When I was growing up one thing my father always wanted to impress on me was the value of being respected. When you shake someone’s hand and look them in the eye do you have their respect? I can’t help but be reminded of that in watching the early stages of Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin this offseason. It used to be we would often get free agent visits in the past but it was hit or miss if they would sign with the Dolphins. I think this had a lot to do with Jeff Ireland’s personality. His style was very iron fisted. I think some free agents in the past were brought in to simply pressure current players to re-sign. Or the players making the visit simply did not feel like Jeff Ireland was genuine and chose to sign other places. This point is true in almost any facet of life you are in. Would you take a job for $5000 more per year with a boss that had a reputation of being a jerk? Or would you make $5000 less to work for a boss you respected? The players signing in recent weeks are not signing massive contracts. They are signing reasonable 1 year “prove it” deals. I feel this is because they WANT to play for the Dolphins. Why the sudden shift in practically every free agent that has visited Miami has decided to sign and play here? I think the obvious change is the departure of Jeff Ireland and arrival of Dennis Hickey. As I watch one player after another join the team they have one thing in common. They want to prove they can succeed in this league. This suddenly is a team full of hungry players desperate to prove they can or still can succeed in this league. Will this translate into wins? Only time will tell. However, I already think you can count on one thing. The Dolphins are going to have several players on the field at a career crossroads, ready to fight for their very futures in the league come Sunday. Playing for a coach and GM they respect. Get ready Miami fans, games in South Florida are about to become a physical fight to the death style of game.