NOTEBOOK: Short Week Tests The Body; Other Notes

Posted Nov 13, 2012

Player fitness comes to the forefront.

Everyone recovers at a different pace from a football game when it’s a normal week, so shorten it by four days and all bets are out the window.

Both the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are coming off of tough losses on Sunday with no time to soak limitlessly in the cold tub. When they take the field Thursday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., it will be a little more than 100 hours since they played, and depending on which player you ask, that’s either nowhere close to their normal recovery time or right at the spot when they just feel okay.

“On a normal week my body usually doesn’t start to feel good until about Friday or Saturday,” said Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, who leads the team with 555 rushing yards. “So this game is why I say it’s going to really come down to just Football 101 and doing the basic things right and making sure we’re fundamentally sound.”

To that end, the training staffs had a lot a more put on their plates from the moment Sunday’s games concluded, especially with players dealing with injuries. Bush has been battling a sore knee since the Week 3 game against the New York Jets and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is still recovering from the knee injury that knocked him out of the second Jets game.

Head Coach Joe Philbin understood the challenge of how to design yesterday’s walk-through and today’s full practice in order to get the most out of them while also making sure not to pound them too hard.

“I thought they had good energy today and I think that’s one of those things where as a coach you’re never quite sure,” he said. “We had a walk-through type practice yesterday and a good, upbeat, crisp practice today, but I think on a short week you’re always careful about how much is the right amount of work, what’s the right tempo and how long should we keep them out there. I don’t know if anybody has it down to a science that it’s X amount of minutes or X amount of reps, but I thought we had a good, productive practice.”

The plus side of the Thursday game is of course the fact that when it’s over there is a 10-day window before the next game on November 25th, which is back at Sun Life Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I don’t mind the quick turnaround because it’s advantageous to the teams that are healthy and feeling good,” tight end Anthony Fasano said. “It is a quick turnaround physically and mentally, but you also get that weekend and a couple days rest afterwards. So if you can make a quick game work for you, get a win out of it and stay healthy then I think it’s a positive and like a mini-bye.”


## There was a bit of a twist with the music selections during stretching and warm-ups this time with the only night game of the season on the horizon. Bob Seger’s “Night Moves,” got things started and that was followed by The Beatles classic, “A Hard Day’s Night.” Of course, both songs are way too old for any of the current players to remember.

## A lot of the talk in the locker room two days later was about Tannehill’s tackle of Titans linebacker Zach Brown after his third interception. He took a good angle and showed good form and technique in wrapping up Brown near the right sideline. “He wrapped his arms around him and kind of twisted him down. It was impressive,” tight end Anthony Fasano said. “Maybe we should get him on some special teams.” Tannehill admitted he used his anger from throwing the interception to his advantage when making the tackle.

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