(Reuters) - Interim Dolphins coach Dan Campbell deflected the credit after Miami’s 44-26 thumping of the Houston Texans on Sunday, but he was not fooling anyone.
Keeping a straight face, Campbell told reporters that he had little to do with the stunning improvement in his two games at the helm.
Campbell was chided in some quarters for what were considered as overly machismo, old-school comments when he took charge of the Dolphins after previous head coach Joe Philbin was fired.
But it surely is not a coincidence that Miami is 2-0 under Campbell, after being 1-3 under Philbin.
The Dolphins have been on an offensive tear under rejuvenated quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has averaged 41 points per outing in the last two games, compared to just 16.3 before the coaching change.
“It’s not me, it’s this team,” Campbell said. “These guys want it and they’re playing for one another. To watch the transformation they’ve made to themselves … I’m glad I’m a part of it.
“It’s impressive, it’s inspiring. We’ve got some really good guys in this locker room. They’re all playing for one another.”
Tannehill has certainly been a new man under Philbin. On Sunday, he completed an NFL-record 25 consecutive passes stretching over two games.
He ended the game with 18 of 19 completed passes for 282 yards and matched a career high with four touchdown passes.
“I thought Marino walked out again,” quipped Campbell, referring to Dolphins great Dan Marino, the team’s starting quarterback for nearly two decades.
“Two weeks in a row, he’s been on it. He throws to the open receiver, he manages the game well, he’s smooth, he’s comfortable. Receivers got open for him (and) he made some very good throws.”
The Dolphins scored a franchise record 41 points in the first half, while holding the 2-5 Texans scoreless.
A bad day for the visitors got even worse in the fourth quarter when running back Arian Foster suffered a season-ending Achilles tear after collapsing to the field without any contact with an opposition player.
There will be sterner tests for the Dolphins, perhaps none more so than on Thursday when they face division rival New England Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions.
“We really need this win,” Campbell said. “We are capable of beating this team. They are not going to be easy. They never are.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Larry Fine