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It's Go Time For The Dolphins; Other Notes

Posted Sep 3, 2012

No more dress rehearsals or second and third auditions. The regular season has arrived and today was go time for the Miami Dolphins, as they get ready to open up at the Houston Texans in six days.

No more dress rehearsals or second and third auditions. The regular season has arrived and today wasgotime for the Miami Dolphins, as they get ready to open up at the Houston Texans in six days.

One look around the practice field was all Head Coach Joe Philbin needed to confirm that everything counts now and what happens between now and kickoff at Reliant Stadium cannot be taken lightly.

“It’s always an adjustment and I told my staff, sometimes you’re used to first 90 guys and then 75 guys and it’s an adjustment,” said Philbin, who is experiencing his first real game week as a head coach. “It’s not as loud and you’re like, ‘Do we have pads on today? Is everybody here?’ It’s different for the staff and it takes a little time to get used to.”

Philbin admitted today’s practice ran a little long because they had to repeat between six and eight plays based on what to expect from the Texans in that first game. He liked the energy level and the effort from his players, especially as they took on some more reps as a result of the smaller numbers.

This week is when the rookies see the biggest change in terms of the intensity at practice and the focus as it become narrowed on the Week 1 opponent. Veterans like left guard Richie Incognito are used to the change from training camp and preseason mode to regular-season mode.

“There’s definitely a different feeling when the regular season starts,” Incognito said. “Everything gets kicked up a couple of notches. The intensity level gets picked up and we’re doing everything that we do in a training camp setting but with fewer bodies. So the onus is on getting good reps and doing it right and getting looks down during the week.”

Another reason this week has a different feel to it for the starters is that they are preparing themselves for an entire 60 minutes as opposed to one half or in some cases one series. They are also getting work with the guys they will be on the field with at all times instead of lining up next to different players as the game progressed.

Of course the starting offense looks little younger with a rookie at quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, a rookie at right tackle in Jonathan Martin, a rookie at fullback in Jorvorskie Lane and a second-year player at center in Mike Pouncey. Incognito, running back Reggie Bush, wide receiver Davone Bess, left tackle Jake Long and tight end Anthony Fasano are the veteran presence on that side of the ball, while nobody on the starting defense has less than two years in the league.

“Coming into work this morning with everybody else on vacation, you’re kind of rubbing your hands because you’re getting ready to go to work,” said defensive end Cameron Wake, who is in his fourth season. “You enjoy your job, you love what you do and this where it’s real bullets. It’s game week, you’ve got a real opponent and all of the excuses are over with from the preseason. Now is the time when the real men step up and play.”

The players are off tomorrow and then it’s back to work on Wednesday preparing even harder for the Texans.

DOLPHINS TIDBITS: Long and backup right guard John Jerry did not practice today. ... Quarterback David Garrard threw passes and participated in individual drills for the first time since having knee surgery back on August 11th.

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