DAVIE—The Dolphins’ recent extended weekend, given to them by Adam Gase to help make up for losing their bye week, was a chance to get away from football and get a break.
But they couldn’t totally unplug.
In the wake of Miami’s 40-0 loss to the Ravens, Gase kicked off that weekend by shredding the team (mainly the offense) for a variety of errors and questioned some players’ dedication to their jobs. While the players were already on vacation at that point, his criticism hit them squarely.
“It definitely did,” return man Jakeem Grant said. “Nobody took it personally. We all take coaching. He was exactly right. So today we went out there and prepared like it was a fresh start. Those four days off, everybody got a chance to take a deep breath and get back to it.
“We needed that. We went out and attacked practice today and we’ll build off today.”
In response to Gase ripping players specifically for not studying more and taking their work home, receiver Jarvis Landry said, “That is a good point and that’s something that I know myself, personally, can do more of.”
Gase changed up some elements of the team’s routine, including making walk-throughs more extensive and adjusting some coaching and teaching techniques. He said today he’s already seen an improved mentality from his players than what they showed last week.
“That shutout game was embarrassing, so we came back with a different attitude and a different type of swagger,” Grant said. “We came back hungrier than ever. Once you get shut out like that, you have to reset and go back to the basics and find out what was the cause of that. That’s what we did.”
For all their frustration, the Dolphins are 4-3 and tied with Jacksonville for the sixth playoff spot in the AFC. They are 1.5 games behind New England in the division.
Miami has beatable opponents the next two weeks with the Raiders (3-5) coming to town Sunday and the team visiting Carolina (5-3) next weekend. If the Dolphins get their offense clicking, there’s no reason they can’t make a run toward the playoffs for the second straight year.
“This season’s not over with,” Grant said. “We have nine weeks left and it can still go the way we want it to go. We pride ourselves on being great, so being shut out, we took that to heart and we were ready to make a change. We’ve gotta do something quick, fast and in a hurry, because this game don’t wait for nobody.”
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