We have new faces and new parts, and were trying to find our identity, and it takes some time, guard Richie Incognito said. You have to find rhythm, you have to find balance, you have to find out how to attack teams, and that takes time.
But with this extra time in camp, I think that will play to our benefit.
Coach Joe Philbin asked to play an extra exhibition game to have more time to bring this team together this preseason. Thats not all hes counting on. After starting 1-3 last year, he and his assistants know they have to start fast and are stressing that to players.
We have to get out of the gate better as a football team this year, theres no question about it. Thats something were going to focus on, Philbin said.
Philbin says the Dolphins are currently in the installation and teaching phase of training camp. The pace is not fast. The work is more focused on technique and corrections and simply teaching.
But on July 31, before the Aug. 4 preseason opener against Dallas, the tempo will increase as will the expectation that players know their assignments and execute them quickly as theyve been taught.
And, oh yes, thats when Philbin will begin putting his team in crisis situations so those wont be unfamiliar at the start of the season.
At the start of practice well say, Hey this is the opening possession of the game. Well set up the ball in a certain spot, maybe a difficult spot for the offense and say we had a kickoff return and say we had a penalty so the ball is at the 15, Philbin said. Well crank the crowd noise up and play a possession or two there.
There are a number of scenarios at the end of the game that we have to do a better job also. Well insert them into practice at different times to create a different tempo. As you know, in training camp at times it gets tedious for players, so we want to keep them off balance.
If the plan works, the sting of early season games at Indianapolis and New Orleans could be dulled. If the plan works, maybe that early schedule wont look like such a monster after all.