Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
One of the bigger storylines this week leading up to the game against the Denver Broncos is how the Miami Dolphins are dealing with the altitude and weather issues that they'll face when they travel to Denver this weekend.
As you probably know, the stadium is one mile above sea level and the temperature at kickoff is expected to be just under 35 degrees. We heard from Joe Philbin yesterday but now it's time for the players to weigh in. Mike Wallace, who has played several times in Denver, doesn't think the weather will be too much of an issue once the game gets going and they're running around trying to make plays.
“I am from the South, so I got acclimated to the cold when I went out there (in Pittsburgh). Coming back down to the South got me back off of the path again. I went to Atlanta and Houston the last couple of days and I couldn’t even take it. It was cold and it was like 40 degrees. I’m like, ‘Man, I’m not used to it anymore.’ When you play in a football game, it really doesn’t matter once you start running and you’re moving around. They have a lot of things to keep you warm. We’ll be all right.”
Wallace said he'll talk to the players before arriving to the stadium on Sunday about what they can do to get adjusted to the high altitude before the ball is kicked off at 4:25 PM Eastern Time.
“You might just have to do a couple of extra sprints, but it’ll be all right. At the beginning of the game, I think it might take a toll on you, but, as the game goes on and you get used to it, you’ll be OK. It never really affected too many of our guys. We had one guy who couldn’t play in Denver, but besides that, everybody was fine.”
Brent Grimes has never played in Denver before so he doesn't know for sure how it will be once he steps on the field but he thinks that it would be a factor in a more, long endurance type sport, which wouldn't have much of an impact on the football game. Although Grimes said they would probably feel it, he doesn't think it will be too crazy.
Lamar Miller, who grew up in Miami, hasn't really spent much time in cold weather. This week, the coaching staff is lowering the bubble to 60 degrees. Although that won't be nearly enough to replicate the conditions in Denver, Miller said it hasn't been too bad in there and it's helped them a little to get into the mentality of playing in the cold.
Reshad Jones echoed Grimes and Wallace by saying that at the end of the day, it's football.
"You can’t worry about the weather. I know coaches don’t worry about weather or altitude or if it’s cold. We still are going to have to go out and play football.”
Joe Philbin said that right now, the focus is on things that the team can control and the weather and altitude is something they definitely have no control over.
“I talked to the team. I looked up something on the computer last night and the altitude is anywhere from 5,690 to 5,300 feet based on maybe where you are in the city. It may be a factor. The temperature is projected to be 34 degrees, I mentioned that to the team. I also mentioned that those are things we really don’t control. They’re not moving earth to lower the altitude and the weather will be what the weather is. My point to the team was let’s control what we control and that’s how well we prepare for this game and what effort we bring to the game and the attitude we bring to the game.”
Some have said that the Dolphins should arrive in Denver a bit earlier than Saturday to get acclimated but according to Philbin, he has spoken to several people and the information he received suggests that ti takes much longer to get acclimated to the altitude.