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The highlights from Sparano's TUES. presser

Many of you may remember (although you'd like to forget) that many Dolphins veteran players were held out most of last preseason. Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor played six total preseason snaps. Joey Porter hardly played. Keith Traylor made only a cameo appearance as well.

And when the regular-season began the team, at least significant parts of it, were not in football shape. The Dolphins wore down against Washington in the season-opener and soon a glut of injuries hit the team.

This year coach Tony Sparano is a lot less likely to give veterans preseason games off.

"I believe we were 1-15 and we're trying to change the culture," Sparano said. "In my mind, that being said, we do need to go out as a team, be in the game environment, get as many guys in uniform as we can get in uniform, be in that locker room together, come out of that tunnel together, be on the sideline together. Whatever it is we're going to go through in a game together, we need to see all the reactions and get these guys involved as much as we can.

I've been with Bill [Parcells] for a long enough time, I'm not much on saving guys and doing those things. We'll be smart. We'll be smart with some players. But our players know they need to play."


Matt Roth will work at OLB again today. Eventually, both he and Vonnie Holliday may see some preseason plays at OLB. It doesn't mean they are being converted to LBs. It means the team is trying to maximize its pass rush while also maximize roster spots.

"We want to see either one of these guys or both of these in the games," Sparano said. "It's important they get game reps. Just to take a look and help us with some roster flexibility down the road."


In case you do not remember, I wrote this offseason that Ricky Williams was perhaps the best player in practices and might be one of the team's best players.

Well, he hasn't been dominant in pads as he was in shorts. But he's still darn impressive to Sparano.

"When you're out here in helmets in T-shirts everybody kind of looks good," Sparano said. "When you see them in pads and what he's doing here, I've been impressed with him getting to the second level and his burst. I've been impressed with what I see when he hits the line. He's still able to move people when he's carrying the ball leaning forward. So it's good he can make yards that way. I'm kind of anxious to watch him in a game and see him knock some of that kind of rust off."