Road trip

The Dolphins will be leaving Saturday for their game at Seattle and will not be back in Miami until the morning hours the following Monday. It's a long trip for the team and a second consecutive Thanksgiving away from their families. The Dolphins aren't necessarily thrilled about the road trip, but they will try to make the best out of it.

The trip actually was planned, as the Dolphins asked the NFL to schedule their games at Seattle and San Francisco on consecutive weekends so the team could avoid making the cross-country flight twice.

"You always look at it as a positive," said interim head coach Jim Bates. "With all that's taken place before this time, to go up there on this trip and not have to fly back six hours will save us energy and time. It's going to be like a camp staying up there together and we're making a positive out of it."

As could be expected, not every Dolphins player is thrilled with the idea of being away from home for nine days.

Count Jason Taylor among those. When he was asked he was looking forward to the most on the trip, his quick reply was: "Getting back."

"It's tough leaving your wife and kids for a week two years in a row for Thanksgiving," Taylor said. "But it's a chance to go out and play and try to get two wins."

Last year, of course, the Dolphins spent Thanksgiving at Dallas, and they left with a good taste in their mouths following a dominating 40-21 victory.

This trip obviously is different.

While defensive end Jay Williams' first choice would have been to fly back to Miami and then fly back to San Francisco on Friday morning, fellow defensive end David Bowens is happy the team avoided the extra flights.

"Yeah, I would prefer (this way)," Bowens said when asked what his vote would have been had he been asked. "I mean, that's a lot of traveling. I can't stand to be on a plane more than two and a half hours as it is, and you're talking about five-hour flights, to and from. I'd go crazy, man. I'd probably try to do a walk-through on the plane or something.

"Being on a plane, it's too long. You're sitting down and it gets boring. Guys are just trying to find something to do. It doesn't make sense to keep going back and forth. It's fine just to stay out there."

The Dolphins will practice at San Francisco City College next week and a trip to Alcatraz was planned for those interested on Tuesday, the players' day off.

Here's the interesting thing: The Dolphins also have two West Coast games on their schedule next year, with trips to San Diego and Oakland.

Needless to say, this kind of trip requires a lot of planning and organization.

"There has been a lot of organization," Bates said. "Getting the schedules done, the practice schedules and planning at San Francisco City College. But it's all behind us now and it's all totally Seattle now. Thank goodness for the open week."

While perhaps preventing the extra fatigue of two long flights, maybe the trip will serve as a bonding experience for the players.

"If it does, then you know what, whoever suggested to stay out there for a week was a genius," McMichael said. "Right now, I think a lot of guys would rather come back home, but at the same time we don't have any control over that."


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