Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFL ; Loss to Giants Eliminates Dolphins

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFL ; Loss to Giants Eliminates Dolphins

Article excerpt

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -Miami Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell leaned against a lectern and squeezed hard on both sides, as if trying to reduce the wood to rubble while he discussed another mess of a season. It's over with three games to go. The Dolphins (5-8) were eliminated from the playoff race by their latest loss, ensuring a franchise-record seventh consecutive season without a postseason berth, or even a winning record.

"I've been here six years, Campbell said Tuesday, "and nothing has gone the way we wanted it to be. Every year we come in with new hope, but we're going to have another season where we [extend] the playoff drought. I make sure it stings and hurts, because the minute you go numb to that, you're just a loser. I want it to hurt. It motivates me. It's not too much for me to handle.

"That's how you get motivated to win - you get tired of losing.

The Dolphins still harbored faint playoff hopes before blowing a second-half lead and losing 31-24 Monday night to the New York Giants. Now they prepare for a matchup of also-rans Sunday at San Diego (3-10).

"I hate to be in this situation again, center Mike Pouncey said. "But it seems like it's the same thing every year. We'll see what kind of character we've got on this team. We'll see what guys really like football, and find the ones that don't, and we'll get them out of here."

Like Pouncey, management has likely started thinking about offseason decisions. The biggest could involve yet another coaching search, with Campbell's chances of returning dimmed by the team's recent struggles.

Campbell joined the Dolphins as an assistant coach in 2010 and was promoted in October to replace coach Joe Philbin. He declined to speculate about his chances of keeping the job.

"I just want to win, Campbell said. "All I care about is San Diego. That's it.

The Dolphins are 4-5 since Campbell took over, and their performance Monday 12 penalties, half a dozen dropped passes, blown coverage on the Giants' go-ahead touchdown didn't reflect well on the coaching staff. …

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