Preseason Philosophy

Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas and Keith Traylor were given the preseason off by Cam Cameron last year, but you can pretty much count on all the big-name players taking part in the exhibition games in 2008 -- barring injury, of course.

Coach Tony Sparano made it clear on Tuesday his philosophy when it comes to preseason games is that players need to play.

"Honestly, I believe we were 1-15 and we're trying to change the culture," Sparano said. "In my mind, with that being said, we do need to go out and as a team we need to be in the game environment, get as many guys in uniform as we can get in uniform. Be in that locker room together. Come out of that tunnel together. Be on the sideline together. Go through whatever it is that we're going to go through in the game together. We need to see all of the reactions that way and get these guys involved as much as we can. I've been with Bill (Parcells) for a long enough time; I'm not really much on saving guys or doing any of those things. We'll be smart if we need to be smart with some players, but our players know that they need to play. We need to get better."

Given the Dolphins' 1-15 record last year, one could argue Cameron's strategy backfired in a big way, but it also must be pointed out that LaDainian Tomlinson also has skipped entire preseasons and the Chargers have made the playoffs three of the last four years.

Regardless, facing someone other than their teammates will be a nice change of pace for Dolphins players.

"I look forward to going out and having a chance to compete against another team and different players," said veteran defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday. "I'm looking forward to Saturday. You go through the grind of training camp, you beat on each other and you beat on each other, and it gets old really fast. We're 10 days into this thing, that's like the little small light at the end of the tunnel. That's one of the bright spots, that's one of the things you look forward to is going out and lining up and getting to play against somebody else."

Based on Sparano's comment about being smart with certain players, the obvious question is whether Ronnie Brown will see any playing time in Saturday's preseason opener against Tampa Bay.

When asked that very question, Sparano just smiled and said: "You'll have to buy a ticket (to find out)."


Dolphins Report Top Stories