Having Fun in Practice

Each week, no matter what the outcome on Sundays, the Miami Dolphins are usually laughing, joking and playing games with one another inside the locker room, and on the practice field. Even with a 1-7 record, coach Tony Sparano's team has remained pretty loose, and Thursday's practice, the second that followed the team's first win, took it to a new level.

First there was receiver Brandon Marshall, who took off his Dolphins practice jersey to showcase his Pro Bowl jersey after catching a goal-line touchdown pass against starting cornerback Sean Smith, which featured Marshall toe-tapping himself in for the score.

When Marshall failed to bring in his next goal-line pass during the same one-on-one drill, Smith commenced to pull the jersey off, pulling it over Marshall's head.

Coach Tony Sparano then yelled, "You've got to earn it!"

Sparano said Marshall unleashed the Pro Bowl jersey on his coaches and teammates last week during preparation for the Kansas City game, where Marshall caught eight passes for 106 yards and a touchdown in the 31-3 win.

"He's probably as superstitious as I am so I'm glad he broke it out again this week," Sparano said of Marshall.

The second hi-jinks came when rookie Clyde Gates had a slant pass knocked out of his hand and did an impressive Olympic style back flip in the end zone.

"You don't get any points for that," Sparano yelled.

On Gates' next rep he brought in an impressive touchdown grab.

When asked about the back flip, Sparano admitted he wasn't pleased with the display of acrobatics, but it had more to do with the groin injury Gates is battling than anything else.

Sparano's been pleased with his team's effort and focus during the weeks, and it has become clear the players still support their coach.

"They are a pretty good group of guys. Pretty loose, good to be around," Sparano said of his 2011 team. "They have a lot of fun, but know the difference when they get out there on the field. They know they've been practicing pretty well and that we're getting better. What's done is done. Not much we can do about it but just go forward here. But I like their attitude."


Dolphins Report Top Stories