Head Coach Brian Flores addressed the media before the start of training camp practice Saturday. Here were some comments that stood out, along with some perspective:
"First and foremost, it's about getting into a practice tempo."
— Saturday marked the first day the Dolphins could practice in pads and while Flores said he liked moving to a different level of work, he emphasized the focus remains on fundamentals.
"It'll get chippy out there and that's a good thing. At the same time, we've got to keep our poise."
— With pads coming on, the intensity level and physicality inevitably ramp up. That can lead to some heated moments (beyond the weather), which Flores doesn't mind if they're handled properly.
"They understand that time is important to me. I don't like to waste it. There's a lot we're trying to accomplish here."
— Being on time — and even early — is clearly important to Flores, and he explained that his players have gotten the message. Media members certainly have, because he regularly has begun his press conference a little bit ahead of the scheduled time. Flores joked that some people think his fascination with being on time or early is "a little out there."
"I've heard it my entire life."
— The themes of smart, tough and disciplined have come up time and time again since Flores became Dolphins head coach, and he said those traits were emphasized by his parents all the way through his high school coach, Dino Mangiero, and then his head coach at Boston College, Tom O'Brien. Flores says a "disciplined team" is one that doesn't beat itself.
"He's on a quest to get better. He wants to fill the potential he knows he has and we know he has."
— Cornerback Xavien Howard was revealed as the No. 55 player on the NFL Network's annual Top 100 list, and Flores called him a "talented, talented player" who is looking to get better. Flores says there's a lot of things he likes about Howard, including his toughness and competitiveness.