While NFL fans may be thrilled about the idea of road games at the Las Vegas Raiders, it will pose some unique challenges for coaches.
The Miami Dolphins are scheduled to play at Las Vegas in 2020, the year the Raiders are likely to debut a new stadium.
But where should the Dolphins stay? Near or far away from the Las Vegas Strip? What time should curfew be?
Should casinos and/or strip clubs be off-limits? Should not only players, but their family members and friends, be told to stay away from legal sports books?
“That’s hard,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said at the NFL owner’s meetings. “That’s gonna be like, figure that one out when it comes up. I guess I’m glad that we’re a couple years away. I think if we’re talking about it in 2020 and we’re all sitting at the same table it’s probably a good thing.”
Gase conceded that in South Florida, there are many distractions, including South Beach. When an opposing player struggles on a Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium, there have been whispers about if that player had the “South Beach flu.”
Gase will stress players train all year for 16 regular-season opportunities, typically eight on the road. NFL players will take the field for a regular-season game on less than five percent of calendar days.
“You’re always hoping guys will understand that it’s a business trip and to focus on what we’re here to do,” Gase said. “Every game is so important in the NFL. And it’s just getting bigger and bigger every year. You’d hope guys would just be professionals and be able to handle the environment they’re going into.”
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, the only owner to formally oppose Oakland’s move to Las Vegas, conceded some concerns about NFL games in the Sin City.
It’s not the primary reason Ross opposed the move (exhausting every possibility to avoid moving and maintain loyalty to fans was) but it’s still a factor for Boss Ross.
“I think there will be some challenges,” Ross said. “And hopefully they’ll be able to meet those challenges. Just like playing in Miami. There are challenges with the players. And I think you have to have a lot of you know discipline. In making sure that things don’t get out of hand.”
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