The Miami Dolphins haven’t played a game in nearly two weeks, but despite the lack of on-field action there has been plenty going on around the team during that time. Following the Dolphins loss to the Jets in London, owner Stephen Ross made a move that perhaps should have been made at the end of last season, firing head coach Joe Philbin and replacing him on an interim basis with tight ends coach Dan Campbell.
Miami still has 75 percent of its schedule left to play so the season is far from over despite the team’s 1-3 start. Campbell has been implementing his own style of coaching to Dolphins practices and so far it seems that the players are embracing the changes. When Miami takes the field in Tennessee on Sunday fans will get their first glimpse at how the team performs under Campbell and his re-worked coaching staff. Here are the top questions heading into the Dolphins Week 6 matchup with the Titans.
How will the Dolphins play at the beginning of the game?
A major issue that stretches back to last season is the way Miami plays at the beginning of games. They have consistently gotten off to horribly slow starts which leave the team trying to come from behind with no momentum to build on. One of the first things Campbell addressed as head coach was that Miami needed to start every game firing on all cylinders.
Is DeVante Parker’s role on the offense going to get bigger?
The Dolphins spent their first round pick this year on wide receiver DeVante Parker, but a foot injury over the summer kept him out of the majority of training camp. Parker has been healthy for a while now but his role on Miami’s offense has been extremely limited. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have continued to start Greg Jennings at receiver over Parker despite the veterans continued struggles with getting open and dropping passes.
Will there be any additional personnel changes?
Through the first four games of the season we’ve seen several Dolphins starters on both sides of the ball continue to struggle. Meanwhile, Miami’s younger players have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a chance to show what they can do at the NFL level. Considering the problems that guys like Brice McCain and Dallas Thomas have had, it makes one wonder why they continue to be plugged into the starting lineup.
How will the Dolphins players respond to Dan Campbell?
Miami has had very few changes from a coaching standpoint over the past several years but that all changed with the firing of Joe Philbin and the promotion of Dan Campbell. While Philbin brought a more laid back approach, Campbell is an ‘in your face’ kind of coach that demands the most out of his players regardless of whether they’re doing drills in practice, playing in a game or participating in a walk-through.
What changes will we see from Miami’s defense?
The Dolphins defense took a significant turn for the worse midway through last season and have continued to play very poor so far this year. That, combined with the complaints from defensive players about the schemes being used, led Campbell to fire defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and replace him with defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo. There is no denying that Miami has some very talented players on defense which makes it all the more frustrating when the unit continues to struggle.
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