Written by Matthew Cannata
After the bullying scandal in 2013 that spread like wildfire all over the national media outlets, the Dolphins have made it an emphasis to develop and encourage players to become leaders on the team. The front office and coaching staff have started to lean more on veteran players to provide that leadership and have also done other things to help foster this growth.
"I felt like there was always a sense of leadership. Obviously, it's unfortunate what happened," defensive end Cameron Wake said, referring to the bullying scandal that put the Dolphins under national scrutiny, and side-swiped Miami's 8-8 season. We're not going to dive too deep into that, but, as a whole, you look around this team [and] there are guys that may be vocal or guys that maybe do it by example," said Wake, a two time Pro Bowler. "We have leaders all over the place."
Louis Delmas, who was signed in free agency, believes that one must be born to a leader and it doesn't just happen.
"No matter if you're a new guy or an old guy, you were born to be a leader. It isn't something you pick up along the way. That's something that was engraved in you as a young'n," said new starting free safety Louis Delmas, who was signed this offseason and immediately took on a leadership role in the secondary. It might have taken some time for you to realize you have the capability of being a leader, but once you realize that you know that each and every day you step on the field you have to be a leader, mentally and physically."
This past offseason, Miami brought in motivational speakers who have done presentations on developing leadership traits. Philbin said the team even devoted some of the OTA instructional sessions to leadership training.
"It was an opportunity for better communication," Philbin said. "Players to players, players to the coaches. Some guys got some things off their chest, coaches too. I think it has helped us move in a positive direction."
Let's hope that this translates to success on the field.