Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Playing in Denver is unlike any other stadium not just because of the great history there, but because of the altitude and weather concerns that it presents. That’s because Mile High Stadium, where the Denver Broncos play, is 5,280 feet above sea level. Joe Philbin said that he doesn’t have much experience playing there and is studying the impact that it has on the players.
“Not a ton. I’ve been there a couple of times, but not a ton. We’re not leaving until Saturday. Actually, Dave (Puloka) and I and Darren (Krein) are going to get together later today and talk about some things that potentially can help our guys out.”
The cold weather may also play into the game plan as well. Currently, the Weather Channel is forecasting the temperature to be less than 36 degrees at the time of kickoff. The Dolphins, of course, don’t have much experience playing in cold weather so Philbin is trying to do everything he can to simulate the conditions.
We’ve got to talk about the temperature too because we certainly don’t get a lot of that. We’ve cooled the bubble down to a chilly maybe 62 (degrees), or 63 if we can (joking),” he said. “It depends on how much cloud cover we get (joking). Steve, (Owner Stephen Ross) doesn’t like the air conditioning bills when we have to crank it on all the time (joking). But we’ll talk about some of that stuff.”
Philbin said that playing in the cold is both a physical and mental challenge for players leading up to the game but believes that once the ball is kicked off, it’s about football and executing the plays that are called.
“I think it’s probably a little bit of both. A lot of it is mental. Again, it’s just like my experience has been over 12 years in the National Football League, it’s similar for a northern team coming down here. Once the ball gets kicked off, I think it’s really more about football and attitude and execution than it is about the temperature, whether it be 88 (degrees) with 70 percent humidity, or whether it be 37 (degrees) like it’s supposed to be on Sunday. But we’ll certainly take a look at it.”
We’ll see if the weather plays a factor in Miami’s performance. Last year, they defeated Pittsburgh in snowy conditions in weather less than 25 degrees so they do have some experience. Let’s hope it carries into this year and they come away with a victory in Denver.