OXNARD, Calif.—The Dolphins’ plan to replicate a normal week of preparation in aftermath of Hurricane Irma is going smoothly, and all players and staff were able to travel to the team’s pop-up facility in Southern California.
By this morning, the full squad was on the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp fields on the property of the team hotel in Oxnard for a brief walk-through, then back to various conference rooms for meetings before the afternoon practice.
“The only thing I said to them is control what you can control, and we’re going to play a game Sunday,” Gase said at a makeshift press room on the tennis courts. “We’ve got to get ready. These guys, they’re glad to be back out here. I could tell there was good energy this morning at meetings.
“When we get going in practice, it’ll be fun for those guys. It feels like it’s been forever. It’s been a week and not playing a game and watching all the other games, I think they’re ready to go.”
They’re more than ready. For most of the core players, Sunday’s game against the Chargers will be their first real action since the Aug. 24 preseason game at Philadelphia.
The Dolphins got a few practices in early last week for a Tampa Bay game that never happened. The NFL announced last Wednesday it was postponing that matchup, which would have been Miami’s first time opening at home since 2014, to the shared bye week in November.
The team had no firm plan in place at that point and advised players that practice was cancelled through at least the rest of the week so they could feel free to leave South Florida. Approximately half the roster, as well as Gase and his family, headed to various places around the country.
Gase got to Oxnard on Saturday, in time to settle in for the full slate of Week 1 games the next morning, and was in front of the TV for the Chargers’ Monday night game against the Broncos.
The players who evacuated South Florida in advance of the storm started trickling in over the weekend, and the roster was fully intact once Cameron Wake landed in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
The team is borrowing much of the Cowboys’ equipment that they use every year for training camp at the facility, and Gase the Los Angeles Rams sent people from their I.T. department to help outfit the site. Unlike last year’s week-long stay in Carlsbad, there’s no need to bus from the hotel to practice. The players and coaches can walk through a parking lot to get to the fields.
As closely as the Dolphins are mirroring their regular accommodations, Gase was relieved to hear yesterday that their practice facility in Davie was in good shape. In already difficult travel stretch–they go to New York and London the next two weeks–work is a little easier knowing they won’t need an alternate practice site next week.
“The fact that we can go back to our facility, our houses–that’s nice to get back on the east coast,” Gase said. “And get ready for that next game. That was you know we weren’t sure what it was going to be. And just to get that answer, that was nice.”
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