Prior to the start of week one, the Dolphins played their last preseason game on Thursday, August 29th in an away game against the New Orleans Saints. Ten days later in the season opener they faced the Cleveland Browns in another away game.
“Well, when the schedule came out I knew we had a 10 day window between the last preseason game and the first game, and I thought that was the best way to proceed. Then we also have a Monday night game during the fourth week. Anyway the (inaudible) best way to keep a rhythm would be to go with a later day off in the week. We are giving it a whirl," explained Coach Joe Philbin.
At the time, the idea of returning to Tuesdays off for the remainder of the regular season was up in the air.
After week one Philbin reflected more on his initial decision to have a Tuesday practice before the game against Cleveland.
“We kind of studied it, we thought this was the best way to prepare our team for this game. Obviously we know we have an extra practice day, and we felt like they were off for two days, we could have three days of good hard work, give them a day off, let them try and catch their breath a little bit and finalize things at the end of the week."
Players have responded positively to the practice schedule change, but some players think it could be troublesome later in the season.
"It's an adjustment; I feel great right now," guard Richie Incognito said of the switch. "Definitely, later on in the season, coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday is going to be a grind."
Philbin and the other coaches have acclimated well in regards to making time to formulate game plans. Before Sunday’s game against the Colts, they prepared with longer study sessions.
“We had a long day yesterday (Monday). We also had a lot of time to study Indianapolis. Throughout the course of the preseason there is some down time in the preseason schedule. We also took a lot of time last spring and studied them. We had plenty of time to watch the one game they played on tape yesterday.”
After just a few weeks of the adjusted schedule, it seems to be a permanent fixture.
“We’ll see. We are going to play it by ear,” says Philbin.
The Dolphins have started the 2013 season impressively at 2-0. Over the past couple weeks (despite off season reports of them being likely contenders to win the AFC East division) the Dolphins have been picked to lose their first two games by a majority of the votes and spreads.
Maybe the decision to adjust the practice schedule isn’t a bad idea. If there have been any effects, they all look to be all positive. Should the schedule start to affect the team, Philbin is confident that the necessary changes would be made in the best interest of the football team.
“You would have to give it some thought to how the best way to prepare your team. It’s all about preparing your team and giving them the best chance to perform to their potential Sunday. This is in my opinion, the best way to do it."
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