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The Dolphins don't need to hear this. So whisper it instead, and hope the crowd at Dolphin Stadium is loud enough (for a change) to drown it out:

The season is already a success, regardless of the result today or in the five games that follow.

In a crashing economy, the Dolphins somehow find themselves flush with house money. Today, they can double that loot, by sweeping the Patriots and perhaps achieving a tie for first in the AFC East.

"We're just 6-4 right now," defensive tackle Jason Ferguson said. "So we're not going to say we're making a big change yet."

They don't need to say it.

They have done it.

They have the same record as the Patriots, Colts and Cowboys. They have a better record than the Chargers, Packers and Saints. Dig up the NFL preview magazines. Those were six of the Super Bowl favorites.

"When you come down here as a vet, you're definitely not saying, 'I'm going to a rebuilding team,' " Ferguson said. "You're not hearing that. So when I came down here, [Bill Parcells] just told me right up front. I didn't ask the question. He just told me, 'Look, you are not coming down here for rebuilding. You are coming down here to win.' I said, 'That's what I am coming here to do. I don't know anything else to do. I'm old.' "

They have already beaten the Las Vegas projection of 5.5 wins, making them the best investment this fall. Reggie Torbor, the linebacker who won a ring with the Giants last season, said he "didn't think it would happen as fast as it has. I was thinking maybe three years from being a major contender."

They have already won more games than the Patriots did in Parcells' first season in New England in 1993, and are challenging his debuts with the Jets (nine) and Cowboys (10). They still have an outside shot of tying or beating the record for the biggest turnaround in NFL history, which the Colts set in 1999 by going from 3-13 to 13-3.

They have changed the culture. Scan the ridiculously short injury report. Is luck involved in the avoidance of a torn ACL? Sure. But players aren't missing time with nicks either.

"You could definitely tell back in workouts, everybody was here," Torbor said. "Even in New York, everybody wouldn't always there. I mean, Joey [Porter] doesn't have to come. What are you going to do, fine him? But we were all here committed to do the right thing. And it was so important for us, because no one knew each other."

Akin Ayodele, acquired from the Cowboys in the offseason, said: "Once I got here, I realized how hungry this team was. I worked out with a lot of guys and, for the first time in my career, I had guys working out just as hard as I did, across the board."

This front office has produced the best Dolphins draft since 1997. (Worried about dropping in the draft order? Wouldn't you rather have these guys picking at No. 20 than any recent precedessors picking in the top 10?)

This regime has also found treasure in the trash. In the New York Jets' trash, from which they plucked Chad Pennington, who has allowed them to avoid rushing Chad Henne. In their own trash, too. Greg Camarillo and Patrick Cobbs looked like fringe holdovers. Now both have earned extensions and look like facsimiles of Troy Brown and Kevin Faulk. Porter looked like a colossal waste of cash. After a role tweak, he's a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Jason Allen and Ted Ginn Jr. looked like first-round busts. Now, at times, both look like core players.

The coach has found a voice. For all the preseason talk of puppetry, you would have thought that the Dolphins had relocated from SW 30th Street in Davie to Avenue Q on Broadway.

"Tony's his own guy," Ferguson said. "He doesn't sound like Bill, he sounds like Tony."

He sounds like a winner. Sparano and the Dolphins have already won this season, with six games left to play. Might as well win some of those, too.


ROLE REVERSAL Teams that have already won more games this season than all of last season:

Dolphins: +5

Jets: +

Falcons: +2

Panthers: +1

Ravens: +1

Teams that have already lost more games this season than all of last season:

Patriots: +4

Seahawks: +4

Packers: +2

Chargers: +1

Colts: +1

Cowboys: +1

Jaguars: +1

Lions: +1

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 23, 2008

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Clinton Hart Name: Clinton Hart
Position: S
Age: 31
Experience: 6 years
College: Central Florida CC
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