With just three days until the final pre-season game of 2010, the Dolphins practiced on this Monday with a definite sense of urgency. After they worked, coach Tony Sparano met with the media. Several interesting tidbits today, but first some injury news: tight end Joey Haynos, who left Friday night’s game with a foot injury, has been waived, and LB Channing Crowder has been sent for a second opinion on his undisclosed injury. When asked to rule out if it was a reaggravation of his foot injury, the coach said he could not do that. Other notes:
-The coach said he was not yet satisfied with his kick coverage unit, but that they performed better against the Falcons than they did the week before in Jacksonville. He said that in the three games so far, his team has covered 13 kicks and that the other team’s average starting field position was their own 33 yard line. On the other side, the Fins have returned 10 kicks and are starting at their own 25.
-When asked about what his approach would be in the pre-season finale on Thursday night, Sparano essentially said that his job is to have his team ready to play Week 1 at Buffalo and that everyone needs to be ready to play.
-With the waiving of Haynos, Sparano mentioned that he has been on NFL teams before that only carried two tight ends and if that does end up being the case, you can always use a seventh or eighth offensive lineman or a ‘tweener fullback to help fill that void, though you probably do need at least one true TE on the practice squad.
-After definite struggles on Friday night, the coach said that the running game is “not where we need to be right now” and that there was pretty good blocking against the Falcons and that they should have had more yards.
-Sparano thinks that CB Sean Smith’s so-called struggles in practice have been more about the fact that Miami has more talented WRs than they did last year, and not anything else.
-With a loud atmosphere expected on Thursday night at Cowboys Stadium, Sparano said it will be a good prep course for Week 1 at Buffalo and Week 2 at Minnesota, where the Fins can expect to face a couple of very loud crowds.
-The coach had some very interesting things to say about the decisions of which guys to keep on the final 53-man roster and which not to. He made it very clear that the front office is aware of other teams’ needs and so they take that into account when deciding if a guy ends up on the practice squad or not.
UPDATE: Here are some video highlights. The coach discussed what the team has been doing to help them get off to a fast start, some discussion on the play of DE Kendall Langford, and what it’s like to sit down with a player and tell him that he’s been cut:
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