Philbin Treating This Week Like The Regular Season

Posted Aug 19, 2012

Establishing a routine is paramount to the success of any organization, which is why Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin is doing his best to simulate a regular-season schedule this week.

Miami hosts the Atlanta Falcons on Friday at Sun Life Stadium in the third preseason game. This is when the starters get the most playing time, so today was set up like a typical Monday. Normally this is the day after a game, but the Dolphins got back in the pre-dawn hours Saturday from Charlotte, N.C., where they lost, 23-17, to the Panthers.

“We brought them in here this morning as if they had played a game yesterday, much like we’ll do September 10th,” said Philbin, who confirmed that the players already had done their weight lifting. “We’re going to have a team meeting at 12:30 p.m., where we’re going to begin the process of revisiting the Carolina game and making the corrections that we think are necessary. Then they’re going to watch the whole film with their coaches from A to Z and after we clean up from Carolina we’ll touch briefly on Atlanta. We’ll have kind of a walk through, jog through type practice, much like they would the day after a game.”

Tuesdays are typically an off day for the players, so Philbin plans to treat tomorrow and Tuesday like a typical Wednesday and Thursday, and then Wednesday will be like a Friday, with Thursday being handled like the day before a game. By this Thursday he’d like the players to feel like they just went through as close to a normal game week as possible and feel as if they are even better prepared for Atlanta.

Out of necessity, rookie defensive end Olivier Vernon and inside linebackers Gary Guyton and Jason Trusnik got indoctrinated to the starters’ routine last week with Cameron Wake, Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby out of the lineup. They all caught Philbin’s eye and should have a bit of a leg up on the other backups this week in terms of settling into the game week routine.

“I think OV (Vernon) did a really nice job,” Philbin said. “The kid did a good job on special teams. If you remember early in the game, the kid was really lathered up within about five minutes. He covered a kickoff, was on a punt team and was playing every snap on defense. He was playing hard. I think it was him on the opening kickoff (who made the tackle), if I’m not mistaken. I like the way he plays the game and I think he did a good job. Guyton and Trusnik stepped in and did some things at linebacker.”

Now today they’ll get a chance to experience what it’s like answering questions from the media in front of their lockers instead of out on the field on their way inside. That is also part of the regular-season routine, a 45-minute media availability session in the locker room.

By week’s end, Philbin’s hope as that all of his players will perform up to his regular-season expectations and he will get the type of performance against the Falcons that he can positively critique.

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