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.