Friday, September 27, 2013
Are Dolphins ready for the spotlight?
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. – It’s been more than two years since the Miami Dolphins last played on “Monday Night Football.” Many current players were not on the team for Miami’s season opener in 2011. Neither was the entire coaching staff, led by head coach Joe Philbin, who is in his second season.
The Dolphins have been in the spotlight all week following their 3-0 start. Now, they will play their first prime-time game of the season on Monday night against the undefeated New Orleans Saints in the only battle of unbeaten teams this week.
Are the Dolphins ready for the spotlight? Players in the locker room say the team has no issues keeping a level head.
“I think we are smart enough to know as a team that we don’t want to be part of the conversation now,” Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo said. “We want to be part of the conversation at the end of the season. Yeah, it’s nice to get some recognition and some notice. But I think everyone in here knows it’s not our goal at this point. It’s to make the playoffs and see what happens from there.”
This will be a good showcase for the Dolphins. This is the first time many fans on a national scale will get to see Miami’s current roster, which is led by second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins are off to a fast start. But not everyone is convinced Miami is a legit playoff contender. A good showing in New Orleans, win or lose, would go a long way to boosting their national image around the league.
“You’re on the big screen and there’s a lot of people watching,” Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi said. “You just got to execute your game plan and do the things you’ve been practicing during the week. We’re just going to keep playing how we’re playing.”
This is the third game of Miami’s tough five-game stretch to start the season. Coming off a short week, the Dolphins will play the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at home in Week 5.