbell. “But one of the biggest factors is a guy named Drew Brees. Drew Brees is an ultimate leader. I’ve been around some really good players and some really good leaders, but nobody was like Drew Brees … and that’s one person, so imagine if you have a team full of those. That’s where you start changing things.”

Campbell’s experience in the Bayou was a far cry from a year prior, when he found himself on the opposite end of the NFL spectrum, suiting up for the lowly 0-16 Detroit Lions in 2008. Recognizing a similar disconnect in the Dolphins locker room, Campbell immediately set out to recapture the seamless magic he experienced in New York and New Orleans.

“When you’re not doing well, or you’re on a team where guys haven’t quite bought in, you feel like you can do no right,” he says. “So that’s what we’re trying to flip. We’ve kind of been that other team, (but) we’re trying to get it to where you just can’t do any wrong and things just start happening – turnovers, they become contagious. The ball is flying around, guys are on the ball. The more aggressive you play, the more those things start showing up.”

Not surprisingly, Miami has outscored its opponents 82-36, averaging 468 yards of offense while racking up 10 sacks and returning two interceptions for touchdowns en route to cruising to a 2-0 record under its new leader.

“We have a really good locker room and we have guys who want to win,” says Campbell. “They want to compete, and they’re beginning to take ownership of their team.

“I really believe in those guys. Everything has been about, ‘It’s a new season.’ It started last week. This (was) Week Two … of 12 weeks.”

Incognito, Martin And A Case For Supporting Your Team

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Incognito Hates Taxes, Rookies And Jonathan MartinI hate this Incognito/ Martin thing so much that I hate that I even have to address it, but I do. I am so mad at all the media and fan speculation about this. We have no idea what really happened and I am not sure we ever will despite what the NFL will tell us. I do know that we need to move slowly and carefully with this as a fan base and we have to stop jumping to conclusions.

I also want to mention that situations like this are EXACTLY why I like to keep things positive. Believe it or not, players are people and they need our support. Players want to play for franchises that will support them through thick and thin.

Ben Volin wrote an article today speculating about the reasoning behind Martin’s blaming of Incognito AFTER the Dolphins said they were going to put him on the Non Football Injury list. The quick summary is that Martin needed to get out, but he wanted to keep getting paid so he blamed Incognito.

Now I hate speculation like this, and we shouldn’t judge anyone until we learn more about this situation, BUT if Incognito WASN’T the main reason for Martin having a breakdown I think the fans might be.

Every single week I heard fans tear down Martin even when he was playing well. He was letting sacks up but he had far less QB hurries than other linemen. He is a young player making a position switch taking over for a career pro bowler and fans ripped him apart.

Imagine if when you got home from work every day 1000 people on Twitter called you worthless. Martin might be too weak to take the NFL but there is no reason you should have to deal with that shit.

Fans can do very few things to make an actual impact on the team and we owe it to ourselves to use every opportunity to do so. Go to games, get loud on third downs and support your players. Make them WANT to play for you.

That’s what being a fan is all about. Phins Up!

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