Yesterday marked the first day of on field practices for the Miami Dolphins as the prepare for the 2011 season. However, the day started an hour before practice, with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross speaking to the media.
Mr. Ross opened the conference talking about the CBA negotiation process, stating, "I’ve got a lot of respect for the players. Know that I think they negotiate as hard as they play football and I think the owners, we did something that I think all the fans and everybody really got to be happy with in the long term because we got a 10-year deal. So this is behind us for a long time and I think that’s really what’s important."
He continued, looking toward the season and the team itself, "I think I share the dream that all of us have in South Florida. I’m a fan. That’s the reason I bought the team is I share that dream of winning the Super Bowl. I’m not going to make any predictions and I just believe that we have the nucleus of a great winning team and you know we’ll see what happens."
When asked about the need for the Dolphins to make it to the playoffs this year, Mr. Ross responded, "Well I think everybody in this camp is planning on making the postseason. To go and say now you’re not planning on it and you don’t want it, it’s not important, why be here. So we want to be there. We’re going to do everything we can to be there. They have all the resources they need. I’m not meddling with them. I want to give them all the support that I possibly can then any owner can give anybody and that’s how I look at it."
Finally, when asked about the pressure on head coach Tony Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland, Ross replied,"I think we’ve had two losing seasons and I think Tony feels, and certainly, I can’t pick up the paper without reading all this stuff that’s been written guys about how much pressure he has now. I listen to your talk radio shows; you can hear all the pressure. Does it necessarily have to come from me. No. He can feel it by everybody."
To read the full transcript of the press conference, head over to the Dolphins official website.
As for the on field stuff today, it seemed like a lot of it was install and air drills. However, more news worthy was who wasn't on the field than who was. New Dolphins running back Reggie Bush was there, although he is prevented from practicing until the NFLPA is recertified as a union on August 4th. More on Reggie later.
Also absent were the first three of the Dolphins draft choices, as none of them had signed a contract prior to the workout. (Side note: As of last night, 1st round choice Mike Pouncey remained the only Dolphins selection not signed.)
Overall, not a whole lot came out of training camp day one, but then again, not a whole lot should. The first day of practice won't tell anyone anything. Today's practice should build a little more on yesterday, and remember, it's "Family Day" for the Dolphins at Nova Southeastern University. Practice starts at 11am. If you can get over there, please feel free to post about it as soon as you get back.