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tanking

Dolphins players deny talk of tanking

After the Dolphins were annihilated at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, 59-10, it became clear that winning wasn’t something that was going to happen a lot in 2019. Lack of execution. Lack of apparent talent. It’s hard to imagine 2019 being successful in any capacity after a loss like that.

Unless, of course, a team is tanking to secure the #1 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Miami removed almost all of their premier talent in the offseason. They traded Laremy Tunsil for a slew of top draft picks. They released their top preseason pass rusher. No aspect of those moves indicate winning is even a secondary goal for this season. Additionally, coach Brian Flores decided to make the only other tackle besides Jesse Davis who had any experience in the offense inactive on Sunday. One could argue that Isaiah Prince isn’t as good as Julién Davenport or J’Marcus Webb. But when players have to introduce themselves in the huddle, that’s an indicator that it’s best to just go with what little chemistry is there.

Not only that, there are reports circulating that several players on the team want out. In light of that, it’s hard to conclude tanking isn’t the unspoken goal. However, in spite of everything that’s been seen so far, players insist they aren’t trying tanking. Linebacker Jerome Baker took to social media to express his desire to keep fighting, as did DT Davon Godchaux.

Center Daniel Kilgore also spoke of his frustration over the allegations on Monday.

“It’s a terrible thing to say, honestly.” He said. “For you guys to say that and you’re here every day, you see the amount of work that we put in and I think these fans deserve more. I know the game has always treated me well and I would never do that on a personal level, nor will I expect my teammates to do that. It’s aggravating but it’s something that we’ve got to block out. Outside of this building, we’ve got to block those things out.”

LB Raekwon McMillan echoed similar sentiments. “I’m not going out there to put my body on the line, put my future on the line just to lose games. I’m going out there to win, put my best effort out there on film and give my everything for my teammates.”

These questions are expected, and the team answered accordingly. Of course they will deny these things. Publicly admitting they feel their team isn’t trying to win would be disastrous. But it’s easy to imagine that tempers will boil over sooner rather than later if things don’t improve in a hurry. The Dolphins need to play better, and soon. Otherwise, things might get even uglier. For now though, they’re going to accept that the loss happened and try to move past it.

“We’re going to let it sink in. Let that (expletive) hurt.” safety Bobby McCain said. “Let it hurt, let it hurt, because it does. Going out, we gave up 60 points today, essentially. So just going out and coming to work tomorrow. Like I told the guys, we’ve got to come to work tomorrow, put your head down and just work on it. At some point in the game, you have to play for each other and that’s just what it is.”

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

tanking

Center Daniel Kilgore reflects on being named a captain of the 2019 Dolphins

Before 2018 free agency hit, the 49ers signed Daniel Kilgore to a new long-term deal. Just days later, they traded him to the Dolphins for a late round pick.

Kilgore was a cheap replacement for Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, who joined the Los Angeles Chargers. The seven-year vet from Appalachian State instantly became a starter for the Dolphins, before suffering a week 4 injury that ended his season.

Not only has Daniel Kilgore worked his way back, he has even been named a captain of the young new-look Dolphins. On Friday he met with the media and reflected about being named a captain of the 2019 Miami Dolphins.

Daniel Kilgore on being named a captain:

“It’s a huge honor. I was a captain last year before the injury. To be voted on by your peers is a true honor. It’s not a job that I take lightly. I think it comes with a big responsibility and I’m ready for it, and get these guys ready to go on Sunday.

Whats the biggest thing you feel like the captain should do?

“Lead by example. I’m not like a big ‘rah, rah guy.’ I’m not going to stand in front everybody and give an emotional speech. I’m just going to do my job and come in with that attitude and get better.”

Is there any difference in leading such a young team?

“No. I’ll go about my business the same way I have for nine years. I go through the same routine. Be one of the first ones in and one of the last ones to leave. Well, not today. My daughter turns one (year old) tomorrow so I’m going to leave early today. (laughter) But no, it’s no different for me. (I’m) the same guy. The same responsibility – do my job.”

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