Little playing time in the preseason not the issue
I'm hearing fans say that because Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Keith Traylor and Joey Porter didn't play very much in the preseason, they got tired late in the fourth quarter and in overtime against Washington. I'm hearing them blame Cam Cameron for not working his stars harder during this training camp.
I cannot believe what I'm hearing.
While it is true, the Miami defense indeed wilted in the second half against Washington, it is not because the players were out of shape.
"I'm not tired," Taylor said afterward. "I can play for another hour. I wish we could go right back out there and start over again."
The folks making the points about guys not playing enough in the preseason obviously don't want to think about Randy Moss. He played zero plays in the preseason. He caught nine passes for 183 yards Sunday.
So give me a break on the preseason stuff. These guys were practicing, some of them twice a day. They ran, they biked. They are in shape.
Were the Dolphins tired late Sunday? Sure. Was it because they're out of shape? No, it was because they were overmatched by a bigger, better bunch of players.
Guess what? Traylor was giving ground in the fourth quarter, but he was giving ground in the first, second and third quarters also. He didn't plug the middle as he usually does, but that can have something to do with him being 37-years-old and not that he's out of shape.
Joey Porter didn't make a bunch of plays. It wasn't because he was tired or out of shape. He simply didn't factor as much as one would expect. Even Taylor, whose motor revs high throughout a game, didn't make big plays in the first half ...
... When he supposedly wasn't tired.