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2 posts from August 6, 2014

August 06, 2014

Knowshon Moreno off PUP, ready to roll

Running back Knowshon Moreno, who missed the first two and half weeks of training camp while on the physically unable to perform list, has passed his physical and is now active and ready to work.

Moreno, 27, immediately joins a running back competition that so far has been dominated by Lamar Miller, who has taken nearly 80 percent of the snaps with the first-team offense.

Moreno is expected to compete for the starting job but more likely will share the position and get much if not most of his time as the team's third down back -- a spot that takes advantage of his prowess as a blocker. Moreno is practicing today but he is highly unlikely to play Friday evening when the Dolphins open their preseason at Atlanta.

The timing of Moreno's return is good for the Dolphins because running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring) has been out the past two days, including today.

Other injuries the Dolphins continue to monitor include quarterbacks Matt Moore (shoulder) and Pat Devlin (hamstring) are not working much today. Devlin is totally out of practice and Moore is dressed out but not throwing.

Charles Clay (knee) is still out.

Olivier Vernon returned to practice today. Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline are practicing.

Dolphins trying to put sports science to work

Yes, the Dolphins are trying new things these days.

Coach Joe Philbin agreed and owner Stephen Ross paid for the cost of turning the swimming pool at the team's training facility into a giant cold tub so players could use the thing and, in theory, recover from workouts more quickly.

Philbin has cut down on the amount of time the team meets daily "a little bit," he told me.

He's going to release the veterans from their rooms at the team hotel earlier than he did during his previous two training camps.

All of this stuff is meant to maximize players. It's meant to make it easier for them to succeed.

It is tangible stuff. And then there's this:

As I write in today's Miami Herald, the Dolphins are turning to technology in the effort to cut down on injuries, perhaps some day be able to be able to forecast the likelihood of injuries, and ultimately to win more.

Read the column and find out how many other NFL teams are doing this kind of sports science stuff these days.

"It provides us information on what guys are doing in practice," said head strength coach Darren Krein. "It gives us an in depth understanding of how one player can be doing a lot more in practice compared to another player based on how they run, based on what they’re asked to do in practice compared to what another guy is asked to do in practice – for example if one guy is on special teams and another guy is not on special teams obviously their practice is going to be different.

"If it’s a third-team guy or a starter it can be a different outcome for them. As coaches sometimes you realize that but you don’t get a full understanding until this sort of tracking device goes on them that tells us exactly what is taking place in practice.”

Consider this: Training camp is a time players push themselves to their physical limits because they are competing, indeed, fighting for jobs. And being able to stay in the competition is key.

So some players may be motivated to not speak up when they are slowed by some sort of minor injury. Well the GPS devices that monitor the Dolphins now can tell Krein and assistant strength coach Dave Puloka a baseline on each player's load and other critical readings in a typical practice.

Suddenly a player goes outside his norm and regardless of whether the player speaks up or not, the Dolphins are aware something has changed in his body.

“If a guy’s got a certain pattern the unit is showing you on a daily basis and then he’s got a day where his player load is way up there and he’s doing the same thing, that would be an indication something is wrong," Krein said.

Look, coaching is part science and also part art form.

The Dolphins are trying to gain an advantage in the science.

It cannot hurt. And maybe it can help.