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Dolphins Players Have Big Plans For Vacation Time

Posted Jun 20, 2014

With minicamp now over, it’s a time for the players to step away from football to spend time with family or do some traveling.

Now that the offseason program has been completed, Miami Dolphins players have the next month off before they reconvene for the start of training camp in late July.

It’s a time for the players to step away from football after nine intense weeks of conditioning, learning the playbook and practicing to spend time with family or do some traveling.

It’s not all fun and games, though, because players also know it won’t be long before they embark on the long journey that will be the 2014 season, a journey they hope will last until late January or maybe even February.

“I’ll take a little bit of time just to get away from the game and then start preparing again,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Tuesday after the first day of minicamp. “Then, it’s crunch time. It doesn’t matter what you did in February or April at this point if you let it go to waste in July. So a few days away, reconnect with the family and have some fun. But then, it’s back to work, getting ready for a big season for us.”

Among those with exotic travel plans are defensive end Cameron Wake, who is planning on going to Italy and England; Louis Delmas, who is headed to Costa Rica; and Jason Trusnik, who is planning on flying to Aruba.

Kicker Caleb Sturgis, meanwhile, will be going to Mexico, but the trip will be about more than just sightseeing. He will be getting married on July 5 to Kimberly Davidson, who he met when he attended the University of Florida.

Defensive back Michael Thomas, meanwhile, will be heading back to his hometown of Houston and prepare for the arrival of his first child, whose arrival date is scheduled for anywhere between July 14 and July 20.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe will be spending a lot of time with his infant son Nevan while also finding time to conduct a football clinic in North Carolina.

“The month before training camp I mostly work out, really,” Ellerbe said. “That’s when I get the lifting heavy and running a lot, running hard, and stuff like that, getting ready for training camp, getting out in the heat.”

Here’s a sampling of the vacation plans of other Dolphins players:

• Wide receiver Damian Williams: “I’m going to Hawaii on a Mission trip. It’s kind of like vacation, but I’m going to work with some of the youth over there and help out at a camp. But then I’ll be in L.A. the rest of the time training.”

• Delmas: “When minicamp is over, first and foremost, I’m taking a week vacation to go fishing. I’m thinking of going to Costa Rica to go fishing because that’s definitely what I enjoy outside of football. And after that, I’m going to take another week to rehab, let my knees rest, let my body rest, and then I’m going to hit it hard the week after.”

• First-round pick Ja’Wuan James: “I haven’t been home yet since the draft and I want to go home, see my family for a few days, then get back down here, try to find a place where I’m going to live and start training down here and just getting back in the film room, getting in the weight room here just trying to get better before camp.”

• Defensive tackle A.J. Francis: “I’m going back home to Maryland for about 10 days getting stuff right for my wedding. My wedding is in March, so I’ve got to take care of all that stuff. I’m getting grabbed by the hand and led through the whole process by my woman. She’s going to take care of everything. Watch the World Cup. Really just relax and still stay in shape so I can come back ready to earn a spot on this team.”

• Quarterback Matt Moore: “We’re going to head back to California and see my parents so they can see the baby and my wife’s parents and everybody can see the kids. We are going to take a trip to Tahoe for a couple of days and then that’s it. Kind of low-key and be back here ready to go.”

Some players, such as rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry and second-year cornerback Jamar Taylor, didn’t even mention traveling. For them and others, the month off is all about letting their body rest a little, training and making sure they’re ready to go for the start of training camp.

The reality is that this month off is a bit of balancing act for everybody. The goal is to enjoy themselves as much as possible while putting themselves in the best position to succeed come the start of training camp.

“I think it’s a blend of the perfect balance,” Mitchell said. “I’m going into my fifth year. When you first start, you definitely want to make sure that you prepare and you’re in that playbook. For me, it’s a balance. I want to make sure that my body is well rested, but at the same time I want to get in the playbook because I’m new here. I want to make sure that I understand what I have to do before the season starts.”

From his standpoint, Head Coach Joe Philbin had a simple message for his players.

“We want them to use their time wisely,” he said. “This is their profession and they have one opportunity to be a Miami Dolphin. We want them to take full advantage of it. Certainly, we want them to be able to enjoy some well-deserved time off because they’re going to be very, very busy once training camp comes around. That’s really it. As I’ve said to them many times, they represent me and I represent them, so they (should) do things the right way on and off the field.”
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