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The Tony Sparano Thanksgiving Day update

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Day. The Dolphins worked today.

Brandon Marshall missed practiced again today while he continued to get treatment for his hamstring injury. Chad Henne again took limited first-team snaps at quarterback as he pushes for a return to the starting lineup despite his sprained knee.

Cornerback Sean Smith did not practice because he was excused as he became a new daddy.

And, curiously, several of the questions during coach Tony Sparano's press conference were centered around the brand new idea that the Black Hole in Oakland is a strange venue for visiting teams.

(On how he would assess Chad Henne’s mobility) – “I think it’s pretty good, so. It’s getting better. Getting better every day out there, so. He moved around pretty good today we’ll see.” 

(On Sean Smith not being at practice today) –“No, he was excused.” 

(On if Brandon Marshall pretty much the same) – “Yeah, Brandon (Marshall) did not practice.” 

(On if Sean Smith have a child today) – “To be honest with you I really don’t know what it was…I’m not positive what it was but whatever it was decided that it was going to peak it’s head at about 3:30 this morning (laughter).” 

(On if he would say that Cameron Wake deserves consideration for the Pro Bowl this year) – “(I mean) I think that most of the time those outside linebackers that make it (you know) it’s usually a numbers thing (you know) obviously that’s what’s happened recently so I think Cameron’s numbers are going to be pretty good, so. I would say he should get consideration, yes.” 

(On what else Cameron Wake provides the team outside of the obvious meaning other than the numbers) – “Well I mean I think from my perspective when you’re a line coach and you go out there and you’re playing against some of these teams that don’t have that dominant pass rusher—that guy that can rush the passer well enough—I think it makes your job a whole lot easier during the week from a game plan standpoint. So I think with Cameron and he (you know) I don’t want to say this wrong—I mean I think he’s a pretty darn good pass rusher. I think there’s some things that Cameron can get better at and he thinks there’s some things he can get better at. So, that being said, people have to pay attention to him and they are. When you watch the games, sometimes there’s tight ends and tackles at him…there’s backs chipping on him plus tackles—So, I think that they’re trying to pay attention to him which means he’s bringing a little bit more into their meetings than most and I think that helps us (you know) it does when there’s more guys paying attention to him…I think that (Koa) Misi and (Kendall) Langford and some of the guys (you know) Tony McDaniel that have been able to get some pressure as of late have been able to do that because they’re paying a little bit attention to Cameron (Wake).” 

(On if he expects big sack numbers out of Cameron Wake’s position since he puts him there) – “Yeah, it doesn’t always work though. In other words, you put some people over there and you don’t always get the numbers. Sometimes the nature of the position says yes and that’s what you expect from that guy in that position. But you could quickly figure out that you have the wrong there. I think as you go through this if that kind of production doesn’t happen….and I’m starting to feel like we got a pretty good guy there.” 

(On what does he expect to see out of the guys on typical Thanksgiving day practice) – “Well, you would hope that it would be all business and all focus. I mean the guys really focused pretty good today to be honest with you. I mean they had a lot of energy and it was a lot of jawing out there which was good—(you know) that usually tells me they’re in good spirits, so. They put work first today and then worried about (you know) the holiday which sometimes doesn’t always happen.” 

(On the Oakland crowd being rough) – “I mean they’re rough. I remember my first, first couple years in the league went out there, probably shouldn’t say this but I was a young line coach and I’m in the end zone and you’re up against it pretty good there, up against the back line and I had my back turned to the fans here and of course they know you by name. Now I mean they’re getting after you pretty good and I’m coaching the guys and kind of sending them out and I get a tap on the shoulder and I wasn’t sure, why would anybody be touching me? And then I turned around and it was this Darth Vader guy with a sword (laughing).” 

(On his moving away from the fans after he was touched) – “I got away and I’m, I started to look for protection yeah, whether or not these guys were going to protect me and they were gone.” 

(On the environment being hostile) – “Yeah it is and they’re passionate fans; I mean it really is, it’s kind of a neat environment. I really, I really enjoyed playing down there the couple times that I’ve been down there and I mean there’s obviously great tradition there. It’s a hard place to play. Now I mean they’re loud; I mean it gets loud there. One of the louder places that I’ve been.” 

(On Jason Taylor always having to remind himself the fans were all attorneys and accountants) – “(laughing) They’re going through, there’s a heck of a transformation happening.” 

(On whether he sometimes wants to laugh when he sees the fan’s outfits) – “It’s interesting; I mean they get all booted up. They’re behind their team and they support their team and I’ve been down there you know when it hasn’t been going real good for them and you still have that kind of support. Right now they’re really excited about what’s going on there so it’s going to be, it’s going to be loud and you’re on a holiday weekend so I’m sure it will be, it will be a big loud crowd mostly dressed in black and silver.” 

(On whether he has taken any steps to help Chad Henne’s psyche after being benched) – “You know he’s been really, he’s been really good. He was good last week in preparation. He was good against Tennessee in preparation. I think he’s had a couple interesting weeks obviously back to back here. One where he’s A) told he wasn’t going to start and then the next thing you know he’s in the game in four plays. That was, from his end that was a really hard test in that if he mailed in the work week you didn’t get the result and he’s a major factor in why we won that Tennessee game. I mean the guy really did come out and play well for us coming off of the bench there. Then he goes through a week when he’s down and still prepares, I mean prepares and now he’s in a spot this week where he has to juggle his preparation with his treatment, and he has this laptop that just doesn’t leave his side. I mean it’s like it’s got all the film on it and all that stuff and the guy is, is really grinding around the clock. I’ve been impressed with what he’s done and the way he’s handled it and he hasn’t changed to me at all. The good news is when we handled this I was, I was up front with him and we had an open conversation and that was it. The lines of communication have been really good.” 

(On what he is thankful for) – “Oh I mean first of all I’m thankful for my family. My family is, they’re tremendous supporters and love them dearly. I’m thankful for the guys in that locker room, my coaches, our fans, the people in this organization that work as hard as they work, so really thankful to have this opportunity.”

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