There is so much meaning to the month of December in the National Football League, not only because it’s the holidays but it also means the playoffs are around the corner. And now it is a very meaningful month for the Miami Dolphins.
Five years ago when the Dolphins last made the postseason they were a perfect 4-0 in December, finishing off a streak of nine wins in their last 10 games for an 11-5 record and the AFC East crown. They are presently 7-6 with three division games remaining including Sunday’s, as they travel to the Buffalo Bills on December 22nd and close out the regular season at Sun Life Stadium against the New York Jets. Head Coach Joe Philbin has kept the message rather simple.
“Just improvement,” he said. “A 1-0 mentality and a one-game season mentality, improve as a football team, continue to work on fundamentals, continue to get better at our stuff, the things that we do, the things that we hang our hat on and stay focused on the task at hand. There are a lot of distractions this time of year in between Thanksgiving and Christmas and people coming because people love to visit this place in December.
“It’s just about staying focused and staying true to who we are. You can’t change who you are and come December 1st all of a sudden become different people and a different team. We’ve just got to keep working and sticking together.”
That’s precisely the approach the rest of the coaching staff and players are taking after looking at what the previous four Decembers were like for the Dolphins. They were a combined 7-10 since that memorable late season run in 2008 so now the goal is to have a December to remember.
ALL CAPS MUSIC WEDNESDAY
There is something about one-named musical artists that grabs your attention when their music is played and today was no different at practice. If there was a theme to the two songs played during warm-ups and stretching it would have to be all about the capital letters, with “Slam,” by ONYX opening up the set. DMX closed it out with “We Right Here.”
THE LAST WORD
“You’re playing a team for the second time, obviously they’re going to have a little bit different of a game plan and we’re going to have a little bit different of a game plan. That’s the beauty of playing division games is you get to play each other twice a year and it’s about fixing the things you didn’t do well last time and evolving your game plan so that it’s not the same exact game plan.” – quarterback