A week-and-a-half into his tenure as the interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Dan Campbell is preparing the club for their Week 6 contest against the Tennessee Titans. That's a week-and-a-half to try to find a way to correct everything that ails a franchise that floundered its way to a 1-3 record through four games, ultimately leading to the firing of head coach Joe Philbin and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. It is absolutely a tall task for any coach, not to mention that this is the first time Campbell, an 11-year veteran of the NFL, has been given the reins of a team. Will he be able to make a difference in a short amount of time?
Campbell and the team are saying the right things. The team has looked to practice to start to get more physical. They are trying to bring back an aggressiveness that has alluded them in the four previous games. They are getting healthy, with left tackle Branden Alert, cornerback Brent Grimes, and tight end Dion Sims all practicing on Wednesday and appearing likely to play this weekend. All of that is good news for a Dolphins fan base desperate for any sort of positive step forward.
But it is still asking to see a lot of change in just a two week span. Yesterday, we took a look at three things that have to be changed immediately if Miami is going to have any success this year. Maybe the most important thing to change, however, is simply the attitude of the team. Week-after-week at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015, the Dolphins have come out for the opening kickoff already looking defeated. They start slowly and they never press the attack. They do not get after the opposing offense and they do not take advantage of defensive matchups. Too often, the Dolphins allow opponents to jump up early in a contest, and then Miami is scrambling to try to find a way to make up the gap.
Maybe the change we need to see this weekend has nothing to do with the individual players on the field. Maybe it is not the actual plays being called. Maybe what we need to see from the Dolphins is an attitude change. Maybe they need Dan Marino's killer instinct. Maybe they need Bryan Cox's temperament. Maybe they need Ndamukong Suh's barely controlled rage.
Maybe, they need to have Dan Campbell's attitude.