Family Time For The Longs And Pounceys During Bye Weekend

Posted Oct 7, 2011

Football families have a unique bond that impacts the individuals in not so obvious ways, and this bye weekend for the Miami Dolphins is a perfect example.

Rookie Mike Pouncey has a special assignment during his down time in the bye week: He’ll be watching tape of his brother Maurkice and offering his critique.

The Pouncey twins — both first-round picks, both centers, both from the University of Florida — have made a pact to watch each other’s game film during their respective bye and offer their scouting report.

“I love watching my brother play, he’s a great player,” Mike Pouncey said Tuesday. “He always asks me each game, how did I play, how did I play? Now, I’ve got his game film, so I’m going to be able to sit down and watch his game film and tell him and correct him on things that he messed up on, and he’s going to do the same thing on his bye week when he gets the chance.”

Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long is taking the opportunity over the next four days to reconnect with his younger brother, Joe, by watching the Wayne State senior left tackle in action on the gridiron. The Warriors host Lake Erie College at Tom Adams Field in Detroit at noon Saturday.

“I’m heading back to Michigan to see my family and my little brother has a football game so I’m going to watch him play,” Long said. “So I’m just going to hang out with family and friends and I’m excited about this because I haven’t seen my brother play in a couple of years.”

Long’s alma mater, the University of Michigan, is on the road Saturday at Northwestern so he won’t be catching up with the Wolverines. But that seems to work out better for him because watching his brother’s team play at the Division II level also gives Long a chance to see football at its purist form again and recharge his mental batteries.

Wayne State has started the season 5-0 for the first time since 1967 and is ranked No. 6 in the nation while riding a school best nine-game winning streak dating back to last season. With his NFL team looking to turn things around after a 0-4 start, Long hopes to pick up a little mojo from the Warriors and bring it back to Florida with him.

Some of Long’s teammates on the Dolphins are planning to use these next four days to escape from football for a bit and try to regroup in their own way. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall has planned a quick getaway to the Turks and Caicos Islands to clear his head, while second-year defensive end Jared Odrick, a Penn State alum, is headed to Pennsylvania to possibly take in the Penn State-Iowa football game in State College. Fellow defensive end Kendall Langford has much different plans.

“I just want to get away from football,” said Langford, now in his fourth season in the NFL. “I’m going to stay here in Miami but I don’t plan on seeing this facility or watching any football. I’ll watch the Jets-Patriots game because they’re in our division, but other than that I just want to recharge my batteries and get my legs back so I can come back fresh and ready go.”

Langford is among those players taking the approach of breaking up the season into quarters from this point. When he returns with his teammates next Tuesday for practice in preparation for the Monday night game at the New York Jets on October 17th, he is looking at it as the start of the second quarter, with that first quarter start behind him.

Outside linebacker Cameron Wake has always taken the approach of looking forward and not dwelling on the past. And as one of the single players on the roster, he plans to enjoy the fact that he doesn’t necessarily have to plan anything over the bye weekend.

“I have no definitive plans because when you’re single you don’t have to line up a babysitter or wonder what the wife’s going to say,” Wake said. “If I feel like going to Tahiti tomorrow I’ll just do that, but I’ll probably have to force myself away from football. If you can you can, but I’ll probably be right here doing nothing.”

While the players get to enjoy four consecutive days off thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, that isn’t necessarily the case for the coaching staff. They need a little time to decompress as well, but there is still a lot of preparation taking place for that Jets game. Head Coach Tony Sparano, whose work ethic is notorious, is cognizant of the fact that he and his staff need a break just as much as the players. So he has a plan on mine, albeit not one as elaborate as some of his players.

“I’ve got to get away and clear my head a little bit, too. I told the players I thought that was important to do,” Sparano said. “So I’ll get away quietly, just for a day. Then come back and do what we need to do here. But they don’t give the coaches four days off, just the players.”
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