DAVIE (CBSMiami) – It’s been a busy few days for the Miami Dolphins as the team continues working through training camp.
Monday marked the fifth consecutive day that Miami was on the field practicing since camp opened last week.
The main difference in this practice was that it was the first time players came out in full pads.
Being able to get physical and work in the trenches the way they do during games is key for the players and coaches to prepare for the upcoming season.
Several players and head coach Adam Gase were made available to the media following Monday’s practice.
Here are some of the top quotes from each of them.
“You’re not going to win either way. If we don’t go live, you guys write that we don’t work on tackling. If we do go live and somebody gets hurt, then you say we shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to be wrong either way. We feel like that’s best for our football team. We needed to go live and tackle and it’s football.”
“I know it’s not full pads but when we go with shoulder pads, we’re doing the same thing as we’re doing with full pads. You’re getting the same thud, wrap up, all those type of things. It’s just full pads we can actually say ‘Hey, we’re going live. We’re going to the ground.’ That’s the difference. So once we throw the shoulder pads on, whether we’ve got the leggings on, I mean we’re getting the same work. Just today we were able to go to the ground.”
“It’s training camp. It’s part of the process for me. I actually look forward to it. I feel like if it wasn’t tough, if it wasn’t a grind, it wouldn’t be football. It’s part of being tired and still doing your job, part of it being 110 degrees, downpour rain, you’re a little sore, a little achy, a little on edge, that builds the character that’s going to take you through the whole season. That builds that team [chemistry] and that bond that you need. If it was easy, anybody would be doing it. I feel like if it wasn’t that way, it wouldn’t be the same.”
“It’s football. You play it in pads and there’s collisions and there’s violence, so I think for the most part, we found the violence. You’ve got to go. Can you play this game and not have injuries? I’ve never seen it done. You don’t want anybody to get hurt in practice, but at the same time, you’ve got to be ready, you’ve got to hit, you’ve got to tackle, you’ve got to run to the ball. There’s a lot of big men moving fast, so things are bound to happen. But again, hopefully he [Jay Ajayi] is fine and will be back tomorrow.”
“Coming off an injury and still building back and finding trust, and finding your feet under you so to speak, that’s all going to be part of it. I went through that last training camp trusting it, doing the move that you normally do with the forces and the pressures and the twisting that you had done before and knowing that it’s going to still be there and follow you through. I think it’s possible and that’s what I’m working on today, getting after it and getting back to not thinking about it at all. So far, so good.”
“Football season is back. That’s what it sounds like [when we’re wearing pads and hitting]. There’s no more OTAs, no more minicamp. Football season is here.”
“We compete each and every day. We know what we have in our room and we know what we need to do to win. We have to play at a very high level and if we don’t, then we hold each other accountable each and every day. Me and Cam [Wake] and [Ndamukong] Suh and Will [Hayes] and Jordan [Phillips] and Charles [Harris], and everybody else in that room, we compete each and every day to see who practices the best. It’s kind of friendly competition with us; but we know what we need to do, and that’s what we are going to keep doing.”
“It was fun to go out there and finally get to tackle somebody, hit somebody and run around. You know as a ‘rook,’ you can’t just worry about the defensive portion of practice. You’ve got to go out there and take it one period at a time – individuals, special teams, all that stuff. You’ve got to go hard in everything because you’re still trying to prove yourself to the coaches that you’re worth whatever you’re worth and that I can do everything that I’m expected to do.”
“When I first came here in the spring, my head was spinning, I wasn’t making the right calls, coach is in my ear – I’ve got the headphone in my ear so he didn’t really have to yell. He’s in my ear the whole time. But now it’s kind of slowing down to me. I kind of have a full understanding, repping in with one’s and the two’s. So it’s just a blessing to be where I’m at.”
“Sometimes you got to get in [and] get down and dirty sometimes. It’s football. It’s a contact sport. You can’t avoid contact at all times. You try to keep in on the practice field – keep it off the game field – because you get flagged 15 yards in a game. The competitive juices kind of get flowing once everybody goes to the ground, so it happens every now and then.” (on being involved in a scuffle during Monday’s practice)
“I feel like any one of our guys are ready to step up and take that responsibility [as a starter]. Jay is a great player, but football is a very brutal sport, so if somebody goes down, it’s always the next man up. We wish everybody to obviously be healthy, because we need everybody at full speed to be a great team, but I feel like any one of us are ready to come up and have that role.”
“I feel like in anything I’m doing … This is practice, so I’m trying to get better at everything, whether that’s running between tackles, lining up out wide, being comfortable coming off of press, releases, pass blocking, anything I feel right now, I feel like I need to get better at. I appreciate the competition that the linebackers and everybody else gives everybody as we’re out there. We’re all competitors. We’re all trying to get better. I just enjoy going out there and getting better every day.”
“Any time you get a little more contact, I think it heightens up the practice. For me, I like to play the run. Any time I can get more of it, it’s more fun for me anyway.”
“I’m a defensive end, so I figure I should be able to pass rush, too. It’s just something I work on a little bit more and try to get better at. I guess the run (would) probably be … I’m definitely a lot better at the run; but I’m just working on my craft. When you see it start working, it’s a beautiful thing.”
“I’m pretty settled in. I’m still learning the playbook. I was trying to get the playbook a little bit better. But for the most part, I’ve got everything down. The more you know it, the faster you’ll be able to play. But for the most part, I process everything. I don’t have too many ‘MEs’ (mental errors), so I guess I’m taking everything in pretty good.”
“I’m looking forward to live bullets, going out there and getting live action and all that. I understand that I’m going to have my time to be out there and play before I’m going to have to be sitting out for a while. I’m going to take full advantage of it and try to get better throughout every week through the preseason, and I think it will pay off for me.”
“I don’t have time to think about [being suspended for the first eight games] right now. I’m trying to get better, trying to learn. I’m in a new system. I’m trying to get comfortable in this system and just make sure I’m on the same page with everybody. I think that would be selfish of me to put myself in front of that and be thinking about my situation. I’m just trying to get better every day.”
“They have a plan for me. We haven’t gone that far yet as far as all that. We’ve got a while left in training camp and I think that my focus right now just needs to be on training camp. I know they have a plan for me and we’ll figure that out when that time comes, but right now I’m just focused on getting through the preseason and getting better and getting comfortable in this system.”