“This was originally going to be a day off for the players on the original calendar,” Philbin said. “Because of the uncertainty and, first and foremost we want to make sure our players and their families are safe, we came in today as opposed to having today off when the weather is at least not threatening to everybody. It may not be nice but we thought it would be wiser to work and then work early tomorrow morning, get them out of the building and make sure they have time and then not bring them back until late on Monday to make sure they have time to take care of things that they need to.”
Last night’s game ended just before 11 p.m., so by the time the players showered, changed and took care of their media responsibilities it was past 11:30 when they hit the road. They were back in the building for meetings and lifting sessions this morning and then a full afternoon practice inside the bubble.
Tomorrow, as Philbin explained, will be an abbreviated day in the morning and then Monday will be the same except in the late afternoon, with Tuesday a travel day in advance of Wednesday’s final preseason game at the Dallas Cowboys.
“If they have a family they’re going to be worried about their family if this storm develops,” Philbin said. “We’re certainly not good at predicting the weather and as we know things can change. This was the best plan we felt for everybody, for number one the players and their families, and obviously we have to get some work to get ready to play Dallas as well.
“It’s not really a distraction, it’s life and it’s not a big deal. We’re just making sure that everybody’s safe and we can get the work done that we need to get done at the appropriate time when it’s relevant. Pass skelly’s important and team run’s important and blitz is important, but not if your family’s in peril. So we’ve got to use some common sense.”
FIRST ROUND OF CUTS NOT EASY: Even though the team has until Monday afternoon to trim the roster down to 75 players, Philbin and General Manager Jeff Ireland expedited the process this morning by releasing nine players and placing running back
Releasing a player is never easy, but Philbin emphasized that doing it this early can be viewed as being beneficial to all parties.
“If this is where you’re at and things aren’t really going to change then it’s probably in everybody’s best interest, the players and the organization, to move forward,” he said. “We do have to make a couple more and we’re just going to hopefully let the dust settle a little bit and then make those decisions at the appropriate time.”