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NOTEBOOK: Dolphins Put Their Words Where Their Shirts Are

Posted Jul 30, 2014

T-shirts are just one example of the Dolphins players coming together as a team.


Dolphins players and coaches talked Wednesday about their new credo, the one that can be found on their gray training camp T-shirts. But for everyone on the team, it’s more than just words.

“I think it means a lot,” defensive tackle Jared Odrick said. “I think it gives us a visualization, something that we see every day to try to embody every day when we walk into the locker room and onto the field. It’s something that helps because you’re there reading on everybody’s shirt and it’s words that we’ve actually said. It’s words that have come out of our mouths.”

The coaching staff decided in the offseason to have the players come up with some thoughts for their slogan, after which a final message was approved.

The result is a 12-line credo that reads:

“I am a Miami Dolphin.
“I am a warrior and a member of an unbeatable team.
“I will always place the team first.
“If I see something — I will say something — I commit to call it as it is.
“I will develop undying trust with the man to my left and right.
“I will never accept defeat.
“I will never quit.
“I am the change that I want to see in my team. “I live respect and truth telling.
“I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, and proficient in my position tasks and drills. “I am a professional.
“I am a Miami Dolphin.”

The type size of each thought is different so that each one of them fits on one line.

Head Coach Joe Philbin was asked which line he liked best.

“There’s a lot of good ones,” he said. “Probably ‘I’m a professional,’ is one of them I like. But I think I like them all. They’re all good, but that one sticks to me. It’s kind of all-encompassing, entails a lot. ‘Team first,’ too. I’m sorry. Maybe I like ‘team first’ better. I’m trying to picture the T-shirt.”

Odrick explained that the T-shirt is just one example of the Dolphins players coming together as a team.

“Everybody was involved in coming up with that,” he said. “It was a collective effort all around the team. We were involved in a lot of team-building stuff this offseason. I think that really brought us together closer as a team. I think it’s something that we’ve improved upon this offseason.”

PUNT RETURN POSSIBILITIES 

Special teams coach Darren Rizzi indicated that different players will get the opportunity to return punts during the preseason, and one of those is rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

“He can definitely go back there,” Rizzi said. “He’s got very good hands. He’s got good judgment. He’s obviously got very good athletic ability. The second step is obviously, can he do it when there’s people around him? That’s going to be the next step to the process, and we’re going to find that out here in the preseason games. He’ll definitely have some opportunities to do that.”

Marcus Thigpen has returned punts — as well as kickoffs — for the Dolphins the past two seasons. He finished in the middle of the statistical leaders (18th and 19th) in both categories in 2013 after finishing fourth in the NFL in punt return average and fifth in kickoff return average in his first season with the Dolphins in 2012.

“I think the situation is very fluid,” Rizzi said. “We have a lot of options. Marcus Thigpen has the most experience on the team. We have some other players, free agents that we’ve brought in, that have had experience doing it. He has the most experience. So right now if we put a depth chart up, is he No. 1? He is because he’s had the experience. We’re going to look at the situation in the preseason and have other guys do it. Just like every other position battle on the team, it’s a production type of thing.”

LINE DANCING CONTINUES

There again were new combinations along the offensive line at practice Wednesday.

The most significant change had Dallas Thomas taking snaps at right tackle. He lined up at that spot with the first and second units, something lining up next to rookie third-round pick Billy Turner at right guard on the first-team offensive line.

“I want to see some guys in some different spots,” Philbin said. “I want to see how they respond. I want to let them know that they’ve got to produce and perform. We’ve got to find the exact right spots for these guys. Some of these guys, we want to see different matchups against different defensive players or vice versa. So it was kind of planned and I think it’s been a good thing for us and we’re going to continue that throughout the week.”

SITTING OUT

Wide receiver Mike Wallace and center Sam Brenner joined Mike Pouncey and Knowshon Moreno, both of whom are on PUP, in sitting out practice.

Wallace, however, did make it a point at one time to catch passes between the two fields at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University and he was the last player to leave the field after catching balls from the Jugs machine.

THIS AND THAT

Two-minute situations was a focus at practice Wednesday. ... It started raining just before the players were getting ready to head into the bubble for their customary break and the shower intensified after the players returned outside before the rain stopped after about 15 minutes. ... The musical selection during the early warmups was “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground.

LAST WORD

“All the players have got to have great discipline in what they’re doing and we preach that, we coach that and I think Jared, as he’s matured, has gotten better and better. But we expect big things from him, and the fact that he does have that versatility makes him a very, very important part of our defense.” — Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle on Jared Odrick
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