The Blitz: Fuel for the Fire

January 5, 2021

The next time the Dolphins tee it up and play another regular season football game is nine months out, but that doesn't stop the team from thinking about that second weekend in September.

Today on the Blitz, we'll hear from a handful of Dolphins veterans about fueling the fire, detail center Ted Karras' first season with Miami, and On This Date in Dolphins History: Jason Taylor wins Defensive Player of the Year.

They Said It

In other sports, the layoff between games is often brief; sometimes only one day. In football, playing once a week requires a level of mental fortitude to put a performance in the rearview mirror and focus on what's next.

However, every season comes to an end at some point, and for all but one club, the ending comes with a bitter pill.

Monday, Dolphins players explained the fuel for the fire provided by Sunday's unsatisfactory result.

"I don't want to speak for the rest of the guys but it definitely left a sour taste in a lot of our mouths," Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah said.

Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was asked about the message Head Coach Brian Flores conveyed to this team about the offseason.

"To use this as fuel for the fire," Van Ginkel said. "Obviously that one stung and just to remember that feeling and use it as motivation in the offseason and use it going forward, and use it to help push you to be the best player and work on your weaknesses throughout the offseason."

"It's a good motivator to kind of remember what that feeling feels like, because obviously you don't want to feel like that again," Dolphins safety Eric Rowe said.

"We're just going to keep going upward," linebacker Jerome Baker said. "We're led by a great leader in 'Coach Flo' and the ownership. We just have great people all around. The only place we can go is up. We have great guys in the locker room, great trainers, we have a great support staff, we have it all. We just have to put it all together and the Miami Dolphins are definitely going to go upward."

Around the Beat

Peter King listed 20 people who defined the NFL during this tumultuous, unprecedented season. Among them, Miami's Head Athletic Trainer Kyle Johnston.

The Dolphins didn't have the fewest positive tests in the league, but they were probably the most aggressive team in going beyond league protocols to try to keep COVID at bay. Many teams were vigilant. In Miami, coach Brian Flores encouraged Johnston to add extra safeguards. Johnston did, and shared some with the NFL, to pass along to other teams. Such as this one: To be sure all players and employees were wearing Kinexon tracing and social-distancing devices while at the team facility, Miami installed sensors in doorways to ensure no one left the Kinexon thingie in a locker or desk.

You can read more here.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

January 5, 2007 - Defensive end Jason Taylor is named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the third Dolphin to earn that honor, joining safety Dick Anderson (1973) and defensive end Doug Betters (1983).

Stat of the Day

Dolphins center Ted Karras played all 1,067 offensive snaps for the Dolphins in 2020. He was the only player on either side of the ball to play 100 percent of his unit's respective workload.

"It was one of my biggest accomplishments in my career, in my life," Karras said.

Karras was more than just an able body; he produced. He allowed only 11 quarterback pressures on 667 pass-blocking snaps for a team-best 98.4 percent pass block win rate.

Content on Tap

We'll hear from Head Coach Brian Flores and General Manager Chris Grier at their end-of-season press conference later today. We'll recap the highlights on Top News and on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield, part of the Miami Dolphins podcast network.

Plus, Tuesday marks the return of Dolphins Today as Carina gets you caught up on the latest from Dolphins headquarters.

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