The Miami Dolphins returned to practice today, their first workout since their disappointing loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. As the team hit the field, questions still plague the team, from the possibility that the players are quitting on the team, to how to fix the team, to the loudest of all questions, when will Stephen Ross fire his head coach?
The team spent the practice preparing for the San Diego Chargers this weekend. However, they did it a little shorthanded today. Linebacker Jason Taylor and safety Yeremiah Bell both sat out the practice. Taylor was seen doing rope rehab work. Bell wasn't seen - but both are listed on the official injury report as "not injury related."
Defensive end Tony McDaniel continued to miss practice as his hand heals.
Cornerback Vonate Davis returned to practice today, along with fellow CB Will Allen and guard Vernon Carey. Davis, who was held out of last game with a hamstring injury, was limited in practice, but he was on the field. Carey and Allen were both full participants on the day.
After practice, wide receiver Brandon Marshall addressed his part in the Dolphins struggles:
"I need to be a little more consistent, so this week I'm challenging myself to be exactly where I need to be and make the big play . Whatever the big play would be. It doesn't necessarily have to be a highlight. Just trying to create a spark so we can get this thing rolling in the right direction."
Marshall isn't just talking, however. Monday morning, once the team arrived in Miami, Marshall immediately hit the film room, watching himself and taking notes on how to get better. The wideout, who has left three Miami touchdowns off the scoreboard so far this year (in the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, Marshall cut an endzone route short in both those games, resulting in quarterback Chad Henne missing him and nearly throwing interceptions, while in the Cleveland game, Marshall let a touchdown pass go right through his hands), was in the team facility until 5am, leaving about the same time as Head Coach Tony Sparano.
Meanwhile, General Manger Jeff Ireland continued to work his piece in the "how to fix the Dolphins" puzzle, claiming former Houston Texan Steve Slaton off of waivers, waiving defensive end Ryan Baker to make space for the running back.
The Dolphins look to finally right the ship against the Chargers Sunday afternoon, trying to breakinto the win column before the bye week. If they can't pull out the victory, the seat under Sparano, who earlier this week a source confirmed wasn't going to be fired anytime soon, is only going to get hotter. With a win in San Diego, the Dolphins could then look to draw blood in the AFC East, spending the bye week preparing for their Monday night matchup against the New York Jets. If Sparano makes it through the bye week, and on to the Jets, a two game winning streak could solidify his position as the head coach - at least through the rest of the season.