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
Among those with exotic travel plans are defensive end
“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
• 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
Some players, such as rookie wide receiver
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.”