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Day 11 Notebook: Dolphins Looking Forward To Canton Trip; Other Notes

Posted Aug 2, 2013

Hall of Fame has special meaning to Coach Philbin, players.



The Dolphins are embracing their participation in the Hall of Fame Game this weekend.

“It’s a special feeling,” Head Coach Joe Philbin said after practice Friday. “The stadium may be not as big as most stadiums that we play in, but it’s kind of got that little nice fit to it. It’s Canton, Ohio, great football tradition in that area. I think our guys are excited.”

Philbin indicated that the players would visit the Hall of Fame after landing in Canton, Ohio, Saturday afternoon.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Philbin said. “I’ve heard they’ve done some things since I’ve last been there, so it’ll be good for them.”

As for the game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, Philbin said he would make decisions on player availability and playing time on Saturday. Philbin did say he would anticipate quarterback Ryan Tannehill playing in the game.

There is something specific that Philbin wants to see from his team Sunday, and that’s play speed.

“This game is not really going to be about X's and O's, although we have a good sound plan in,” Philbin said. “I’m sure our opponent has a good sound plan as well, but it’s more going to be about our guys playing football the right way, the things we've been practicing every single day have to show up on tape. We tell the players all the time, if we devote ‘X’ amount of time to ball security or to takeaways or to block protection, we want to see that stuff on the film in the games.”

CATCH THE DOLPHINS ANYWHERE

Dolphins fans all across the United States will be able to watch all of the team’s preseason games this summer thanks to the NFL’s Preseason Live package.

For $19.99, fans can have access on their computer or tablet to out-of-market games not televised nationally.

The Dolphins’ preseason opener against Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game will be televised nationally by NBC, but the other four preseason games now will be available outside the South Florida market. For details, go to dolphins.com/preseasonlive.

HELPING HAND

Cameron Wake made a youngster very happy after practice Friday when he presented him with a pair of practice pants and cleats.

The lucky recipient was Nikky Sierra, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound, 13-year-old whose size made it impossible to find equipment that fit. When Wake was contacted about Nikky, he was more than happy to help.

“Actually, he’s bigger than I am,” Wake said with a smile. “I remember back to my first day in football, I didn’t have any equipment. I actually used my coach’s cleats a couple of sizes too big and I was running around looking a mess. Just kind of being able to give back and hopefully make his first day of football a little easier than mine was just feels good. It’s one of those good-feeling kind of things.”

As for Nikky, getting the pants and cleats was just a small part of a memorable day.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “I got to see the (practice) bubble over there, which is pretty cool. I got to meet Cameron Wake. That’s awesome.”

A HAIRY SITUATION

After walking around the practice fields with his helmet on the previous two days, rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis showed off his new look on Friday. Make that his colorful new look.

Sturgis was sporting a, um, unique hairstyle with spiked hair on top and closely shaved sides. Oh, and did we mention the color is a combination of yellow and orange.

“I guess you kind of have to embrace it at this point,” Sturgis said. “They kind of did a better job cleaning it up a little bit. Hopefully, it won’t last too much longer.”

“They” are punter Brandon Fields and more specifically snapper John Denney, the unofficial hair stylist among the specialists.

Fields and Denney got their hands on Sturgis a couple of days ago and first gave him a mop top that was a little darker in color.

As for the new look, Sturgis says he’s heard his share of comments.

“I just get a lot of comparisons of who I look like,” Sturgis said. “They’re all pretty funny. You have to laugh with them so you don’t get too upset. I guess Johnny Bravo, I’ve heard. Jimmy Neutron, I’ve heard. Kind of got the Miley Cyrus haircut.

“It takes a little while to get used to having this. If it’s going to be here for a little bit, I might as well get used to it.”

STARRING ROLE

While rookie cornerback Will Davis was the star of practice on Thursday when he had three interceptions, that distinction on Friday very well might have belonged to another Davis, Keenan Davis.

Davis made several difficult catches in traffic, a couple of them showing off his ability to hang on to the ball after absorbing some contact. Davis, who was signed on Wednesday, also made a nice diving catch on a pass from Matt Moore.

THIS AND THAT

First-round pick Dion Jordan’s reputation is as a tremendous pass rusher, but he showed off other facets at practice Friday. He was right on top of running back Marcus Thigpen on one play after sniffing out a screen pass, and later was right there to make the tackle on a Jonas Gray running play. … Rookie free agent wide receiver Chad Bumphis had a spectacular catch for a second consecutive day, this time making a one-handed grab on a pass deep down the middle. … The musical selections for the stretching period inside the bubble were “We Been On” by Rich Gang featuring R. Kelly & Birdman & Lil Wayne and “All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James.

THE LAST WORD

Sturgis when asked what kind of reviews he’s been getting in recent days: “For my hair or for kicking?”
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