Dolphins Upbeat After Bye

After four days off for their bye week, the Dolphins resumed practice Tuesday seeking a new beginning after their 0-4 start. The team's mood was upbeat.

Players were loose at the start of practice, with music blaring from the loudspeakers. Afterward, they joked around with one another and spoke of a fresh start.

"It started today, man," veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby said. "We went out and had a great practice. Flying around. Hitting a little bit. Getting behind our pads, and we were making plays all over the field. It was a good sign."

Leading into the bye, the Dolphins spent time focusing on themselves. They attempted to address the many problems that have led to their winless beginning.

Among the issues: red-zone and third-down inefficiency on offense, and allowing too many big plays — especially in the passing game — on defense.

"Just really work on the things that we really had trouble with in the first several weeks of the season as best as we could hit those things," coach Tony Sparano said when asked what he emphasized before the bye. "Put them in a lot of those situations, make the players compete against each other again. Get back to that thing. That was a point of emphasis."

Now, of course, the emphasis is on preparing for the New York Jets, who host the Dolphins on Monday night. The Jets have lost three consecutive games after a 2-0 start, and they've also lost three consecutive home games against the Dolphins.

The Dolphins, then, have recent history on their side entering Monday night, but they don't have much else going for them.

They're hoping the time off — and the work they put in before the off days — changes that.

"Last week was about us," second-year defensive end Jared Odrick said, "about us attacking what we need to be improving on. And I think we did that. I think we did that well. And this week it's about the Jets. We're definitely moving in ... the right way."


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