Dan Campbell’s legend continues to grow — even in his own locker room.
Matt Moore, the backup quarterback who has now played for two Dolphins interim coaches, was the latest to fuel the fire.
Appearing at the weekly Touchdown Club luncheon Tuesday, Moore basically suggested that Campbell could be a Navy Seal.
“I was in [the team’s practice facility] this morning, there was a ton of guys in there fired up,” Moore said. “Of course, Dan was walking around. He just finished up a workout. He’s ready to go.
Never miss a local story.
“I was talking to him about sleep,” Moore continued. “He’s like, ‘I haven’t slept in like 10 days.’”
So there you have it: A 1-0 football coach who in between changing the culture of a foundering franchise, has time to lift, but not to close his eyes at night.
Now, Campbell is the first to chuckle and roll his eyes with his new mythic status; he’s basically the new Chuck Norris on Twitter. The hype train is out of control.
But here’s something that Moore insisted is very real: How much Campbell has transformed the organization in a little over two weeks.
“You can pick guys in any position room, defense, offense, and they’ll all say they’ll do anything for him,” Moore said. “[Campbell] transfers energy like nobody else. ... It started as soon as the change was made.”
Winning, of course, has great healing powers. And the Dolphins’ 38-10 stomping of the Titans Sunday was precisely what the doctor ordered.
But Moore gushed about his new coach in a way few ever did about his last one. Joe Philbin was a good, decent man respected by his players. But how many wanted to make like the Kool-Aid pitcher and run through walls for Philbin like they clearly do for Campbell?
“It’s simple,” Moore said, speaking at the Miramar Bokamper’s. “The attitude is completely different.”
Moore added: “Emotionally, attitude-wise, we’re at an all-time high.”
Moore separately told the Miami Herald that the entire locker room is all-in on Campbell.
What remains unknown: How long the jolt of adrenaline will last.
The Dolphins experienced a small boomlet when Todd Bowles replaced Tony Sparano late in the 2011 season, winning two of their last three games.
But over the course of three months, can it make the difference between a winning team and a losing one?
Former Ravens coach — and current NFL Network analyst — Brian Billick gave voice to that skepticism on Twitter Sunday.
“Interim coach can certainly be short term booster shot for org. but players play for players, not coaches,” Billick wrote. “Eventually true colors return.”
Granted, it doesn’t matter what anyone outside of team headquarters really thinks. If the players believe Campbell is a difference-maker, he’s already made a difference.
“It’s nothing against Coach Philbin, but it’s just how Dan presented himself and how he took the reins with a firm grip pretty quickly,” Moore said. “Guys just followed suit. Sunday was good. Now I think the challenge is get another one. But with everybody in line, I think everyone is moving in the right direction.”
▪ Dolphins Honor Roll member Bob Kuechenberg, also appearing at the Touchdown Club Tuesday, also had high praise for Campbell.
“It looks like this coach is the perfect coach for them,” Kuechenberg said. “It’s an entirely different mindset.”
▪ Running back Lamar Miller is one of three nominees for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week after running for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. Those interested in voting for Miller can visit NFL.com/FedEx.