Joe Philbin's Gatorade shower signified the transformation taking place in the Miami Dolphin locker room. The last regime found Tony Sparano dreaming up the wildcat after losing 31-10 to Arizona in his second game. Cam Cameron was wondering how far forward he would have to fall fast before he finally felt the respect of his locker room. There’s a different feeling growing in Miami and the Gatorade shower is an indication, the players are buying in.

Brandon Marshall torched Vontae Davis last week, and the repercussions of Philbin giving Jeff Ireland the go ahead to trade Davis were finally understood in the locker room. Brandon Marshall's dropped passes in the endzone for the Bears this week made the reason for trading him crystal clear.

Players that did not step up, in critical situations or did not take practice seriously would not be tolerated. With Joe Philbin in the house, players are held accountable for their behavior, because winning starts with having the character to win in the most difficult situations.

It didn’t matter whether Marshall caught 21 balls in a game, what mattered was… The one he dropped that would have won it.

It didn’t matter if Vontae Davis was the most gifted athlete in the defensive back field… It mattered when the game winning touchdown was scored by the receiver he failed to cover.

Marshall and Davis are losers… Marshall couldn’t show up in critical situations and Davis was too immature to practice being in the right place, when the game was on the line.

The initial reaction to the release of these players was that Miami would not have the talent needed to compete, that the Dolphins had gutted the most talented players on the team. Perhaps principles were more important than the product on the field, but what both Sparano and Cameron never understood was, teams are made up of individuals, but individuals do not make up teams.

There is a subtle difference and it showed when Sparano failed to address both Davis and Marshall until it was too late. When the team bus finally left Davis behind last year, the Dolphins finally won. When it became obvious Marshall could not be depended on, Miami continued to win by throwing to Bess and Fasano in the red zone.

Cam Cameron never caught on to Joey Porter undermining his authority until it had gone viral in his locker room. Joe Philbin picked out the personalities that would do more to hinder his team’s progress than to help it. He knew before the pre-season that Brandon Marshall would not be a good mixture with his rookie QB.

He knew Vontae Davis could negatively influence his secondary because his athleticism demanded he be on the field, while his attitude demanded he be on the bench. On the bench, Davis would be a disruption because other players would agree he was the most talented DB. Keeping these players around is what causes the disruption.

Chad Johnson - Ocho Cinco, showed us one thing that is important to understand about Joe Philbin, he is not Nick Saban. He is not a college coach coming in to coach professional men and not understanding the difference. There are similarities in that both men are disciplinarians, but their approach to enforcement is completely different.

Philbin will bring in a Chad Johnson and allow Johnson to make a commitment to the team and to himself. Johnson is therefore responsible to prove he is capable of being true to the commitment he set for himself. Saban would have laid down the law for Johnson and then Saban would have been responsible for making sure Johnson followed his rules. Men are responsible for their own decisions that lead to their own actions, the same cannot be expected of college kids.

Saban wanted to control every aspect of his team, Philbin is the same, but Philbin knows, it’s more important in professional football to have the right personalities than to try to change them. Only players with the proper attitude can still be coached in the NFL, the authoritarian Saban did not have the patience to deal with millionaires.

Joe Philbin’s personality is perfectly suited for the NFL because he truly is in the game to win, money and power are secondary issues. The amount of money a player makes is of little consequence to Philbin, that’s between the player and Jeff Ireland. Once the contract is signed and the player is on the field, then the player’s future (at least in Miami) belongs to Philbin.

In today’s NFL this is how it should be; when the coach becomes involved in the monetary end of the game, it creates a dynamic between the player and the coach not relative to the football field. If the coach is responsible for a player not living up to a contract, than performance on the football field is compromised because the coach must now justify why he signed the player.

More importantly, the locker room is compromised; the other players in that locker room know who is performing, who is on the field playing with abandon and who is on the field playing for the money. If the coach can look past the money and make performance based decisions, he earns the respect of the players. Sparano and Cameron did not look past the money or did not think they had the power to.

This is the reason Parcells was not successful later in his career. He wanted to buy the groceries and it got in the way of the menu, because he could not throw out what looked great in the package but was full of fat once out of the wrapper.

Children are intimidated by adults that yell and bully to make an impression, but adults are much more complex and many will not respond to coercion. The job of a head coach requires much more than a one button manager, it requires a man with the perception to know when to positively reinforce and when to negatively reinforce.

The guidelines are set forth for what is expected of the player on the grand scale, professionalism, integrity and making decisions with the understanding of how those choices effect the team, in other words, placing the team before the individual.

It’s too early to place the halo over Joe Philbin or anoint him the next great Dolphin coach, but the signs are there. There’s nothing fancy about Joe Philbin, he has the rare ability to satiate the truly rich folks in the NFL, the ones signing the paychecks and the ability to motivate the players on a level they understand.

Here's to the Dolphins finally making the long climb back into relevance in the National Football League!