There is no more training camp. Today the Miami Dolphins ended their training camp regiment which included players staying at a local hotel. The players will return to their homes and the team will begin prepping for the season on a normal routine…in other words, no more two-a-days. So what’s next on the agenda?
For Joe Philbin and staff, it’s time to get down to the details. Forget the basics of trying to teach the players what they need to do, now they need to coach the finer details of what they have to do. With the first round of cuts approaching, 12 days away on August 28th, teams will drop ten off their roster before slaying the remaining 27 five days later.
The Dolphins are a team that is still in a transition. While training camp, VIA HBOHK gave fans some deep insight into the daily routines, the reality is that guys like Chris Hogan and Les Brown are long shots to make the team and players like Michael Egnew and Roberto Wallace who have struggled through camp will likely take roster spots. Camp really is a fundamental program that weeds out players who simply have no upside or are not conditioned enough.
The time in camp allows the coaches to formulate depth charts, see how players react to those depth charts and then begin the task of placing the bottom ten to twelve players who will fill out the final 53 man roster. Coaches will plead their cases to carry “X” amount of players at this position, while another coach will do the same. While all this will be going on over the next week or two, Jeff Ireland will begin watching the wires for players he can scoop up and add to the roster.
It will work like this.
Joe Philbin will get reports from his coaches and will then discuss those players on the bottom with his OC’s. From there, Philbin will look at what positions need to be improved upon and will take those to Jeff Ireland. They will initially begin the process by looking at players that they believe will be cut from other teams. Look at players that they believe will be available in trade, and finally look at players that will likely be kept. From that point, Ireland will look at what players fit the system, what players will likely want in terms of compensation or teams in trade compensation, and then they will wait to see if those players become available.
At that point, they will contact the agents, bring in the player/s, and negotiate the deal if the pieces fit.
With camp being over, players will no longer have the same amount of reps that they did previously. They will need to make every opportunity count and while practices will have a big impact on whether or not a player makes a roster, the upcoming performances in the next two pre-season games will have the most influence on the coaches.
With Carolina this week and Atlanta coming to town for the all important “3rd game” where the starters play most of the first three quarters, fringe players hoping to make the team on one of those bottom marks will now have to rely on their special teams participation and finally the fourth pre-season game where they will likely see the most action.
For the Miami Dolphins players, training camp signals an end to the daily grind but it will also signal an end to the best chance some of these guys had to prove they are worth keeping. The business of the NFL is about to get down to business.