Posts Tagged ‘detroit lions’

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.”

Happy Veteran’s Day & Other News

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

I just wanted to throw up a post today with a bunch of small updates that you guys might want to know about. It’s hard to update after a loss but for once I felt proud of our team after a loss instead of just upset. It was completely heartbreaking to lose like that but to see our line step up after Albert went down and to see Tannehill play so tough after getting hit over and over again was pretty inspiring. Until that last drive, well after Finnegan went down, the Lions had only one pass worth talking about. Obviously it wasn’t good enough, but this is not your same old Dolphins. But let’s move on and get to the news.

First of all, happy Veteran’s Day. We took the money we made on Sunday at Slattery’s and donated it ($300) to the Wounded Warrior Project. It seemed like the perfect timing for a donation like that. It means a lot that we can give back like this while doing something as fun as this club.

Also in Veteran’s Day news Andy Cohen profiled our friend Jim Miller on the Dolphins website. Jim is a great dude and I get to see him nearly every year as part of the Dolphins Web Weekend. He and I have some political differences but I have never enjoyed discussing our differences more with anyone. He is a true patriot and someone I am honored to call a friend…

In Dolfans NYC news we surprised everyone at the bar on Sunday by announcing that the Marks Brothers, Mark Clayton & Mark Duper would be coming to Slattery’s this Thursday for an autograph signing. We had waited until the last moment to announce because we didn’t have 100% confirmation. Unfortunately we should have waited a little longer because the event they were coming to NYC for got moved. Fortunately for us it looks like they may still be coming after all, just not until the December 14th game against the Patriots. Things are still a bit in the air but as soon as I get more info I will pass it on to you guys.

This Thursday should still be a blast at the bar anyway. We are obviously playing a huge “must win” game. I mean they don’t get much more must win than this in November. Plus it’s prime time so that’s always a lot of fun. And we are doing a FREE raffle to make up for the Marks Brothers mistake. But make sure you get to the bar early. The upstairs of Slattery’s is reserved for us but the downstairs will have a post work happy hour crowd that will probably leave once the bar fills up with 300 Dolphins fans.

Okay, that’s all I got for now but we will be updating soon with more news about the #MetLifeTakeover so be on the look out for that. Have a great Veteran’s Day!

Buffalo Bills Party Pics

Friday, December 24th, 2010

So yeah, the Dolphins season ended officially last week. It was a blower and it sucked losing to an AFC East rival and a team that is well… not very good. This season has been very trying for Dolphins fans everywhere but I think we at Dolfans NYC have had it a bit easier than most.  We have each other.

As much as the game sucked last week I think we as a group had a lot of fun.  Buffalo Trace Bourbon threw us a party with a “Shoot the Buffalo” theme.  They had 300 wings on hand and a lot of free and cheap Bourbon for everyone.  We raffled off a Anthony Fasano & Joey Haynos autographed football and a Larry Csonka autographed football.  Along with donations for the food we raised $200 for the I Will Foundation and had some money left over to add to our Dolfans NYC war chest for the off season.

Now this weekend coming up we have the Detroit Lions. This is our chance to get at least one more win at home and make all the Dolfans NYC fans back in Miami for Christmas happy.  This is a try out for all the players on this team that are on the borderline of returning next year.  Henne is going to continue to start the next two games so this will be a big test for him to see if he can show at least something that will make us think he is worth keeping around.  These games are important even if they won’t help us play past January 2nd.

We are out of the playoffs playing an NFC team, who is terrible, the day after Christmas.  I have a feeling Third & Long is not exactly going to be packed.  I know Michelle, Alex and I are all going to be out of town.  Still I know there will be some people in town for the holidays who have never been to Third & Long looking for some people to watch the game with so I hope a lot of you come out. I know the die hards will be there and hopefully there will be a decent crowd anyway.  I’ll be back for the Patriots game to end the season and I don’t want to hear from Curtis that the bar was dead!

So that’s all I got for you this week.  Check out the photos below and I will see you guys next week.  Go Dolphins!

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