Back in September of 2006, the Miami Dolphins built what is now commonly called "the bubble," an inflatable indoor training field that allows the team to practice safe from the elements, such as rain and wind.
But there has been a lot of controversy as to the usefulness of the practice bubble, as it gives the team an excuse to not practice when the weather is less than optimal, meaning they wouldn't be acclimated to bad weather in games when it comes up.
Now, however, current Dolphins head coach Adam Gase is pushing the team to endure the elements, much like Don Shula back during the glory days of the team.
On Monday, the team practiced outside in a downpour, and even when the lightning alarm went off, which normally demands for the team to run to the bubble, Gase and the coaching staff called the team back outside, forcing them to practice in the rain and with wet footballs.
"Today was a good experience for us." Gase said. "(Defensive Coordinator) Matt (Burke) and myself talked about it once it started coming down pretty good of ‘we might not stay on the script here.’ We have some philosophies that we like to do when we do have these kind of situations come up. Play calling starts changing; the way we play defense starts changing. We both had to make those adjustments through practice so really the scripts kind of go out the window. You start calling it like a game.”
While the veterans of the team have an idea of what it's like to play and practice in Miami weather, there are certain newcomers who were shocked by the strength of the rain.
“Miami rain is different than Utah rain, I’ll tell you that." said rookie offensive lineman Isaac Asiata. "That was a tsunami. That thing was crazy. I’ve never got rained on like that before. That was fun.”
With Miami often receiving rainy weather in the summertime, the team is looking to get used to it again after spending several years hiding from the weather, and according to Gase, the team took to the water like, well, Dolphins.
“I thought it was good." Gase said. "It was really good to see the guys just never batting an eye. We had guys staying on their feet and we weren’t slipping and sliding all over the place. The grass held up well. It was good for us to go through.”
Considering they are the Dolphins, it would be appropriate for them to get used to playing when they're surrounded by water. Under Adam Gase's watch, that's exactly what they're going to do. Rainy weather doesn't stop the NFL, and so Miami isn't going to hide from it anymore.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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