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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – There is a lot of unknown that comes with the beginning of a new head coaching regime.
Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell was given the job one day after the team lost to the New York Jets in London a couple weekends ago.
That Monday, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross fired former coach Joe Philbin four games into his fourth season in Miami. Philbin finished his Dolphins tenure with a pedestrian 24-28 record, never finishing above .500 during his three-plus seasons with the team.
Now it’s Campbell’s turn to try and right the ship. One of his first moves was to fire defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and replace him with Lou Anarumo, who had previously been the defensive backs coach.
Coyle had been facing a lot of criticism, and rightly so. Miami’s defense got worse in each of his first three seasons and after a horrible start to 2015, combined with reports of Dolphins players having major issues with the way he coached, the move was made by Campbell.
This week the Dolphins returned to the practice field after having a few days off during their bye week. They will travel north this weekend to face the Tennessee Titans, who like the Dolphins have lost three straight games after opening the season with a win.
A lot of questions about how the team will respond to Campbell’s coaching style, as well as what (if any) changes are made to the starting lineup and how players are utilized will be answered on Sunday.
What changes will be made on the defensive line to try and improve on the unit’s poor start?
Will rookie receiver DeVante Parker be moved into the starting lineup to replace struggling veteran Greg Jennings?
How will the play calling change? Will the team be more aggressive?
For a team with as much talent on the roster as the Dolphins, it was inexcusable how poorly they played during the first four games of the season.
They consistently got off to very poor starts each week, something that was an issue in past years under Philbin.
Campbell feels that Dolphins practices under Philbin were not challenging enough and that players needed to be tougher and compete harder.
He’s implemented that into his first few practices with the team but until they take the field in Tennessee on Sunday, we won’t know how it affects the on-field product.
One thing that Dolphins fans can probably agree on is that there’s nowhere for the Fins to go but up.
There is enough talent on the roster for Miami to be a winning team, but first they’ll have to climb out of the hole they dug themselves with the 1-3 start.
The Dolphins next two games, at Tennessee and home against the Houston Texans, are very winnable games.
The Titans and Texans have combined for a 2-7 record and both are currently on losing streaks, but the same can be said about Miami.
If the Dolphins are going to have any shot at turning their season around and trying to make a run at the playoffs, it starts during these next two games.
Getting back to .500 will be paramount, especially considering that Miami’s plays consecutive road games against New England, Buffalo and Philadelphia in the weeks following the Texans game.
Be sure to check out our FinsOn4 Live Dolphins Blog where we will be posting season-long coverage, updates, photos, video, commentary and more throughout the entire 2015 season.
Watch Miami take on the Tennessee Titans this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station!
Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)