“It’s nice. Yeah, just relax and get the body back under you,” said left tackle
South Florida is known for its beaches, which under normal circumstances would be a predictable destination on an off day. But the chance to spend the entire day in air conditioning and out of the heat will be too appealing for most of the Dolphins to pass up.
In addition to the physical benefits this free time means, the ability to rest their brains and spend quality time with their families also is important. Those players with kids particularly will take advantage.
“I’m looking forward to this off day a lot and I probably will be outside a little bit,” offensive guard
Coaches approach that off day a little differently, using that time away from the practice field and meeting rooms to break down practice film and fine-tune the plans for Wednesday’s practice. Head Coach Joe Philbin appreciates the need for his players’ bodies to bounce back.
At the same time, Philbin reminded the team of what it takes to excel at this level and to be a true professional at your trade. So he gave the players a little friendly advice on how to use their free time wisely.
“I’m not suggesting that when they walk out of the building here at 5 o’clock that they can’t do something enjoyable and fun, whatever they determine. That’s up to them to determine and not for me to determine,” Philbin said. “But you would really hope that they’d take advantage of the little bit of extra time to get off their feet and maybe get a little extra rest. We’ve got a lot of work out of them in four days so maybe some extra cold tub or hot tub time, maybe a little more time on their iPad or come in and watch a little extra tape.
“I told them in the team meeting, I don’t think you have to do it 24/7 to be great, but I think you have to have a commitment and you have to be serious about what you’re doing. So I would hope that they would be wise, use some common sense, get some extra rest and maybe peek at their trade a little bit.”
Rest assured come Wednesday morning, Philbin will make sure everyone’s up to speed on the playbook and those that didn’t take his advice will be easy for him to spot.
BAKER STILL AUTOGRAPH KING: Defensive end
Day in and day out the 6-foot-5, 302-pound gentle giant is always the last player off the field and makes sure that no fan leaves empty handed. Philbin’s new routine of having the offensive players head straight to the weight room one day and the defensive players the next has cut into Baker’s streak, but it doesn’t appear that he will dethroned.
“He’s going to win it every year,” Hicks said. “Anytime you get to go out and sign autographs, that’s a great thing, especially for these kids because we were all there at one point. All of us grew up loving football and so when you get to meet one of these guys you’re meeting your heroes. No matter if I’m out eating dinner, I’ll never get offended when people come up to me and ask me for an autograph. I’m thankful for that so yeah; I’m one of those guys like Baker. I’ll sign until the last person leaves, too.”
This is Hicks’ first year with the team, but wide receivers
For Bess, he tries to emulate Baker a little because he is a people person, but he also puts a priority on getting extra work done on the JUGS machine and in the weight room. Sometimes that means he has to leave the field a little earlier, which is why he appreciates Baker.
“I commend him for that because the fans are a big reason why we are what we are and we are who we are,” Bess said. “They come out here and sit in this hot sun and sweat by just watching us, so it’s a good thing.”
DOLPHINS TIDBITS: The team practiced on the far field for the first time, allowing for the field closer to the bleachers to recover from the trampling it took over the first three days. Although the fans had to strain their eyes a little bit they were educated enough to know when to cheer and when not to cheer. … Rookie wide receiver