DAVIE, Fla. – Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell had nearly two weeks to prepare for his moment in the spotlight.
Campbell will make his coaching debut Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Both teams are 1-3 and in desperate need of a victory.
So what is Campbell's biggest concern heading into this game?
“Not throwing up on my shoes,” Campbell joked Friday. “All that I think about all week is,'Am I doing everything I can to get these players ready to play the game.’ A better way to say it is to give them the very, very best opportunity to win this game. Have I done everything?"
Campbell admits there are some nerves involved. He is a former tight ends coach making the huge jump to head coach on short notice. Former head coach Joe Philbin was fired Oct. 5 and Campbell was promoted on the same day. Campbell said there was a point in the past week where he had so much on his plate that he asked himself if he was truly ready for what he's getting into.
But Campbell had nearly two weeks to collect himself thanks to a timely bye week. He made changes to his coaching staff, put together a game plan for the first time and believes the Dolphins are ready to play well against Tennessee.
“I don’t know if I’ve been this excited since I was a player,” Campbell said. “Over the last 48 hours I’ve begun to get those goose bumps. I’m getting the feeling in my stomach and it’s a good feeling. It’s a nervous energy.”
It's clear Campbell has increased the intensity and physicality during practices. But can Campbell successfully manage a game?
Nobody knows for sure, but Campbell isn't lacking in confidence.
“I feel really good. I feel good about where we’re at,” Campbell said. “After this, if you said we had to play the game in three hours, I would feel pretty good about that.”