DAVIE – Since the closing of the Orange Bowl in 2008, the Miami Dolphins (4-4) have been sharing their stadium with the Miami Hurricanes football squad for the past nine football seasons.
The turf has held up relatively well in past seasons, but the field conditions came under scrutiny during Sunday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders. Members of both teams regularly lost their footing on the chewed up surface, and the prospect of players suffering injury due to compromised playing conditions drew the ire of CBS analyst Phil Simms.
“Did you watch the Sunday night game down in Miami?” Simms said. “You know, those are professional football players on the field. Did you see the field and conditions? It really bothered me. There are guys — Ndamukong Suh — there are players out there that really could have been hurt because of the condition of that field.”
Coach Adam Gase is notorious for his unwillingness to pardon subpar play, but even he agreed that the field conditions have been suboptimal during the last two home games.
“I go out and walk the field before the game,” Gase said. “For me I’m always looking for what’s the right kind of cleats to wear for our guys. … We felt pretty good before it started raining. … I think Tom [Garfinkle], has done a great job of researching and finding the right solution to get us kind of pointed in the right direction.”
Despite playing on poor field conditions the past two weeks, Gase remains optimistic Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkle will do everything in his power to remedy issues with the turf at Hard Rock Stadium.
“Hopefully we’ll have this thing fixed by the next time we play at home. We feel good about the direction we’re headed and what we got line up. … Tom [Garfinkle] has really been on this thing. I know it bothers him because he wants that to be perfect for us and give us, to give us our best chance to win.”
While Gase was willing to acknowledge that the playing conditions were less than ideal, he still refuses to make excuses for his team. He and his coaches will continue to coach, while his players, play to the best of their abilities.
As for the playing surface that has been criticized in recent weeks – Gase will allow others to handle the matter.
For me, I’m going to let people do their job,” Gase said. “My job is to show up and coach. There’s a lot of other people on that other topic.”