The Miami Dolphins will open their rookie minicamp on Friday, a three-day chance to the team and the newest members of the team to learn and get ready for life in the NFL. While most teams will focus on getting the rookies on the practice field, the Dolphins are going to do something a little different: there will be no practices.
Okay, that is more than a little different.
The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero broke down new Miami head coach Adam Gase's plan for the rookies during minicamp, and it features classroom work, film work, playbook and scheme breakdowns, and a kind of rookie symposium. But, no practices. It's an interesting take, and one, according to Salguero, that Gas has been "planning for months," and something he has been thinking about "for over a year before he became an NFL head coach."
The Dolphins will help the rookies with financial planning. They are going to have them work with the team's nutritionists and sports science departments. They will get lessons in dealing with the media. They will work on the mental aspects of football. But, they will not be on the practice field.
Maybe the Dolphins are trying to make the NFL's "Welcome to the Family" Draft campaign an actuality by trying to help the rookies - and maybe protect the rookies from themselves when it comes to money, the media, and even their bodies.
Gase, and the Dolphins organization as a result of the concept, wants to give the rookies a little time to reset their bodies before they get into the full offseason program with the veterans and on to training camp. The 2015 college football season may have ended in December and January for most of the rookies, but they did not stop with their final game with their school. They immediately began training and working out so they could impress teams at the college all-star/pre-draft bowl games, the NFL Scouting Combine, Pro Days, private workouts, and more. These players, who started their practices last summer, have been in a constant state of preparation for nine months. They will be preparing for the NFL season full time in about two months. Now it is finally time to allow their bodies to rest and recovery before going into another long season.
Gase is hoping that a minicamp without field work will help the players last through an entire season, rather than hitting the "rookie wall" late in the year. He is hoping that intensive scheme work and playbook studying will help the rookies be better prepared for their assignments during the season. And he is hoping that his out-of-box idea will give the Miami rookies a slight edge for 2016.