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Dolphins Hit The Field For Final Week Of OTAs

Posted Jun 9, 2014

Dolphins continue to work on different situations, specifically work near the goal line, two-point plays and work in the red zone.

After a weekend of golfing and fishing, all for a good cause, it was back to football for the Miami Dolphins on Monday.

The team began its final week of OTAs with the first of four days of practice. The three-day minicamp takes place next week, and then the players will be off for about a month before the start of training camp in July.

The Dolphins continued working on different situations Monday, specifically work near the goal line, two-point plays and work in the red zone.

“As I said to the team, we’re basically just about ready to play a game,” Head Coach Joe Philbin said after practice. “Tomorrow we’ll get into some backed up, some four-minute situations. At the end of the week we’ll simulate an overtime. Real pleased with the progress we’re seeing on the field.”

Before he talked Monday about the practice, though, Philbin took a moment to look back at Fins Weekend, which kicked off with a Celebrity Draw Party and silent auction on Thursday and wrapped up with the Fishing Awards Ceremony Saturday.

“I thought we had a great weekend,” Philbin said. “Fins Weekend was outstanding, the best one I’ve been a part of. We had great participation from the players. It’s a huge fundraiser for the Dolphins Foundation, so a huge thank you to all the people that spent time and effort putting that together. I think everybody had a great time.”

When they showed up for practice Monday, Dolphins players and coaches were greeted with smoky skies, the result of a brush fire in western Broward County.

Philbin said he conferred with Head Athletic Trainer Ryan Grove before deciding to keep the practice outdoors and was assured that everything would be fine.

“I wanted to know what was going on,” cornerback Cortland Finnegan said of seeing the skies. “They said it was the Everglades. Definitely hope everything is all right over there. For the first part of practice, you just think that someone is out there fighting that kind of thing and doing it for you, (and) you hope no one is injured.”

Fellow cornerback Jamar Taylor, for his part, said he was happy to get back to work.

“It was hot,” he said. “It felt good to get out there after a long weekend. You’re moving around. Another week of OTAs, just trying to get better.”

ALUM ALLEY

As has become custom, a couple of former Dolphins players attended practice. On this day, the alums on hand were Mark Duper and Keith Byars.

Unlike Sam Madison and Jason Taylor before them, Duper and Byars didn’t serve as guest coaches. But Byars, a fullback and tight end during his long NFL career, did spend some time after practice talking to tight end Charles Clay and Duper addressed the players after they were assembled at the end of practice.

Duper’s speech drew a round of applause from current players.

“Mark Duper gave a great speech,” Philbin said. “I like to have some of the guys when they stop by talk to the team about some of the things they learned both on the football field that helped them as players but just as important some of the things that they’ve been doing after football. Life doesn’t end when football ends. We’ve got a great resource with all the alums that we have in this area.”

NO LOOKING BACK

New running back Knowshon Moreno’s last game was one to forget, as his Denver Broncos sustained a disappointing 43-8 loss against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.

But Moreno is a member of the Miami Dolphins these days and he can’t worry about what happened with his former team.

Asked Monday how long it took him to get over that loss, Moreno replied: “I don’t know. It is what it is. It was a tough game, a tough loss, but at the same time, that was last year. I’m not really worried about it now too much.”

THIS AND THAT

Philbin reiterated Monday that who is practicing with what group isn’t relevant at this time of year. “We don’t really have starters right now,” he said. “We’re not overly concerned about that. We’re teaching a system and a style of play offensively, so exactly who is getting what play at this stage of the game isn’t really the focus.” ... Wide receiver Stephen Williams made a spectacular touchdown catch in the end zone against cornerback Brent Grimes, who came back a few plays later with a nice breakup on a pass intended for Brian Hartline. ... The musical selection for the stretching portion of practice was “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G.
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