Dan Campbell's time with the Miami Dolphins started with a bang and ended with a whimper.
On Jan. 2, NFL.com's Jeff Darlington reported Campbell would be a casualty of the Dolphins' front-office makeover, which is expected to thrust former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum into a more prominent position:
Despite the original optimism surrounding Dan Campbell after he took over as interim coach, Tannenbaum and his confidants do not believe he is ready to be a permanent head man. The front office, for instance, was not pleased with his public handling of the recent situation involving Brent Grimes' wife, Miko. And despite Campbell's continued efforts to convince Tannenbaum and Co. that he still has the team playing hard, they are not convinced that is the case.
Campbell took over as the Dolphins' interim head coach after the team decided to part ways with Joe Philbin following a Week 4 loss to the Jets. At the time of Philbin's dismissal, the Dolphins were 1-3 with three consecutive losses to their name.
The 39-year-old Campbell quickly became a beloved presence in the locker room, as players embraced the way he related to them.
"I would run through anything for Coach Campbell," linebacker Chris McCain said in October, according to Darlington. "A brick wall. A cement wall. Anything."
And while Miami's two-game winning streak with a plus-46 point differential offered hope the Dolphins would be able to pivot and make a run toward respectability in November and December, things quickly fell apart.
Campbell's crew proceeded to lose back-to-back games against the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills before sneaking past the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-19, in Week 10. The Dolphins then lost five of their next six, with the lone win coming over a depleted Baltimore Ravens team.
“I've been here six years, and nothing has gone the way that we wanted it to be,” Campbell said Dec. 15, according to Abramson. "Every year we come in with new hope and, there again, we’re going to have another season where we have a playoff drought."
There were glimpses of a potentially prosperous future under Campbell, but wins proved to be few and far between for the Dolphins during a tumultuous campaign, leading to Gase's arrival in Miami.
Campbell proved he belongs as a coach somewhere in the NFL based on his ability to connect with players and create a positive atmosphere in the locker room, and he will settle for an assistant gig before he rises in the ranks.