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By on July 31, 2015 at 10:00 am

073115-PhilbinDarlingtonAs Dolphins training camp opened up bright and early on Thursday morning, there was a buzz in the air.

The Dolphins are coming into this season with the clear and explicit goal to be a major player in the AFC. That confident attitude starts from the top with Head Coach Joe Philbin, and it’s something that’s definitely being noticed this early into camp. Philbin has taken somewhat of a new approach with the players in how he leads, and it’s a positive step according to NFL Media’s Jeff Darlington.

Darlington joined The Finsiders on Thursday to talk about the new side of the coach that we’re seeing, and praised the direction in which he is trying to lead this team.

“I think that Philbin has done some self evaulation and realizes that ‘I am in a managerial role, and I do need to really motivate these guys,'” said Darlington. “He addressed the team yesterday and was more personal with them, opened himself up and shared personal details because he wants it to become more of a two way street where he is viewed by these players as someone that they know and are comfortable with.”

Darlington believes that Philbin’s open and honest approach harkens back to his time with the Green Bay Packers, where he was an assistant coach for nine seasons, including five as offensive coordinator. He had a serious and profound impact on the lives of players there, including some that weren’t even ones that he coached on the offensive side of the ball.

“I continue to talk to guys from the Packers who say such great things,” Darlington added. “A.J. Hawk, a guy I know pretty well, who was with the Packers now with the Bengals. He loved Philbin…considers him a second father type of situation. I don’t think that a lot of people down here with the Dolphins have seen that side of Philbin. I think that something that needs to come out this year and from what I heard, I think he recognizes that as well.

“I think that he is a really good, solid guy and I think it’s a smart move to open himself up to these players.”

For more of Jeff Darlington’s interview with The Finsiders, including his thoughts on Ndamukong Suh, click here.

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