The Miami Dolphins were in the national spotlight Thursday night when a report came out saying the team might punish and potentially suspend players who chose not to adhere to the NFL’s new national anthem policy. The team went on to clarify that no decision had been made
Five short hours later, the NFL and NFL Players Association released a joint statement announcing the sides have “come to a standstill agreement” on the NFL’s policy compelling players to stand during the anthem and the union’s subsequent grievance.
A day after the news surfaced and less than a week before the Dolphins will have their full team together to start training camp, Dolphins coach Adam Gase appeared on WQAM’s Joe Rose Show but didn’t provide much insight when asked about his thoughts on on the matter and what he plans to tell the team before training camp begins next week.
“Well, our guys aren’t going to be here until next Wednesday,” Gase said Friday morning. “Right now, we’re with the rookies. The quarterbacks will be in today. With the NFL and NFLPA discussing what’s going on and how they’re dealing with everything moving forward, that’s really going to be for those guys right now. Really, we’re going to keep getting ready for training camp.”
Later in the day, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released the following statement: “We were asked to submit a form to the NFL on our overall discipline policy prior to the start of the rookie report date. The one line sentence related to the national anthem was a placeholderas we haven’t made a decision on what we would do, if anything, at that point. I’m pleased that the NFL and NFLPA are taking a pause to figure out a resolution on this issue. I am passionate about social justice, and through the Miami Dolphins and creation of RISE, will continue to use the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.”
While Gase was brief on the national anthem discussion, he talked about plenty of the team’s main story lines during a 20-minute segment as the Dolphins prepare for training camp. Veterans report on Wednesday with the first full-squad practice set for Thursday.
▪ On the national perception of the team, with many national outlets projecting a down year for Miami: “Unless somebody tells me that they’ll put their salary on the line on a prediction, I don’t listen to it. So it doesn’t matter. I mean, you look at predictions from last year and how many were wrong. If you’re job was on the line, there would be a lot of unemployed people.”
▪ On quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is coming off a strong showing during organized team activities: “He’s in a good spot right now. You can tell. Going through what he went through last year in the spring and then being able to practice, I think we were 10 practices in, there was a lot of experience gained there. And then having to watch last year and being around as much as he was, he took a lot in. It just helps him with the game slowing down year after year and it’s gotten better over the last three years.”
▪ On how the rookies have progressed: “I think they’re pretty close because when we were in the spring, we had a good feel about where our players were actually at at the time, what they knew, the speed they were playing with. I mean, this group is sharp and they’re workers. They’re not taking shortcuts. They’re putting in the time. Those guys are hanging out together. They’re trying to make sure they’re on the same page. It’s really a fun group to be around. They’re always looking for that extra thing to do. I think heading into camp, they’re putting themselves in a good position to contribute for us and make impacts at certain positions.”