If there ever was a time when the Miami Dolphins needed a distraction it would be now. With Call of Duty Ghosts coming out, some players took the time to play COD last night and then drive into Davie this morning to focus on their next task at hand, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night.
Often times, when teams in the NFL have their collective backs against the wall, they can either "man up" or fold like a cheap tent.
The Dolphins last week, that the distraction not withstanding and early loss of their leader Richie Incognito to injury allowed another leader to take over a game. That leadership during the game was infectious as Cameron Wake, the mainstay in the Dolphins locker room, proved that he could step up when the game was on the line and put the finishing touches on beating the Bengals in his own way. In addition, a welcome addition in Brent Grimes gave it all he had for a 91 yard interception for a touchdown.
While the downtime this week has allowed for the media to attack the Dolphins franchise like vultures, since Sunday, the players themselves must put the loss of Richie Incognito on the backburner, . Frankly, the players seemed shocked and naturally supported Incognito on Monday, but that is a natural reaction when you lose a brother and friend in the locker room. That is, they are disappointed and upset that the Dolphins coach, and team officials decided to suspend Incognito for "conduct detrimental to the team."
However, despite all of the allegations and shots fired from both sides from Jonathan Martin's camp and Incognito's reps, the players do understand this old credo from the business world: everyone is replaceable and sadly, like a factory, the players are the sum of its parts and anyone can come in and take their jobs and their money. The NFL career is not as long for everyone, so the best thing to do is to focus and do your job.
The Dolphins last Thursday, almost one week ago, won a game that wasn't winnable. They caught a team on their heels that was seemingly red hot, in the Bengals, headed for a run deep in the playoffs after trouncing the Jets the previous week. However, by banding together as a team, the Dolphins forced four critical turnovers, put pressure on the quarterback, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill had enough moxy to get a game-tying drive together after the defense nearly had a debacle.
This Dolphins team is different this year and yes there is a ton of noise swirling outside of the doors in Davie. With CNN, ESPN, FOX, NBC, Univision, and others knocking on the door, the Dolphins coaches and staff have answered the questions as best as they can and now it's time to get ready to go on the road and keep the Buccaneers a winless team.