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  Dolphins Lack Professionalism
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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It is not even Halloween yet and the Dolphins have horrified us yet again, all but eliminating themselves from duplicating last year’s 6-10 record.


And to think we used to be mad if the playoffs were a moot point before Thanksgiving!


Ah, the good old days.


There’s little good about today’s Dolphins, the weakest of sisters.


Hey, there’s no shame in losing a game to a better team.


There is shame in not even trying to win.


Pin this latest loss, a 49-28 drubbing by the New England Patriots, on the complete and utter lack of effort by the past pathetic Dolphins.


Against Patriots, the players crossed the line. They quit in the locker room, before the first snap even took place.


Sure, the Patriots are a strong team. A “well-oiled machine”, GM Randy Mueller called them. They do a lot of things that the Dolphins don’t handle very well, which is quite a bit these days. This game had blowout written all over it. But true professionals still go out and give an A-plus effort, because your honor demands it.


Instead, the Dolphins threw their hands up in the locker room and decided there was no point in even playing.


So, they didn’t.


No one played defense. Six touchdown passes (SIX!) by Tom Brady, five by halftime (HALFTIME!), underscore the most pathetic defensive effort we’ve seen since the 62-7 playoff drubbing at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars some seven years ago.


No one played offense, a measly 7 points being managed by the half before a disinterested Patriot D gave up 14 the rest of the way.


And, once again, no one could cover a kick. 


Look, this is no longer a simple lack of talent issue. It’s beyond that now.


This is about players betraying themselves as men, as professionals, cheating the organization, and cheating the fans.


This is about non-performance, a blatant betrayal of trust.


This is about the failure of veterans to properly execute, as much as it is a lack of pride in one’s work.


Not to pick on the secondary, because Brady did plenty of that, but is it too much to ask the defensive backs to properly execute fundamental coverage techniques?


Stating the obvious is to declare that giving one’s best is to be expected, without question, each and every week. Millionaire players, rich on the backs of working people who deserve a fair and decent effort from them, must never forget this.


Yet today these players, all of them, should be ashamed of their lack of professionalism as NFL players.


Quite frankly, any player who has the gall to collect their paychecks this week ought to be ridiculed. They’re the ones who should be wearing bags on their heads, not the fans who rightfully expect more.


In all fairness, this is also about coaches not doing their jobs.


Cam Cameron, a rookie head coach, has lost this team entirely. Truly, it is damn hard to go 0-7, the worst start in team history, in today’s parity-filled NFL. Yet Cameron’s bunch has done just that.


Now I like Cameron, and believe he will get this team headed in the right direction with better players. There’s a lot of work to be done and he seems up to it. But he cannot look in the mirror right now and feel good about the job he has done thus far.


Neither can Dom Capers, Miami’s highly paid defensive coordinator. He has been unable to get his players to perform even close to their potential. Yeah he lost some guys from last year, but not to the point of conjuring up flashbacks of the inept bunch that toiled under the infamous Tom Olivadotti!


We’ve seen too much of Capers’ brilliance over the years to know that this has simply been a sub-par coaching effort on his part, plain and simple. He has to be better.


There can be no question that this team has better than 0-7 talent; Cameron and his staff cannot escape that undeniable fact.


Mueller isn’t off the hook here by any means; he too should be taken out to the woodshed for this failure of a season. Yeah, people understand that the roster needs dramatic fixing, that the bill has come due for the incompetence of the Dave Wannstedt years. But couldn’t he have at least hired some decent kick coverage guys?


Mueller should be embarrassed for himself and his staff. This season is a black mark against what was once a solid reputation.


Jim Mandich, the Dolphins color analyst, recently suggested that his may be the lowest the Dolphin organization has even been. In the wake of this latest loss, and the means by which they lost it, it is hard to dispute him in any way, especially when players quit playing.


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