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Day 4 Notebook: Hall-Of-Famer Sapp High On Dolphins; Other Notes

Posted Jul 24, 2013

NFL Network analyst sees Miami challenging for AFC East title.



During a lull in the post-practice media scrum, NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp held court with his media brethren. His enthusiasm for what the Miami Dolphins are capable of this season was palatable.

One week from Saturday, Sapp will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the rest of the Class of 2013 and he made his living on the defensive line with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders. So it came as no surprise that he pointed to Miami’s defense as the reason why he thinks the team can be a contender this season, especially the front seven.

“They can go. They’ve got a collection of guys that have different strengths,” said Sapp, who won Super Bowl XXXVII with Tampa Bay. “When you have different strengths you just do what you do best and then I’m going to add to it and now we’ve got a sundae here, with bananas and whipped cream and nuts and it looks real good and tasty. They have a mix of speed and power and some veterans in the mix, too. So who says it’s not your turn?”

When Sapp was asked directly if he thought the Dolphins could challenge the New England Patriots for the AFC East crown he quickly nodded his head in agreement and said, “Of course.”

REST AND RECOVERY ON TAP FOR THURSDAY

Five days have passed since the players reported to training camp and went through their physicals and Head Coach Joe Philbin will be giving them their first off day tomorrow. That schedule was written into the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it’s a welcome break.

“They need to hydrate, rest and take care of their bodies,” Philbin said. “We got a lot of work in but we have a ton of work left to do so they’ve got to take care of their bodies. If they need to they’ve got to be in here getting those little aches and bumps and bruises that everybody has during training camp taken care of.”

Wide receiver Brian Hartline plans to possibly take in a movie but his priority is to “kick the feet up, drink a lot of water, massage tonight and try to relax a little bit.”

THIS AND THAT

In what was the longest practice of training camp so far, the only players that didn’t get overworked were kickers Dan Carpenter and rookie Caleb Sturgis. No field goals were attempted on the two outdoor practice fields and Sturgis attempted just three inside the bubble during the hurry-up drill as the focus was on Red Zone. Miami’s defense ranked first in the league in Red Zone and the offense ranked 13th so Philbin said some high standards have been set. … Hartline made the first touchdown catch in 11-on-11 drills this morning with a diving reception in the right corner of the end zone on a ball thrown by Matt Moore. Ryan Tannehill also connected with Rishard Matthews for a score in traffic and Pat Devlin found tight end Michael Egnew for six points. … Fullback Jorvorskie Lane and running back Marcus Thigpen each made one-handed catches during 7-on-7s. … All of the running backs got some receiving work in lining up in the slot and catching passes out of the backfield. … One break from the normal routine of camp so far was when Philbin huddled up the entire team in the middle of practice to deliver a message before resuming the drills. … It’s always interesting to look in the stands at which player’s jersey fans are wearing from which era and today showed a decent variety. But one that stood out from the Dan Marino jerseys and Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace jerseys was the No. 39 of Hall-of-Fame running back Larry Csonka, taking us all the way back to the 1970s. … Another break from protocol involved the number of songs played during the stretch inside the bubble as only two made the list the first three days. Today started off with country again with Tim McGraw’s “How Bad Do You Want It,” and that was followed by House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” with the last song “Chosen One,” by Future featuring Rocko.

THE FINAL WORD

“I’m going home to get some sleep.” – center Mike Pouncey on what his plans are for his birthday. He and twin brother Maurkice of the Pittsburgh Steelers turned 24 today.
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