Dolphins players call for better practices

After spending last season with the Jets, Jason Taylor‘s seen how a division power prepares for games and believes the Dolphins aren’t doing enough to change the scenery of the AFC East.

Despite a coaching staff perched on a white-hot seat, it took prodding from the 37-year-old defensive end to initiate a change in the winless team’s intensity level during practice. Now in his third stint with Miami, Taylor gathered teammates around him after Sunday’s 23-13 loss to the Texans and vowed to set a new tone before their meeting with the Browns.

Taylor’s teammates believe the call to arms was long overdue.

“We have to start practicing like it’s the game,” defensive co-captain Yeremiah Bell told The Miami Herald. “We have to do that because, so far, we’ve been playing a lot like we practice.”

Even rookie running back Daniel Thomas has seen issues with how the team’s prepared this season: “We have a lot of mental mistakes in practice, and sometimes it carries on into the game so that’s something we have to work on.”

“It’s going to be a lot more intense this week,” Bell said. “Everybody realizes our game needs to go up a level. Everybody understands that because what we’re doing is not getting it done so far.”

If you’re a fan of the Miami Dolphins, at the very least you’d relish some assurance that your team — if not as talented as the Jets and Pats (and perhaps the upstart Bills) — is not being outworked. The Patriot Way is not a complete mystery to Tony Sparano, considering he and Bill Belichick are both apples off the Bill Parcells tree. When players go public with their displeasure around game preparation, it’s a sign they’ve taken matters — and their careers — into their own hands.

Dolphins coaches are on the spot to re-organize and right a ship that looks ready to crumble in coastal waters if change does not come quick.

– Marc Sessler

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