Dolphins will practice on Tuesdays, take Thursdays off

AP

It’s no surprise that the Eagles under coach Chip Kelly’s “change is good” approach to football will be practicing on Tuesdays while getting Mondays off.

It’s definitely a surprise that the Dolphins will, in the second year of Joe Philbin’s tenure, make a similar change.

Philbin told reporters that the players will practice on Tuesdays this season, with Thursdays now becoming the weekly off day.

“Well, when the schedule came out I knew we had a 10-day window between the last preseason game and the first game, and I thought that was the best way to proceed,” Philbin said.  “Then we also have a Monday night game during the fourth week.  The best way to keep a rhythm would be to go with a later day off in the week.  We are giving it a whirl.”

Philbin said the player feedback has been “generally positive,” but it’s hard not to wonder whether some players will dislike the approach.  Having Tuesday off creates a firewall between the last game and the next one, with players having a chance to mentally pivot from the performance that was to the game plan to come.  By taking Thursday off, the Dolphins already will have started working to get ready for Sunday, and the players who are conscientious will spend the time watching film and reviewing the game plan and otherwise taking full advantage of the remaining hours before Sunday.

So, basically, the Dolphins have turned the off day into a day that, for the guys who care about winning, a voluntary work day.  While that’s also the case when the off day falls on a Tuesday, it’s a lot easier to have a structure for putting in extra work after the game plan has been devised and distributed.