Dolphins' Campbell a natural coach, Cherilus says
Dan Campbell, the Dolphins' new interim head coach, is young enough at 39 that current NFL players can remember him as a teammate, like Bucs tackle Gosder Cherilus, who overlapped with Campbell as a rookie with the Lions in 2008.
"He was extremely smart, accountable," said Cherilus, who said Campbell, as a tight end, worked closely with the tackles in Detroit. "Even then, he was always teaching me the steps, the smart things about the game."
Campbell played only one game for the Lions in 2008 before he was placed on injured reserve, but Cherilus said he never took a step back from the team. He remembers a team dinner in training camp, when rookies were asked to stand and sing in front of the entire restaurant -- Cherilus did so without hesitation, and remembers Campbell telling him he was rare to know his place as a rookie without letting anyone push him around.
"He was always like a third offensive line coach, helping out around the team," Cherilus said. "He's a hell of a guy."
Cherilus said he was "excited" to see Campbell promoted from tight ends coach to interim head coach in Miami, though it was sobering to realize at 31 he could have a teammate now working as a head coach.
"Tells me I'm old," he said.