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Tannehill’s praise of Campbell seems like veiled criticism of Philbin

Ryan Tannehill


As the Dolphins prepare to play their first game since undergoing a coaching change, key Dolphins players met with the media. And the most important player on offense had some interesting things to say about interim coach Dan Campbell.

Asked whether football players can take on the personality of their head coach, quarterback Ryan Tannehill provided a response that is telling on two levels.

“Definitely, definitely,” Tannehill said, via comments distributed by the team. “I think the tone that the head coach sets transcends to the team. We want to kind of embody what [Dan Campbell is] trying to give us the mindset of. He’s trying to give us the mindset of competition, of competing, of toeing the line. I think we have the guys to do that. Now it’s just a matter of taking that on as players, owning that and going forward and competing every day in practice and obviously on Sundays.”

Tannehill’s assessment also places indirect blame for the dull, listless performances from the start of the season onto former coach Joe Philbin, who never quite seemed to look or act the part of NFL head coach. And his teams never looked or acted the part of contenders.

Whether the team improves under Campbell remains to be seen, but his message is getting through to the players. For now, that’s all the organization can hope for.