Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin took cues from another Miami motivator to fire up his team on Sunday.
As Philbin’s squad prepared to take on the Patriots with its playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the head coach presented each player with a quote from longtime NBA coach Pat Riley, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The quote, which the current Miami Heat team president attributed to his late father, appears in Riley’s book, The Winner Within, and was reportedly used as a motivational tool by Riley himself on several occasions.
“Every now and then, somewhere, some place, sometimes, you are going to have to plant your feet and stand firm and make a point about what you are and what you believe in,” Riley quoted his father as saying. “When that time comes, Pat, you simply have to do it.”
The Dolphins certainly did not lack motivation against New England. A Marcus Thigpen touchdown gave Miami the lead with 1:15 to play, and Michael Thomas picked off Tom Brady in the end zone with one second remaining to seal the 24-20 win.
At 8-6, Miami currently holds the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC. Baltimore, however, owns the head-to-head tiebreaker and can overtake the Dolphins with a win in Detroit on Monday night.