The Dolphins have completed 21 practices since the start of training camp, not counting Sunday's walk-thru practice. The team will play its first preseason game Monday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And while every player will, no doubt, give all he has in the coming games, Tony Sparano says in my Sunday Dolphins column that not every player on his team gives his all during every practice.
Sparano tells me in the column what he does about those players.
I also speak to a player who admits coaches have confronted him and want him to practice harder. Read the column to learn who the player is. This player has great potential and Miami coaches are doing all they can to milk every ounce of effort from him in practice.
So why is getting the most out of players in practice so important to Sparano?
"How we practice really does affect how we play," Sparano told me. "Some guys have the abitlity to not practice well all the time and play well. But most guys, it goes the other way."
Well, what's the big deal with practice, you might ask, as long as the player is a gamer?
"And people say to me, what do you prefer?" Sparano said. "You prefer the way who plays on Sunday, right? Sure, you prefer the guy who plays on Sunday. But that guy could be a distraction. That guy that doesn't practice well enough during the course of the week becomes a bit of a distraction sometimes.
"My job is to eliminate distractions and that's where I go to confront."
By the way, the column identifies one player that needs to practice better. Can you identify others?