Time to take it up a notch, folks.
The Dolphins have been practicing once a day since July 29 and have been doing that at an even pace, once a day, since that time, doing the work, steady-like. To heck with that!
In an effort to light a bit of an urgency candle under his team, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano announced today that the team will scrimmage Sunday at the team facility.
“First of all obviously we don’t have time for the ball to be on the ground and we don’t have time for the penalty thing,” Sparano said today. “The detail part of this thing I want to see cleaned up as much as we can, but more importantly I just want to see these guys play at a high pace. I don’t want robots out there.
"I just want them to go out and I want to see the playmakers make plays and watch that happen out there in a competitive situation. So it’s not real different than what we’re practicing out here. We’re going to get more plays in, but when you call it a scrimmage like that and the light goes on I think everybody kind of plays at a different pace. So that will be fun to watch.”
Remember a couple of days ago I mentioned that I wished the Dolphins would turn the pace up a little bit in practice? You play like you practice and if the practice pace is not very quick, the team might settle into a malaise that's hard to shake when the games actually begin.
Sparano and his coaching staff might have sensed the same thing. Also, some players perform better when the stakes are higher. (I am very close to including rookie tailback Daniel Thomas in that group if he doesn't pick things up in regular practices.)
Thomas was outstanding in the Monday night practice at Sun Life Stadium. But in other regular practices he's been unspectacular. Maybe if the coach announces this is a scrimmage, the rookie will see it as a time to shine.
It would be nice if others could shine as well, by the way. Others is defined here as the first-team offense. To put it bluntly, Miami's defense has been better than the offense so far this camp. That is to be expected at practically every training camp -- defense ahead of offense.
But It would be nice if the offense could show some consistent signs of life, put some positive plays together back to back, and you know, score some touchdowns. It hasn't been terrible. But neither has it been really good so far.
Maybe the scrimmage will change that.