Dolphins players were ready to play a football game this Sunday, but almost everyone agreed with the NFL's decision not to play this weekend in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.<P>

A few players, among them quarterbacks Jay Fiedler and Ray Lucas, had friends who appear to have been among the victims of the attacks at the World Trade Center.

"I think it was the appropriate thing to do out of respect for the victims and the families of the victims," Fiedler said. "This thing has affected everyone across the country, including every NFL player. This hasn't been a normal week. You can't play this game if you're not focused on what you're doing."

Said linebacker Zach Thomas: "The games are like a celebration, and you don't want to celebrate this weekend. I love the game, but there's more to life than football."

Among the few who spoke out in favor of playing this weekend was punter Matt Turk, who used to drive by the Pentagon every day on his way to training camp while he was a member of the Washington Redskins.

"I wanted to play because I hate to see what a terrorist can create," he said. "This still seems like a dream to me."

Perhaps defensive end Jason Taylor said it best, though: "We're football players and we play on TV on Sundays, but we're human beings and we have feelings, too.

"It would be very difficult to celebrate a touchdown when you know there are still people suffering beneath the rubble."

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