NEW ORLEANS — A few weeks ago, Dan Campbell’s name was the first one mentioned in the New Orleans media when he announced his intent to leave the Dolphins.
The decision came after a week in which the Dolphins struggled, lost to the Green Bay Packers and were benched by head coach Dan Campbell.
But the news came as a shock to the Dolphins, who were hoping that Campbell would be a player on the same level as former quarterback Ryan Tannehill and a leader in the locker room.
So how did Campbell react when he was told of the news?
“I was just so happy to be here,” Campbell said Wednesday at the NFL Players Association’s annual meeting in Orlando.
“I know what a lot of people are thinking, but I’m just so blessed to be with a team that’s so loyal and so good.
I’m not going to touch it.”
Campbell’s comments came during an interview on “Mike & Mike in the Morning” in which he also said he would not touch his former team.
The two spoke before Campbell and his family left for the holidays.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a team, a staff and a family that’s had the best owner in the game, Dan (Campbell) and a group of guys who I know are going to be great,” Campbell told “Mike&Mike.”
“So I think there’s a lot to be said for a little bit of leeway when you’re dealing with the team that you’re in, and I’m grateful for that.”
Campell, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was in the process of selling the team when the Dolphins were sold to owner Stephen Ross in 2013.
The sale was approved by the NFL’s board of governors in late July.
During the offseason, Campbell told the Miami Herald that he had decided to stay and help his family move back to Florida.
He has since said that he will remain with the Dolphins through the 2017 season.
But Campbell has faced criticism for his decision to leave and for the lack of cooperation from the Dolphins and its management.
He also was criticized for not taking a long-term plan for the team’s future, something that was part of his deal with Ross.
Campbell said he and his wife, Tiffany, will be taking time off this year to care for their daughter, but that they will continue to be involved in the Dolphins family business.