There are short weeks, and then there are weeks when a team is forced to play on Thursday night, just four days after coming off a typical grueling Sunday in the NFL. That’s the scenario facing the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals this week, and according to Joe Philbin, the key to executing a short turnaround is simply installing the game plan as quickly as possible.
“Well, it’s short,” Philbin said on The Finsiders. “But we’re going to go out there tonight and introduce the plan. We want to get the plan in the players’ minds and heads as soon as we possibly can, so we’re going to do a good portion of the game plan this evening. We’re going to do the rest of it tomorrow, then have a little bit lengthier walk-through Wednesday.
“Obviously, we can’t be on the field too long, these guys just played a game and so we have to be smart about what we ask these guys physically, but we want to get the plan, at least mentally, into their hands as soon as possible”
Though Miami is undoubtedly short on time, the Dolphins will aim to thoroughly prepare for the dynamic Bengals offense, which put up 49 points this past weekend against the New York Jets.
“I think [Andy Dalton] has done a really nice job of distributing the ball,” Philbin said. “They have A.J. Green—certainly an outstanding player, has good statistics. There are also other players that are getting the ball—Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Jermaine Greshem, Tyler Eifert, Giovanni Bernard—they’re really getting the ball around to different guys, which presents a challenge to us from a defensive perspective.”
And from a defensive perspective, the Bengals live up to the billing as a tough opponent to move the ball against, as Cincinnati currently ranks eighth in the league in total defense.
“They like to walk a lot of guys up on the line of scrimmage on third down and present what we call ‘targeting concerns’, at least from an offensive point of view,” Philbin said. “And they had two negative plays on the first two third downs of the game.”
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