Coach Tony Sparano's mood was better today. Fact is, it was good again.
After seeming gruff, curt and borderline ornery on Thursday, Sparano was his old self against today. His mood was good enough that I asked him why he is in such an obviously bad mood the day before.
"Terrible lunch upstairs," he said, tongue-in-cheek.
The fact is, as I wrote yesterday, the Dolphins are under much pressure. They realize they are 3-5 and that makes them a bad team, a team that isn't looking like a playoff team, much less an AFC East defending champion.
So Sparano has ordered something of a reset to make sure his players understand that 3-5 is not acceptable. The Dolphins have a chance to go from 3-5 to 5-5 in one week.
Sparano doesn't want his players to blow that opportunity by not being focused on their tasks -- on their jobs.
"I just made a specific emphasis that the fun and games need to be out there on the field," Sparano said when asked about the declining number of domino games in the locker room. "But I think these guys really understand the importance. They understand where we are. Concentration, all those things, paying attention to the details.
"Only thing I've asked them is I want the conversations around here to be a little bit more about football. There's nothing wrong with, and I am pro the players on their down time relaxing and interacting with each other, It's critical. But it's ok to talk about football, too. I talk about football all the time with my wife."
Sparano seems pleased with his team's preparation this week. He said the team had "three really good practices," and that Friday, "was one of the best practices in a long time."
Sparano said all of Miami's injured players were "a little bit better," today. But that was before the injury report came out.
Paul Soliai was limited in practice Friday after not practicing Wednesday and Thursday. Soliai is doubtful for the game despite the upgrade.
Justin Smiley (shoulder) and Erik Walden (hamstring) adid not practice and are also doubtful for the game. Anthony Fasano (hip) is questionable after being limited in practice all week long.