Dolphins remove ping pong table from locker room amid losing skid originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Miami Dolphins are sacrificing a leisure sport to concentrate on their professional sport.
Head coach Mike McDaniel told reporters on Wednesday that the team removed a ping pong table from its locker room. He said wide receiver Tyreek Hill and other team captains came up with the idea to focus more intently on their upcoming Week 6 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
“Tyreek and the captains decided that they wanted to take a step forward with all their opponent prep with regard to the team and with their preparation with our game plans in general. So he made the move to take the ping pong tables out of the locker room,” McDaniel said (h/t ProFootballTalk).
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“That, to me, is leadership. To me, leadership is acting, not talking. There’s a bunch of different examples from those guys and that’s why they’re captains. That’s why we rely on them. Because it’s about solving problems, not complaining about them. They collectively as a group of players wanted more time investment during the week on their jobs for Sunday. So instead of just saying it, they did something about it and that’s the whole reason that I really have a lot of love for those guys.”
In September, Dolphins players spoke highly of what the ping pong table brought to the team environment, with some buying their own paddles and participating in locker room tournaments.
The decision to remove the ping pong table, along with McDaniel’s lengthy praise of his captains, comes amid a two-game skid. After starting the season 3-0, the Dolphins have dropped consecutive games to the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets while also losing their top two quarterbacks to injury.
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Seventh-round rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson is in line to make his first NFL start when the Dolphins welcome the Vikings at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. Now, he will have one fewer distraction when preparing for the matchup.