DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell walked into the media room Tuesday with a look of anger mixed with a lack of sleep. Less than 24 hours prior, his team looked sloppy in a 31-24 loss to the New York Giants in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football.
The loss mathematically eliminated Miami (5-8) from playoff contention with three games left in the regular season. The best the team can finish is .500, which means Miami will have its seventh consecutive non-winning season.
“That in itself stings, and there’s no hiding that,” Campbell said. “You can call it all we want. I’m not going to come in here with a smile on my face. It pisses me off, and I know it pisses those guys off in the locker room. But we created our own mess, and we’re responsible for it.”
Miami didn't put its best foot forward against New York (6-7). The Doplhins had 12 penalties for 123 yards, and many were due to lack of discipline (false starts, personal fouls). It was the Dolphins’ second-highest total for penalties this season and gave the Giants added help to pull out the win.
“Those are the most disappointing,” Campbell said. “You just got to address them, and those things will be addressed one-on-one with those individuals. ... Totally inexcusable. There is nothing that is OK with that.”
Campbell added that he won’t be afraid to play his younger players down the stretch. The veterans haven’t done enough to make a playoff push. Therefore, it’s time to start looking ahead and figuring out which players will be part of the team’s future.
“I make sure that it stings and that it hurts, because the minute you go numb to that, you’re just a loser,” Campbell said. “So I want it to hurt. It motivates me, and it pisses me off, and it’s not too much for me to handle.
“To me, that’s how you get motivated to win, because you get tired of losing. It stinks.”