Chris Perkins: After big trade, Dolphins talking about hard work instead of entitlement

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MIAMI GARDENS —

Fans and media are writing glowing headlines and tweets about the Dolphins in light of their splashy trade to acquire Denver Broncos Pro Bowl edge rusher Bradley Chubb on Tuesday, and then a later deal for San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. But in the fashion of Seattle quarterback Geno Smith, the Dolphins aren’t writing back.

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“We didn’t accomplish nothing yet,” linebacker Jerome Baker said.

He’s right.

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And basically that’s the sentiment in the Dolphins locker room.

It’s a team that understands nothing is going to be given to them, that they must work hard.

With that in mind, no one is making plans for Phoenix (site of the Super Bowl) in February. Yet.

“We’ve got this,” linebacker Duke Riley said of the assembled talent, “but what are we going to do with this? Are we going to do everything and be on our details and on our assignments and everyone do their jobs?

“I think that’s really what’s most important.”

Yes, a few Dolphins players will mention the Super Bowl in the context of their expectations. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made that clear Wednesday. Chubb repeated it Thursday.

“It’s a lot of leaders on this team, and I’m just glad I could come in and fall into a good position where guys are winning, guys care,” he said. “We need to get after this playoff run and Super Bowl and accomplish all the goals we’ve got here and fight for it.”

Understand something: The Dolphins, who, after all, are still in third place in the AFC East with a 5-3 record, aren’t showing a sense of entitlement or privilege.

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They seem to be maintaining their focus and purpose. They know, or many of them know, they only have two playoff appearances in the last 20 years.

“We’ve got some good pieces, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Baker said. “You’ve got to go out there and perform. We’re all locked in and ready to go.”

Everyone, it appears, is ready to go.

Dolphins fans on social media lost their collective mind Tuesday after the trades. Twitter blew up.

The reaction inside the building wasn’t as outwardly grandiose, but the excitement was still palpable.

The Dolphins coaching staff found out about the trades when coach Mike McDaniel gathered them to make the announcement.

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“Everybody was fired up,” linebackers coach Anthony Campanile said.

No, coaches weren’t fist-pumping and high-fiving.

“Not necessarily like some of the craziness I’ve been involved in with college football where a recruit signs and everybody goes crazy and all that,” Campanile said.

But the coaches were excited.

Players were excited, too.

Baker found out on Twitter.

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Guard Robert Jones found out on Instagram.

Dolphins center Connor Williams, on the other hand, didn’t find out until Wednesday morning when McDaniel announced it at a team meeting.

“I don’t have any social media,” he said.

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Players understand the Dolphins have heightened expectations, particularly after the Chubb acquisition.

They know the excitement level is higher than it’s been in years, and that was even before the flurry before the trade deadline. Because before Tuesday, there was the trade to acquire wide receiver Tyreek Hill and the free agent signing of left tackle Terron Armstead, among other moves, including hiring McDaniel. Season tickets were sold out.

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Then came the 3-0 start and that encouraging victory over Buffalo and the riveting comeback victory over Baltimore.

Yeah, there was a three-game losing streak, but that’s almost a distant memory in light of back-to-back victories and, now, this.

Dolphins fans are excited for the on-field product and the front office’s faith in the on-field product.

“They really understand that every team has a window,” Hill said, “and they see that the window is now for this team.”

And it sounds as though players understand they must put in the work before they collect the accolades.