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    • michael89156

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      State of Despair: All three Florida NFL teams reeling after 1-3 startsworse_zpsvgwdr2zz.jpg Lovie Smith isn't alone in leading a 1-3 football team in the Sunshine State. By Ira Kaufman | Tribune Staff Published: October 7, 2015  TAMPA — Professional football in Florida is a sorry state of affairs.The Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jaguars have each finished the opening quarter of the 2015 season with a 1-3 record, projecting a gloomy forecast for the Sunshine State.What in the name of Don Shula is going on here?Instead of celebrating their 50th season in the NFL, the dysfunctional Dolphins have already made a head coaching change, dumping Joe Philbin and promoting tight ends coach Dan Campbell on an interim basis.“They had to do it. You watch them play, it was unbelievable,” said “Inside the NFL” analyst Phil Simms. “I got up early Sunday morning to watch the game and I thought it was an exhibition game. I thought, is this preseason? There was no effort, no enthusiasm, no emotion. So you change that.”This is nothing new for Dolphins fans, who have been waiting since 2008 for a once-perfect organization to craft a winning record. In 2011, Todd Bowles replaced Tony Sparano after 13 games. In 2004, Jim Bates took over for Dave Wannstedt after nine games.Miami’s struggles are the most surprising, because the Dolphins made a big free-agent splash by bringing in Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh after consecutive 8-8 seasons.But instead of providing a spark, Suh has been the 305-pound invisible man. Miami is last in the league in run defense and sacks, while the offensive woes continue with Ryan Tannehill under center.Something’s missing, and Campbell thinks he has a clue.“This is my sixth season with the Dolphins, and this is the most talented roster we have had in those six years,” Campbell said. “We have plenty of talent — we have to change the culture. We need to breed a culture of competitiveness, finish and intensity.”The 2013 bullying incident involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin suggested a lack of leadership in the Miami locker room, so Campbell’s top priority is identifying players he can count on.The main issue in Jacksonville is the scarcity of impact talent. The Jags don’t have enough playmakers on either side of the ball, placing too much pressure on second-year quarterback Blake Bortles amid a lack of fundamentals.In a 16-13 overtime setback against Indianapolis on Sunday, Jacksonville was flagged for 13 penalties and missed two late field-goal attempts. The sixth consecutive loss to the Colts was particularly bitter because Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck did not play.“We’re not doing enough of the good things yet consistently to get us over the hump, but we’re close,” said Jags coach Gus Bradley, who fell to 8-28.Sound familiar, Bucs fans?Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith is sounding a similar refrain as the Bucs prepare to play Jacksonville on Sunday at home, where Smith is 0-10. The Bucs are favored by three points to hit the bye week on a winning note, but T.J. Yeldon of the Jaguars just ran for 105 yards, and Jacksonville’s rushing defense is among the league’s best.Like the Bucs, the Jags have been victimized by self-inflicted wounds.“It’s just what it looks like ... frustrating,” said Jacksonville defensive tackle Roy Miller, who played his first four NFL seasons in Tampa. “We knew what was at stake, first place in the AFC South, and it didn’t happen. It comes down to the details. We’re missing it sometimes.”A fitting epitaph for a state of confusion.ikaufman@tampatrib.comTwitter: @IKaufmanTBO

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8983

      Lovie has them all beat.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 5438

      Tampa, and it’s not even close.At least Miami knows that they will be getting a new HC come next season. We have no idea how long we'll be stuck with Lovie.

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