ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Dan Orlovsky spent three seasons in Detroit playing with new Miami Dolphins coach Dan Campbell. He’d see the former tight end come to practice in a sling Wednesday and then somehow be ready to play Sunday.
So when he found out Campbell was going to be a head coach in the NFL at age 39, he immediately knew what the Dolphins were getting: A tough guy.
“If you have to stereotype a Texas, hard-nosed, cowboy-type guy, I just remember him coming out to practice on Wednesdays double-limping with arms in slings and being like 'no way he can play,' and then having some way to be able to play on Sundays,” Orlovsky said. “So super tough, obviously played for like a decade or something, so very good professional.
“But you won’t be confused by what you’re getting from or with him.”
That showed during his first practice as a head coach Wednesday, when Campbell ran the Oklahoma drill -- in which players go head to head while their teammates cheer them on -- with the Dolphins. Running the Oklahoma drill on the NFL level, especially during the regular season, is exceedingly rare.
But it shows the level of toughness he is trying to instill in the Dolphins from the start.
Orlovsky said he has not reached out to Campbell since he got the job Monday. He is one of five players on the Lions roster who played with Campbell, including Calvin Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Don Muhlbach and Andre Fluellen.
In Detroit, Campbell spent two of his three seasons on injured reserve, but in his one healthy season in 2006, he caught 21 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns.
“When you play for 10 years in the NFL, you obviously are really disciplined, committed to what you’re doing, can get along with multitudes of people, very much an adult in this profession, so reliable,” Orlovsky said. “Played for a long time, so you've got to be reliable. I think he’s going to get that.
“I think he’s going to be a straight-shooter and I wish him the best of luck.”