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Dolphins must use bad weather to an advantage

It rains in South Florida. A lot.

Anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows that rainy season rolls in around the same time training camp opens up for the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes. The rains really don't depart until late September or early October. Sometimes it stays longer.

That's why I remember standing in the rain and feeling (and smelling) like a wet dog during the days Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson were the Dolphins coaches -- because both coaches forced their teams to practice in the elements. And the media had to stand there and watch.

Shula would contend practicing in the rain would prepare his teams for dealing with the rain when it came down during the regular season. Johnson believed the practices in the rain toughened up his team.

It wasn't until Nick Saban arrived in town that the idea of practicing in the rain became unwelcome.

Saban petitioned then-owner Wayne Huizenga to build him a practice bubble to serve multiple purposes: It got the team out of the elements whenever it rained and there was lightning in the area. It gave the players a break from the oppressive heat and kept them fresher because the bubble is air conditioned. It also served as a field turf surface the team could work on during weeks it was preparing for games at stadiums with field turf surfaces.

But even Saban sometimes allowed his team to soak in the rain when thunder wasn't a worry.

This training camp is the first I can recall the Dolphins have not had one practice in a heavy downpour. Oh, it has rained in Davie during times the Dolphins were either scheduled to be on the field or at Sun Life Stadium. In fact, the night the team was to open Sun Life to a practice/scrimmage, it rained quite hard.

But the Dolphins have not used those instances to work in that heavy rain. The team has used such occassions to go in the bubble. The practice at Sun Life was canceled because of the elements.

So on Saturday night when it poured again at Sun Life at the start of the preseason game against Tampa Bay, it marked the first time this preseason the team worked outside in a heavy rain. And it showed. There were dropped passes. The team seemed out of sorts.

Tampa Bay, which played in the exact same elements, seemed more at home in the mud and goop and soggy conditions. The Bucs took a lead on the Dolphins while it was raining. The Dolphins, behind the performance of their backups, played better when the rain stopped and eventually won, 10-7.

The hope here is that next time it rains during training camp while the Dolphins are practicing or scheduled to practice, that the coaching staff use the elements as a teaching tool. Yes, it will be uncomfortable. Yes, it could get sloppy.

But it's better for the team to go through its wet-ball drills and get used to working in the unpleasant conditions now -- during training camp and the preseason -- than have to make that adjustment during a game.

Because there is no guarantee every Sunday at Sun Life will be sunny and mild in September and October.

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Darryl,

After I read what you posted about Misi, I went back and watched him again.

The only negative I saw was him making a common freshman mistake. He's trying to take on the block and make the play whether it goes inside or out. Alot of OLB's coming out of college aren't used to having solid ILB play and they try to do too much.
As soon as he learns to trust Dansby and Crowder and commit to his assignment he'll be fine.
I admit I haven't seen a lot of Misi, but from what I have, I think he's going to be a Pro Bowler.

PS: The hunting trip went great. I bagged some pine trees, a crow and an empty bottle of Rum!

Pretty obvious some of you never played a down of football in your life. Playing in the rain, especially a hard rain, changes the game bigtime. If you're not used to it, you will not only lose, you'll look like clowns doing it.

Quite right Cuban. Weather can decide a game. Extreme heat, cold, rain and snow. Can't do anything about cold and snow but we can about the other two.

Anybody ask Shula what he thinks about the bubble?

Honestly Cuban, it's hard to blame Ross for that IMO. If the so called "fans", down here would buy tickets this wouldn't be an issue. Ross has spent the money on the players, the Stadium and the atmosphere to make this a success To me it is a shame we can't sell out with Season tickets 72,000 seats for 10 games, in a Tri-County area of close to 4 million people, when places like Green Bay has a 30 year waiting list. I just don't know what else to say on this subject.

Get rid of the bubble

Bobby, Gotta say that Ross is Light years better then Wayne(Be kind, Rewind)Huizanga that he's brought in the most sought after Defensive player and Offensive player that were avilable this year, I gotta give him "Props" for that....

Anybody know Marlon Moore's 40 time?

The way he came back for the ball on the TD drive was awesome. Ted Ginn would have given up and let the CB make the play.

I haven't been able to find a 40 time, any help?

Ok guys, gotta go, Peace be with my fellow fin fans..............

That's how Miami Dolphins preparing for their games.Sunny day or rainy days,they will work hard to win the game.Very impressive training and i'm sure it will help a lot.

Odin here it is.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2010/draft/players/22718.html

His 40 time is 4.51

ManZana, Let it go brother, Forget about the "TK8", Let them have a place to be Buffoons, Never lower yourself to look at that blog again.... Peace be with you my Brother.... Oh by the way "RELEASE THE KRACKEN......LOL

WHY Cuban Menace ?? because you've been banned from there ?? You liked it when you were allowed on there. Stop embarrassing yourself. It pathetic !!!!!!

Broncos = Worthless

Mcdaniels = Cheap

Denvers D = Dreadful

Watching Tim Tebow getting Knocked on his @ss constantly = Priceless

Somewhere on the sidelines Tebows probably thinking " Glad im not the starting QB for this team ----UGH!!!!

and as i say that he rushes for a 12 yard score to end the game*lol*.....gainseville breaths a sigh of releif---PHINOUT

I agree. Let's quit babying those bas tards and make them earn that big coin.....!!!
GROW UP BOYS!!! THIS IS THE BIG LEAGUE. WAKE THE F UCK UP!!! CATCH THOSE FING BALLS!!!!!!!

I have one suggestiion to Sparano; start practicing in the mud and rain, bc the first home game is on Sept 26 vs Jets, with the baseball field still there, and I honestly don't want any excuses if it rains. You better bring your game and shut down those damn Jets!

Mando, good article and I just hope The Trifecta reads this article.. they need to get rid of the damn bubble. Use it when it's thundering, not when it's just raining.. use this weather to your advantage!!! I wonder if Buffalo or the Patriots practice in a bubble when it's snowing up north.

BTW, how did you like Micah Johnson... He impressed me.. I know he played mostly against the 2nd and 3rd teamers, but wasn't everybody. he had a great game. I hope he makes the team.

NJ stop posting as marc, sad sad boy...

It's amazing how so many of you think the coaches have not considered every single thing anyone ever suggests here. These coaches live and breath it 24/7, watching the tape they see 10 times more than any non pro sees. They are considering far more factors than any of us even think about. I'm not so sure any other coaching staff could have done any better going into the 3rd year after taking over a 1-15 club. Rex Ryan is trying to build a one year flash winner make or break, the trifecta is laying the foundation for a long term playoff bound team. For all those the critics who are upset that every single trade or draft pick didn't work out, ask yourself who else would have done better in the last few years. I'll take what the trifecta has done over any of the other options at the time.

DISAGREE. the benefits of having these multimillionaires risk slipping up and injuring themselves on the practice field for a game condition that may never happen doesn't out weigh the cost. IMO its the right call.

imagine if we lost jake or marshall in such a practice. horrific. did we play a game in the rain last season?

GO DOLPHINS!!!

Here's hoping they practice in the rain this week...

We need a hurricane to take out the Nick Saban Bubble...but no one can be in it when it happens.

NJ stop posting as marc, sad sad boy...

Yeah menace , everybody that doesn't like you is NJ to you. i have news for you , he's not the only one that is sick and tired of you crying and posting non stop BS with your multiple personalities. Grow a pair will you !

i wonder if cuban man-ass home and the few other d-head posters are all the same closet flamer. could be.

TED GINN GREW OVER HE SUMMER?

"THE"

A few thought on some of the posts I have read...

The First Posted by: cinq,
"The key thing I want to see is where they are after 4 games, if they are not at least 2-2, only then will I begin lose confidence in where this team is heading."

Cinq, Miami was undefeated in the preseason last year, they finished the year 7-9 as you doubtlessly know. Preseason is not ever been a good gauge of a teams regular season performance. Even in their undefeated '72 season they lost 2 out of the 6 preseason games and squeaked by Green Bay 13-14 (A missed xtra point being the culprit).

Darryl, While nearly always agreeing with you on matters of Miami Dolphins, I disagree with you about Misi's performance. With 2 solo tackles and 1 assist along with nearly always being near the play I thought he did just fine as a first game rookie. Add 36 more minutes of play with the defense running its full scheme and he should have been in the teens in tackles. He will learn to deal with strong tackles with his speed.

Armando, I agree, somewhat.... I can see your point, I can also see your penning a Hammertime slam job on the Management for allowing a High Dollar Free Agent to get hurt out on a soggy Practice field when they have a perfectly good indoor DRY field to practice on. Clever Piece, But it could go either way, which is way too convenient for me to give you many props for its depth.

All and all Miami played with a Stark White Vanilla offense and defense. I saw none of the Blitz sets I saw at the Saturday scrimmage. I saw none of the sideline receiver sets or play action. As a matter of fact, play action was non existent, they did not run one play action play. Something I eel would have set Tampa on its heals. Its clear Miami is staying with the team belief of absolute secrecy to the point of embarrassment. While that may be, I sill see execution and not talent as the issue. Miami has the players to get the job done, they just need to do what they are there to do.

Lasty, I have heard Crowder really bashed on this blog, I have done it myself. I he continues in that form, he will have his breakout year. And Safety?? They looked GREAT at safety all the way to the Rookies. I saw plenty of guys get burned in games this week. I saw plenty of receivers "GOOD" receivers dropping passes... relax, we have a good team and they are going to win way more then they lose.

Pretty obvious some of you never played a down of football in your life. Playing in the rain, especially a hard rain, changes the game big-time. If you're not used to it, you will not only lose, you'll look like clowns doing it.

Posted by: cocoajoe

Been there done that Joe... I could not agree more. Even if well practiced in rain, that infield mud is something different altogether. Anyone who has ever played softball or baseball knows it can be as slick as well oiled knockers. Holding the football in one hand (or a well oiled knocker for that matter) while it has that wet red dirt on it is nearly impossible (but could be a TON of fun!), throwing it without it looking like a duck in flight is even worse, did you see some of Henne's passes fluttering? His passes are like darts, they don't flutter a bit. They were obviously having trouble.
I saw no Knockers fluttering, Sad :(

DON'T GET RID OF THE PRACTICE BUBBLE!
We need it to prepare for those games when we'll play in a dome or when it's lightning out but practice must go on. (Otherwise, you lose a day of practice)m

DO
Practice in the rain (provided it's not lightning out).
Practice on a baseball infield. That way the players are familiar with changing from dirt to sod. AND, make at least one of those practices WET! Even if it's at 3/4 speed! Soak the thing down with water so everyone understands what to do in a BOG!
Coaches get paid to prepare the team for whatever they face in a game. Including weather conditions and the condition of the field. If you practice on a baseball field, you can play on one.
Practice the way you play! Now, shut up crying about the first. Pre-season game (that you won) and FEED the dang WOLF!!!

Derek, Odin- I think that when Misi was drafted, the FO knew that he was going to need a little polishing(what rookie doesn't) He is a tenacious defender. The tackle he made in the second quarter where he tracked down the ball carrier 10 yards down the field showed that. He just seemed to get pushed around a little, something that coaching and experience will fix. I think that he will be a very good player, I just think he may have e few growing pains on the way

Darryl,

As I said above, I am usually 100% in agreement with yo, and still am. I believe he still needs that full off season of conditioning and strength training with the staff, Do you see the difference in what Hartline looked like last season and this year? Its HUGE... I believe that "getting pushed around" deal may settle with experience this year and then disappear with a build up next. Zack even got nicked a little in year one... after that he was a human missile. Please take no offense in my post... none was meant.

Derek- Absolutley none taken. I actually am watching some more tape, and might have been a little harsh. This goes back to a game that I saw a few years ago against Wyoming. Misi had a rough day against a bigger more physical player. Perhaps I need to forget about that because it was 3 seasons ago(In that game S.Smith had a crushing hit, I thin it may even be on You Tube. Utah V Wyoming Oct 2008.
I appreciate any debate, or forum that fans can talk Phins. Thanks for your insight, it is always a pleasure to read your stuff.

Even a high school coach wouldn't make all of his players practice in the afternoon and then expect them to perform well on a Friday night underneath bright lights! You prepare for gametime conditions. And, that includes weather and field conditions too. You play a game on a crappy field, you practice on a crappy field! Sparano (and Parcells) should know better. Let's hope that they've learned a valuable lesson here and get their noses out of the X's and O's. Feed the dang Wolf!!!

THEY NEED TO KICK THE MARLINS OUT OF SUN LIFE AND GET RID OF THAT BS BASEBALL PILE OF MUD!...its not like anyone watches the marlins play anyway

Zach,
2012 the Marlins will be in the new Park. To be honest and fair, the Marlins have a fine fan base here. However, no one likes watching a baseball game in a football stadium. Every time I go to a Marlins game I leave with a stiff neck from always having to look sideways the whole game to see the batters box. I believe when the new park is open so close to town and pedestrian/Bike/ car traffic attendance will go way up.

Darryl,

With some of the issues we have on this blog... I always look for your stuff along with the few others who are not trying out for the "Clown of the month" Award. It gets very frustrating and sometimes even disconcerting some of the stuff I rad on this blog. I have though about paying 15 bucks a month to open a web sight just to give all those clown somewhere to go without destroying the blog daily.

I decided against it when I found I could go to prison for having a nasty virus waiting on them when they logged on....

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, wasn't that the first pre-season game? IT'S A SCRIMMAGE!!!

Relax, the sky isn't falling. Sporano isn't an idiot. Ross isn't evil. It still will rain in South Florida. (Although the odds of it raining during their first two home games is probably less then 30%)

The team was sloppy in the slop. Big deal. It meant nothing. The truth is, that game was great practice in case it does rain in September at home.

Derek4 - My comment about needing to see at least a 2-2 start meant in the regular season, not preseason....the way I wrote it wasn't clear.

Yes, It is dangerous but ...
with NWO using HAARP WOMD for flooding

Miami Dolphins should practice in extremely flooded conditions

Chances are the weather and HAARP induced precipitation of rain, snow and hail will reach disaster levels of epic proportion

So NFL games will be being played in extremely severe weather

The HAARP triggered floods of Pakistan over the last 2 weeks have literally washed away
thousands of towns and villages.
UN Secretary General has reported this is the worst flooding ever seen in the world
Nearly one in 10 Pakistanis -- up to 20 million people -- have been affected from the NWO HAARP flooding.

So
Again we ask only one question.

Home, What The Hell Is Going On!?

Miami Dolfans

Have a HAARPy day! :(

Yeah, between idiot Stephen Ross decision not to play games in the heat and the coaches' decision not to practice in the bad weather, there's really not that much of a home field advantage any more.

Beware Dolphin Fans

"Sometimes your knight in shining armor turns out to be a re-tard in a tin foil hat"

Mr. Know it All knows what I mean

Home's "very happy" to be his EX-Wife

Highlights and lowlights from Dolphins preseason opener by Matty I on Aug 16, 2010 5:15 AM EDT in Miami Dolphins News Dolphinsider

It may have been sloppy and, at times, uninteresting. But it's still Dolphins football - and a win.

The Dolphins opened their 2010 preseason at a rain-soaked Sun Life Stadium and were out-played, totaling over a hundred yards fewer than Tampa Bay - who were one of the worst teams in the NFL last year. Still, despite what some might want you to think, the sky is not falling. It's not time to panic. The season is not doomed.

Okay?

So let's talk about both the positives and negatives from Saturday night's 10-7 win over the Bucs.

HIGHLIGHTS

-Defensive tackle Paul Soliai looked like a different player on the field Saturday night. His insanely athletic "leap" to recover that fumble was impressive enough. But more importantly, he was virtually unblockable - even by two offensive linemen. He was also at his best when he wasn't asked to be the nose tackle, but rather lining up off the center as a defensive tackle. That's something to note as we see how Mike Nolan works Soliai into the defensive line rotation.

-Rookies Jared Odrick and Koa Misi were both very active in their first action a professionals. Odrick was being double-teamed more than nose tackle Randy Starks was. And he still displayed good power, standing up his man at the point of attack a couple of times. Misi, meanwhile, was active when he as on the field. We saw his coverage skills on display as well as a good power rush right at the offensive tackle, who probably had a good 40 pounds on Koa. It's still worth noting (and if you read Omar Kelly's work, then you are well aware) that though Misi did start, Ike Alama-Francis split action with him with the first-team defense.

-Cornerback Nate Ness is making a case to be on this team. He practically protected the win by himself with his two pass break-ups in the endzone and then the forced fumble that sealed the game. All told, Ness had 4 tackles, 3 pass break-ups, and 2 forced fumbles. Now that's a day's work. If the Dolphins keep a sixth cornerback as insurance considering Will Allen's knee issue, Ness made a strong case to be that guy.

-Rookie corner Nolan Carroll may become the favorite to return kickoffs after his one strong return of 27 yards on Saturday. Carroll is going to be on the team - which already gives him an advantage over a guy who would be just a return man like Tristan Davis. I'm thinking Carroll starts getting the bulk of the work in practice as the kick returner to see what he can do with more experience at the job.

-Receivers Patrick Turner and Marlon Moore both rose to the occasion as they battle to be the fifth receiver. But the edge goes to Turner if he keeps this play up because of the investment made by the Dolphins to him. Moore, Julius Pruitt, and Roberto Wallace all are practice squad options, too.

-Rookie right guard John Jerry quietly had a hell of a game. He displayed his pure strength on a couple of running plays, wiping out the man in front of him. I suspect Jerry will actually win the starting job, meaning Richie Incognito, Donald Thomas, Nate Garner, and Cory Procter will all be battling for the left guard job.

-Ronnie Brown looked strong out there. He ran for 16 yards on his first two carries since recovering from foot surgery. He didn't look hesitant at all - even on the mud. And he played the entire first half. Ronnie looks to be ready to go when some questioned if he'd be 100% by opening day.

-Cornerback Sean Smith did allow that one touchdown when he played too soft despite having safety help. He needs to be right up on the receiver in that situation. But he quietly had a good game. He showed improved tackling and picked off that long pass from Josh Johnson. It wasn't a tough interception - but he showed he can turn around and locate the football (I hope Vontae took notes).

-Defensive end Lionel Dotson had a solid game against Tampa's number two offensive line. He really owned his side all night.

-Punter Brandon Fields had a hell of a game. He averaged over 50 yards per punt, with three 60+ yarders. It may sound unimportant, but those kinds of punts can instantly change those field-position battles which greatly influence games.

LOWLIGHTS

-Receivers Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline - the two starters - combined for one receptions and three drops. Marshall's second drop, in particular (pictured above) was rather disgusting. But let's all relax. Like Brandon said, he's caught over 300 balls the past three years. He hasn't suddenly forgotten how to catch. He'll be fine. Let's just move on.

-Cornerback Vontae Davis needs to show improvement at turning and locating the football. He had perfect position on that deep ball to Mike Williams. But he couldn't find the ball and Williams made the 30 yard reception. Not acceptable.

-Three penalties from the starting offensive line in just over a quarter? Really? Let's knock off the stupid mistakes.

-Offensive tackle Andrew Gardner had a rough night. His man beat him too many times. Right now, he's behind Lydon Murtha for that final OT spot.

-Center Jake Grove isn't going to win back his starting job by making poor snaps. Yes, the field conditions were terrible. But Joe Berger didn't have that problem, did he? Grove needs to get his act together quickly or he's going to be a back-up to start the year.

-Is it safe to say that quarterback Pat White is a long shot to make the roster? He played three snaps - a hand-off and two kneel-downs. But they were perfect kneel-downs, though.

-Safety Chris Clemons needs to improve his tackling. I was underwhelmed with his performance. He didn't lock up the starting spot like I thought he could with a good showing. Now the battle will continue into next week's game.

Random Thoughts

-Chad Henne wasn't as bad as people are making it seem. His throw to Brian Hartline on that 3rd & 10 was right on the money despite Henne having a defender coming right at his face. And his 5/11 line looks drastically different if those three drops are caught. How's 8/11 for 50+ yards sound? Not great, but much better. I know some of you are already going to start calling for Henne's head. But that's just ridiculous. Henne will be just fine.

-We didn't see any exotic blitzes from Mike Nolan. He's holding them back for the real games.

-I also think the offense held back with their play-calling, particularly with the starters. We'll see more down-field passing. Trust me.

-Yes, I agree with all of you. This coaching staff needs to let their team practice in less than ideal conditions (i.e. rain). Not all the time. But definitely some of the time.

-It was only one game and the starters played in poor conditions. So let's all take a step back from the ledge.

Can they turn the sprinkler on in the Nick Saban Bubble?

Time to ban this moron home again...

i cant stand that damn dirt infield!!

Ugh.....f@ckin baseball....it blows and its ridiculous that its played on our field.....waste of time....no one goes to see those losers.....build them a field that holds 3000 so it will be filled once a month.....GO AWAY BOR-BALL!!!

Miami Mike in Vegas, are you talking about the team that has bought TWO Championships to Miami in the last 17 years? You may not like the sport but there are plenty of us that do. It's not the Marlins fault they are stuck in a football stadium, it's Huziengas fault. It is what it is, get over it.

Agree Bobby, Without the Marlins Miami would not have Tasted a world champ in 37 years... YES 37 years... Do the Canes count??????

Get rid of that stupid Saban bubble and allow the guys to practice in the bad elements of rain and mud. That's how this team is going to get better.

I don't mind them playing in the bubble, just not Satan's bubble. The Dolphins need to get everything with Nick Sabans name on it out of their lives. It is a curse just as he was.

Oh BTW Bobby, The Marlins brought gold to the city 2 times in the past 13 years, I'am not counnting the Heat, Though they too have brought gold in the past 4 years, And it looks to me there gonna be bring gold back to Miami very soon.........

How you doing Cuban? Still feuding with NJ? You two need to bury the hatchet, and not in each others heads. I need to know about good hotels around the Meadowlands. We have to exchange e-mails soon.

Nah Bobby, I just mess with NJ, But he takes it to seriously, Kinda over the top sometimes, I like the guy really, but anyway Yeah looking forward to being Harassed at the new "Giants" stadium, Should be fun(I believe that your badge will be needed, especially if NJs with us...you see how Irate he gets on the blog, Can you imagine him in person??? LOL) Should be fun bro.....

I'll bet my Bottom Dollar that NJs got a arrest record for Assault and Battery, Not that there's anything wrong with that...lol...

Please get the Marlins out of Sun Life ASAP!!! Do not give them any more extenstions!!!!

I dont care where they play as long as they don't share with us the same field once it is football.

Flip, Wont the New Marlins stadium be finnished after next season???????

Armando,

The one thing I loved about watching Dan Marino is that he loved to play anyone, anywhere. Weather was never an issue, even when it should've been.
Next to Manning's records should be the qualifier that he did those things in doors, never as challenging as Marino's professional journey.
Having said that, Henne is no Marino and the Dolphins are vaguely similar to last year's team in playing style.

Hope I'm wrong.

Marlins Stadium opens up 2012 season, I know cause I got two season tickets 2nd row from field. Going to be beautiful stadium too!!

Coaches DO NOT listen to these dumb a.....

do not practice in the mud/rain

If someone gets hurt
Armando's next post would be how dumb the coaches were for not using the bubble...

Media just does not get it...

when are the friggin Marlin's leaving! players feet stick in the mud and can cause injuries. Go Marlin's!, I mean it, leave and go play somewhere else. Can't beleive the NFL allows this crap. No one else in the NFL plays in infield but us.

nj has i think arrest record for shoplifting .

i wish armand was coaching the fins ,he would a better coach and won't sign the drop ball marshall .

ted ginn would have caught that pall marshall dropped even if can't play basketball .

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