It’s Showtime For The Dolphins

Posted Sep 2, 2013

There was a noticeable energy boost in the first game week session.

All of the dress rehearsals of the preseason and training camp are behind the Miami Dolphins and the roster is set for the 2013 opener at the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.

Four days after Miami came from behind to beat the New Orleans Saints, 24-21, in the fifth and final preseason game that led to the tough personnel decisions over the weekend, the team had its narrow focus. No more position battles to hash out, just the task of getting on the same page on offense, defense and special teams and developing the necessary intensity to help ensure a positive outcome.

“The energy was great today,” said Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who is in his third season. “It’s the difference between playing in the preseason and the regular season – now everything’s real. We feel as a team that we’re ready to go. We came out and had a good day of practice today and we can’t wait to get on the field.”

Other seasoned veterans have been anxiously waiting for this week to arrive after going through the grind of the offseason, training camp and the preseason. For one thing, with the roster down from 90 to 53 there is more space in the locker room and more familiarity.

Meanwhile, this continues to be a new experience for the rookies like first-round draft pick Dion Jordan, a defensive end whose locker is right next to two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake. He certainly noticed a difference on the practice field.

“It's turned up. It’s about that time,” Jordan said. “A lot of guys here understand what’s at stake. It’s a new season. We want to do well. We’re all here, and we all want to get the job done.”

Head Coach Joe Philbin and his staff can now concentrate on coming up with the best possible game plan for the Browns that will give Miami its best chance for victory. He was just as eager as the players were to get into that regular-season mode and he took notice.

“I thought the energy was good and it was one of our hotter days that we’ve had, at least early in practice as I think the heat index was about 106,” said Philbin, who is in his second season at the helm. “But I thought we had a good, crisp practice and the intensity level was picked up a notch. We shared with them some quotes that they made a year ago in regard to what it’s like to play in a season-opening game in the National Football League and I thought the practice today showed that.”
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