When there are significant changes at the top of an organization, it is accompanied by an uncertainty on what the rest of the staff (in this case players) can expect. Will it be business as usual or will there be major changes?
There is no question the Miami Dolphins are undergoing major changes, both in strategic philosophy and team culture. All I can say is ABOUT TIME!
The HC and GM have sent a clear message in the last few weeks that attitude and off field behavior are paramount to the goal of the organization. No one person is bigger than the team!
One could argue that the recent decisions to cut Chad Johnson less than 24 hours after a domestic assault charge or trading former first round draft pick Vontae Davis for a poor attitude and lagging performance was the decision of Jeff Ireland, Joe Philbin, or a combination.
Personally I believe it is a combination with a heavy influence from the HC. Remember, JP is from Green Bay and they have a long history of a “team first culture”. The culture in Miami started changing shortly after Philbin was hired with the trade of Brandon Marshall to the Bears for future draft picks. As most know, Marshall was the biggest part of the Dolphins offense in 2011, but that doesn’t matter in a team first environment..
Changing culture is not easy and it is almost always painful. There are still many fans upset with the trade of Brandon as well as Chad getting cut, and even Dontae being traded. Yes, that is painful, especially when you consider the team needed leadership from the WR position and is thin at Cornerback.
Does the recent actions remind you of anything or anyone? For all of us “old farts”. uh “veteran fans”, it is reminiscent of the Don Shula era. Don was the ultimate disciplinarian. His teams were so disciplined that not only did you rarely hear of off field trouble, they typically lead the league in fewest penalties.
Don’s players had such respect for him that the story goes that once a player overslept and missed practice. Rather than face Shula (THE JAW) with such a lame excuse, he made up a story that he was kidnapped. After a brief investigation by the police, the truth soon came out and he was sub-sequentially cut.
Is JP the next Don Shula? Let’s not get carried away here, but they do seem to have similar beliefs in what is best for the organization. While these recent personnel moves comes with short-term uncertainty for the team, there is no question the remaining players on the roster and future players will know what is expected and when they come to Miami. THEY WILL HAVE ENTERED THE NO BS ZONE!