The Dolphins are off today. But you don't get a day off here on this blog.
Here are some random notes from the week so far:
The weather for Pittsburgh on Saturday says snow flurries are possible and that is interesting only in that Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has never played in snow before.
“If it’s snowing I’ve heard it’s not too bad," Tannehill said. "It’s actually nice to play in from the guys just in the locker room talking. Matt (Moore) played in the snow a few times I think and he said it’s nice, it doesn’t affect the ball and just going out and playing."
The problem for quarterbacks is rarely the snow. The problem is the wind and the freezing rain. Those affect flight and handling of the football.
"Well we practiced wet ball drill today so it’s something that we’re prepared for, if it comes to that," Tannehill said on Wednesday. "Obviously, if you have ideal conditions and you don’t want it to be sleeting. It’s football, its December football in Pittsburgh and we have to be prepared for whatever comes at us."
Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace is going to be the focus of attention on Sunday. He's obviously returning to play his former Pittsbrugh teammates. And while he has no regrets about his business decision to move on to Miami in free agency, Wallace still lets signs of his nostalgia peek through when he talks.
Asked this week if he misses Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Wallace said, "“Definitely. That’s my guy; it’s not really even about that it's more so just friends. That’s like my big brother. So anytime you play with a guy like that you are automatically going to miss him, but things they happen for a reason. You just take it and roll with it."
Asked about Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin, Wallace said, "That’s my guy, I’ve got a lot of love for Coach Tomlin. He’s one of the best coaches I ever played for in my life. Not just as a coach, but as a person and a motivator. He’s one of the greatest I’ve ever played with, I’m definitely going to have a couple words for him but it’s not just going to be about that. That’s just an incident that happened on the field, the Soul Train picture was kind of funny though."
Wallace is having dinner Saturday night with some of his former Pittsburgh teammates including Antonio Brown. Wallace said he'd pay.
Brown is Wallace's guy, too.
The Dolphins had three players who did not practice on Wednesday -- John Jerry (concussion), Jamar Taylor (hamstring) and Daniel Thomas (ankle). Of those only Jerry has the best chance to play on Sunday.
The Dolphins will give Jerry a baseline concussion protocol test Friday to see if Jerry can be cleared of his concussion symptoms. If he passes, he'll be cleared for practice and would be on his way to playing Sunday. If he cannot pass, Jerry will have to sit. If Jerry sits look for the team to turn to rookie Sam Brenner to fill the spot.
Brenner started at left guard when Nate Garner had to move to center to fill in for Mike Pouncey.
Cornerback Dimitri Patterson was limited in practice on Wednesday but his is a frustrating situation because the team needs him, the team wants him to practice to prepare for games, but the team needs to limit him as well so he doesn't suffer yet another setback on the groin injury that has plagued him this year. I've counted a minimum of two setbacks this season with that injury.
"You have to figure out, you have to have faith that a player is ready, you have to get players ready to play a game," coach Joe Philbin said. "At the same time gauge their physical preparation for the game but also their mental preparation it’s all kind of tied together. I don’t know if there’s a magic formula to it, I think you just have to take it on a case by case basis."
Ultimately, Philbin said, the decision to play Patterson or not comes down to what's in the best interest of the team.
With Taylor so far not practicing this week because of his hamstring injury, the Dolphins certainly could use Patterson being able to contribute.
Patterson this year has been able to play in only five games.