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Thursday padded practices a complaint of some players

The past few weeks, the Dolphins have used Thursday as the day for a fully padded two-hour practice. And I get it.

To be a good team you have to hit a little bit. To be a good team you have to be physical and work hard. Teams of yesteryear used to do this kind of thing all the time. And doing it on Thursday shouldn't be a problem because it is three whole days from game day so there is time to recover.

Except that each of the past two Thursday's players have whispered complaints that the practices took it out of them and that, a couple are saying, is one reason the team starts so slow in Sunday games.

Yeah, I don't necessarily get it. But that is the complaint.

And apparently Joe Philbin is aware of said complaint. He cut practice time last week and was promising to look further at this week.

"We have to take a look at the practice schedule, look at the preparation and look at everything," Philbin said this week. "We're going to examine everything. I have some things on paper in terms of how we're going to prepare for this game. Obviously, we prepared for a game over there last year and had some success in that particular game. Every year is a new year. Every game is different. That's something that I'm beginning to look at right now."

Well, the Dolphins today have scheduled a two-hour practice. And they're in pads.

And as an added bonus, after practice today the team will board a plane later this evening and fly across the pond to London England in the ramp up to Sunday's "home game" against the New York Jets. They will land Friday morning.

So some players on the team that starts notoriously slow point to that Thursday practice as one reason for it, and this week they have that practice and schedule the six-hour flight as a bonus.


And this game will be kicking off at what will be 9:30 a.m. Eastern time in the United States -- a time Dolphins players are just starting to arrive at the stadium for a typical 1 p.m. game.

This should work out great for a team seeking to find a way to start fast.

“I don’t think the timing will have an effect on it just because we’re going over," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "We’re going to get on the British Summer Time as soon as we get over there. I think it will feel like a normal one o’clock game for us, but we have to come out and play better early in games. I think the key to that is getting first downs. We just have to get the chains moving, we haven’t done that really in any of our games and not only get the chains moving, but score points. That’s ultimately what we’re not doing, we’re not scoring enough points and you’re not going to win games if you can’t score points, it’s plain and simple."

Yeah, not so simple. I arrived in London early this morning and I tried to sleep on the plane and I tried to be ready for the day and I was wiped out and had sleep for four hours to recover. So it takes an adjustment.

Obviously, the Dolphins have worked this schedule before. They used it and played quite well and started fast enough against Oakland last year -- although they did give up a touchdown on Oakland's first possession.

So it will be interesting if the complaints that have been going on for a couple of weeks persist. Or if a shock to the body this game offers changes things.