When Chad Henne made mention of his meetings with Brian Daboll late last month, the idea was for Henne to learn the offense so he could teach the Dolphins other offensive players. It appears that at least some of the Dolphins players are trying to begin organizing practices on their own. Many teams in the NFL have new coaches and/or new offensive and defensive coordinators, so we expect other players to be doing something similar. While there are certainly some benefits to the Dolphins players practicing on their own, there are also some risks. We’ll explore both:
– Insurance: While the NFL players are being locked out by the owners, they are not covered by health insurance. We’re sure that most, if not all, players have picked up a supplemental plan (i.e. Cobra)…just in case.
– Contract Status: If a player is injured while practicing outside of an NFL sponsored camp, there is a good chance that their contract can be voided or reduced by their team.
– Injuries: While we love the idea of Chad Henne getting extra time in with Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, we also shutter at the thought of any of the players getting hurt. Can you imagine the outrage if one of the Dolphins star players was lost for the season while taking part in these practices?
– Offense discovered: This may not be a big risk. However, if the Dolphins are holding open practices, isn’t there a chance that another team (cough, Belicheat, cough) could tape their practices?
– Leader: Chad Henne, if he’s learned the offense enough, can finally prove to be a leader of the offense. If he is the players coach during these practices, it will be natural for the players to respect Henne more.
– Head Start: With a new offense being installed, the Dolphins will be getting a head start compared to what they would if they waited until the Lockout was over with. No one knows how long the Lockout could go, so any work that the Dolphins can get in while it’s going on is a bonus.
– Chemistry: Last year Brandon Marshall missed 2 months of offseason work with the Dolphins due to his hip injury. If he and Chad Henne can get on the same page this offseason, both could show improved numbers in 2011.
Overall, we think it’s great that the Dolphins players will be working out and practicing together. We’re eager to know which players will be taking part. Yes, there are injury risks, but are the risks any greater than if they were practicing within the confines of the team facility? We hope these practices are useful and help the team be as prepared as possible for the 2011 campaign.
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