The Dolphins worked on Labor Day. The players are off today.
When the team reconvenes on Wednesday, it will begin in earnest the final preparations for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against the New England Patriots. (Yeah, get your tickets now because they are going fast.)
I do not believe, as some pundits insist, that this game will be a blowout. Yes, the Patriots were seven games better than Miami a season ago. Yes, the Patriots swept the Dolphins in their two games and won by a combined score of 79-21.
But this is a new season. These are new teams. New results?
Perhaps. The Dolphins are hopeful. I am hopeful for them.
Obviously, the Patriots will get the first fully unvarnished view of what the new Dolphins offense looks like with new star running back Reggie Bush. They will also get the first look at Miami's upgraded and deeper defense.
Bush brings a speed factor the Patriots haven't seen from a Miami team recently. Hey, now Miami is going to have more than one playmaker on the field at the same time versus New England.
But the Patriots will present a problem. You know what has Bush's attention?
Think beef -- as in enormous New England defensive linemen Vince Wilfork and Albert Haynesworth. Check out what Bush says about them and then check in with the other side of the ball below that.
On defense, the elder statesman is Yeremiah Bell. He's been around since 2003 and he's seen a lot of players come and go.
He believes this year's crop of players is different than last year's because the swag quotient on this team is much higher. He sees a different attitude on this team he didn't see last year.