Leadership among Miami Dolphins players? Is it important?
Miami Dolphins player leadership is one of the cliches that gets bounced around, but does it really amount to anything?
The Miami Dolphins currently have the youngest roster based on average age, so “leaders” must be few and far between.
Ereck Flowers is said to have taken the role as a leader along the offensive line. Excitement is building among fans as this line starts to shape up with the anticipation of having a solid wall of stout linemen leading the way for a much-improved running game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ran one in for a touchdown during a recent camp day play. This might show the line is in a slow build with the opening of the regular season just weeks away. A day before that Austin Jackson ripped the jersey off a teammate’s back. This might show he has good leverage and strong hands. The anticipation is building along with this line.
A little more on Jackson: Miami sportswriter Armando Salguero went on local radio singing his praises, and tossed out a comparison to former offensive tackle Richmond Webb, in that both started off practicing and starting with the first teams right off the bat.
Are the Miami Dolphins drafting with character leadership in mind? Dolphins podcaster Chris Kouffman seems to think so.
In two successive years, Dolphins over-drafted two players on the basis of the view that they were A+ character leaders. Minkah Fitzpatrick turned petulant child and was traded. Now Raekwon McMillan has been traded as well. Perhaps that valuation system needs review.
— Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) August 29, 2020
This may have been more key with the last coaching staff, whereas these ones’ main focus is a versatile skill set on defense. At least the talent level seems to be getting slowly better with the drafts.
A good character has been something the Miami Dolphins have sought in players for a long time, in the draft or free agency. It doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon. Big, strong, fast, and young are the physical traits sought after lately and all those should not affect the trend of good characteristics.
Kouffman does make good points, and past regimes may have taken it for granted while searching for better leadership. Adam Gase didn’t put much emphasis on defense and might have wanted self-policing on that side of the ball.
Going back to the Joe Philbin regime, he had something known as the leadership council where some selected players would act as a sounding board. As it turned out this would also be a mark of death for most players selected and their tenures would soon come to an end with the team. This might have been just an odd coincidence that happened to coincide with player turnover, but it is still an interesting tidbit.
I don’t put much weight into the whole leadership aspect myself. After all, there are position coaches that should be acting as such. That is what they are all getting paid to do.
If a certain player is picking up the system faster and or better than the rest than that player becomes a de facto leader. Other players will gravitate toward the player that gets it with hopes that they will as well.
It might all boil down to just a cliche, and everyone gets to pick the one that suits themselves.