“There is no substitute for winning.”
That’s a sports cliche’/axiom that has been around for recent decades, and it’s not only succinct, but true.
And in the NFL, everyone is looking for the “angle” or the “edge” that, if they are winning-keeps them there, and if they aren’t winning-helps them start to get there.
Now, in the present day in NFL with constant player movement due to free agency, teams look to help themselves, immediately and while some may look strictly at production of the player, another compelling aspect is “does this player come from a winning team and therefore, winning culture?”
This is especially vital if you are trying to turn your team’s fortunes around, as the Dolphins will be this season. After a surprise Wildcard playoff berth with a 10 win 2016, Miami took steps backwards for a lot of reasons to 6-10 a year ago.
And clearly, they have set out to be better by adding talented free agents, but as Armando Salguero pointed out in the Miami Herald, there’s another intriguing trend to the guys the Fins added. The post season:
ICYMI…The Dolphins add this ingredient to offseason acquisitions, but will it result in wins?https://t.co/jr3SngGEpZ
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) March 28, 2018
Yes, between the likes of RB Frank Gore, OL Josh Sitton, WR Danny Amendola, and even new back up QB Brock Osweiler, the Dolphins have added players this March with a total of 49 games of postseason experience, and who have collectively played in many Superbowls.
While it wasn’t the only priority, coach Adam Gase and the front office obviously, are looking at this as a benefit: you change to a winning attitude by bringing in guys who’ve been part of or led it.
The Dolphins AFC East nemisis, the Patriots, are obviously the NFL standard on a lot of levels. However, in particular, it’s how they keep winning every year, including into January, that everyone is chasing.
One trend that New England started and many others picked up on, was they wanted to bring in players that had been captains on their squad either in college or even going by to high school. Now, it wasn’t the only criteria and may not have been the most important, but it was still a strategy.
Bring in players that other players believe in and want to follow.
You look through the Patriots recent rosters and bios over the past decade and you will see players that were captains at one or both of those levels. In clutch situations or in trials and tough times, those players most of the time shine.
The Dolphins cross state rival the Bucs have struggled with bringing a winning culture to Tampa Bay the last decade. Since firing Jon Gruden in 2008, the Bucs have had six 10-loss seasons, including a year ago (5-11) and haven’t made the playoffs, once. They have fired three head coaches since Gruden, too.
Coach Dirk Koetter, entering his third season, has been challenged with and talked openly about, the Buccaneers locker room and culture needing to have a huge overhaul.
The Bucs drafted former FSU National Championship winning QB Jameis Winston in 2015. This off season they have signed free agent defensive linemen Vinny Curry and Beau Allen from the Superbowl champion Eagles, and traded for fellow DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who has a ring with the Giants.
So, they are making the attempt to switch the mindset and emphasizing winners breeding winners, there too.
Back to the Dolphins.
It cannot hurt to have these new players who have been in the postseason recently, come in and set the tone.
It certainly beats the alternative of having signed several players that have never been part of winning at the NFL level.
Still, you gotta put in the work and go get it done on Sundays.
Otherwise, your successful past elsewhere will only be that. Your past
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