Catching a Break

Coach Tony Sparano had a surprise for his players Monday when he turned a full-blown practice into a simple walk-through along with a trip to the movies, where the Dolphins watched "G.I. Joe."

Sparano said he had planned on doing this for a while. He did the same thing last year when he took his players to see "The Express," the movie about former Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis.

"The reason I like doing those types of things, I like to make sure the guys get a chance to know that I have a heart somewhere under there," Sparano said. "Second of all, you appreciate what those guys have done right now. That group has worked really hard. Yesterday was a really hard practice, really good practice yesterday. Lots of energy.

"It is a way for me to say thank you, but more importantly for those guys to bond a little bit. Get them out of a locker room, different setting like that. I have actually done a few of those things with the team. This was just one that stood in between practice. So we had a good walk-through and then surprised them."

Despite having to play three preseason games in 11 days, Sparano said Monday he felt his team was on schedule and where he'd want it to be at this point in the preseason.

Like some coaches who show their players only sports movies or fooball movies, Sparano said it didn't matter what genre the Dolphins watched.

"I kind of did a little research," Sparano said. "You know, last year it was easier. At this time last year, that movie 'The Express' was out and that's what we went to see. So, it was a little bit more, kind of, a little bit more relative to what we're trying to do. This thing here, I just figured it would be a lot of things blowing up [laughter], you know, those things. So, I thought it was pretty good. Had a nice-looking women in it, too."

ALREADY DONE: Tuesday is a day when we'll see a lot of transactions throughout the NFL as teams get down to the league-mandated roster limit of 75 players. But the Dolphins don't have to do anything.

After the 12 moves they made last week, the Dolphins have 66 players under their roster. They actually beat the deadline by more than a week with eight roster moves last Monday that got their roster down to 70 players.

The last cutdown deadline comes Saturday at 4 p.m. when all teams no longer can have more than 53 players on their active roster.


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