The Miami Dolphins are doing something totally different when it comes to how they approach this year's rookie draft class and the rookie minicamp this coming weekend.
And it will involve zero football.
In a bizarre move, as reported by the Miami Herald, the Dolphins are going to eschew the traditional move of having their new, young football players put on pads and helmets and instead stick these kids in a classroom over the course of the weekend.
From the Herald:
Instead Dolphins rookies will spend all their time during this minicamp in classroom sessions learning how to be Miami Dolphins. That means they're going to get schooled on the schemes they're playing, their assignments, and everything football that involves the brain.
But they're also going to get a little polished up as people. They're going to get life labs to help them with nutrition, financial planning, sports science, and dealing with the media -- the last of which is a big part of their job believe it or not.
This ... makes tons of sense. Maybe. Possibly. There's no way to know, actually, because, well, no one's ever really done it before.
The idea traditionally is to get the rookies in, get a look at them in pads and try to get the process moving as fast as possible. The new CBA reduced availability, practice time, etc., so max it all out you know?
But the reality is the rookies have been in a whirlwind process the last few months and it's only going to get more hectic. Give them some time to tap the brakes from a physical standpoint and try to soak in some culture.
According to the Herald, coach Adam Gase "believes it's time to take the foot off that pedal for these rookies" and he "doesn't want to burn them out physically."
The idea is to give them a mental edge when it comes to approaching the scheme, as opposed to playing slow and looking lost.
There's no way to judge the effect immediately if you're being fair; if the Dolphins rookies aren't great out of the gate, they're still rookies. But if they look sharp early on in training camp or the offseason, other teams might attempt to replicate what Gase and the Dolphins are doing with this rookie class.