Miami Dolphins

Last year, the Dolphins’ buzzword was ‘Strain.’ Is 2017 the year to ‘Zero In?’

It’s a new year, with a new slogan for the Dolphins.
It’s a new year, with a new slogan for the Dolphins.

Adam Gase loves his catchphrases. And when he finds one that works, he sticks with it.

Three things were constant at Dolphins camp in 2016.

The sun would rise in the east, set in the west, and Gase would wear a team-issued T-shirt with the word STRAIN on the front.

His explanation at the time:

“It’s just something that we’ve been kind of talking about, probably since training camp. [Strength and conditioning coach Dave] Puloka kind of jumped on it and we were just talking about finishing every play, straining every play, making sure that we were just selling out and it kind of became one of those sayings a lot of guys are using as far as making sure that we are straining every play. Our biggest thing that we keep talking about is, you never know when that one play is going to make a difference in the game.”

It worked. The Dolphins went 10-6 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Well it’s a new year. And with it comes perhaps a new slogan.

When players reported to the first day of spring workouts Monday, many put on a new shirt.

It’s message?

ZERO IN.

What’s it mean? Gase hasn’t been asked about it, but he may have hinted at the thinking behind it Monday when he sat down for an interview with the team’s in-house video department.

“I want our team to just understand that we're starting over, we're 0-0,” Gase said. “The last thing we can do is just rest on last year. It's basically just dead and gone. We're moving forward. Our job is to get better everyday, and it started today for us. Bring our A-game everyday. Make sure you're learning from every experience that you have, whether it be on the field or through a workout, and find ways to improve. Don't be complacent on what has happened in the past. Because at the end of the day, we're being evaluated on what happens this season.”

Another Easter Egg in that video:

The word “TRUTH” written across the back wall of the team’s general meeting room. Gase was huge on accountability in Year 1, and that doesn’t seem likely to change in Year 2.

UPDATE: Ryan Tannehill appeared on camera today wearing a ZERO IN shirt.

Here’s his explanation:

“Really just trying to lock in. So last year was kind of a starting point for us. But we left so much out there. So many details that we didn’t ‘zero in’ on and lock in and be consistent with. So that’s kind of our theme right now, heading into this offseason is focusing on the little things, details and improving those. And that will pay big dividends on the grand scheme of things.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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