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    What Miami Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniel Expects of His Team This Summer

    The end of minicamp and the start of training camp is a long six weeks for NFL coaches. Here's what Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is most concerned about.

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Father’s Day is this Sunday, and the Miami Dolphins hope it’ll be a quieter one for Tyreek Hill than it was a year ago.

    Hill, you might recall, needlessly added stress to Mike McDaniel’s summer when he smacked a marina employee in the back of the neck during an argument. Hill was never charged or suspended for the incident — he settled to make it go away — but it was an unnecessary headache for both the player and franchise.

    It was the kind of summer surprise that teams fear during the players’ time away from the structure of an NFL routine.

    Miami Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel’s Summer Message

    But when asked last week to reveal his message to his team before breaking for the summer, McDaniel had a surprising answer.

    Instead of don’t do stupid stuff (which is probably assumed), McDaniel essentially told them, don’t get fat.

    “You just try to have them understand — since you’re not with them every day — you try to have them understand what the six weeks and their decisions, how it relates to the overall football team,” McDaniel said.

    “… When you get to the preseason — or just you get to the season in general — how much is dependent upon those six weeks and you doing right by the team. What’s doing that, what’s doing right by the team? That’s showing up in shape for training camp, because if you show up in shape for training camp, check the box, we can work. All the things that you aspire for that season individually and as a team, those are on the table.”

    Reporting to camp physically fit has advantages that extend far beyond being ready to practice on Day 1.

    “If you don’t show up in shape and use training camp to get in shape, well one – that’s the No. 1 variable for soft tissue injuries,” McDaniel said. “You get a soft tissue injury, then now you’re out two weeks and you haven’t even started getting back in shape until three weeks in, and how is your game going to develop.”

    But even those lucky enough to avoid injury will be behind the eight ball by reporting out of shape.

    “Trying to get Week 1 ready is very difficult because of the unique hurdles that preseason schedules provide where you have the bye week, there’s like three days off transition before the first game,” McDaniel said.

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    “And then you have different nuances the weekend before all of which make the ability to sustain the shape you’re in plausible — not getting in shape, there’s not enough reps. So illustrating how everything that you are working for on the table, how nothing — you can’t even venture to that journey if those six weeks aren’t appropriately attacked. That’s what I’m really getting at them, because that’s the one thing that everyone is depending on.”

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