Just a 22-mile drive north from downtown Miami in the higher ed. hub of Davie, Fla., Nova Southeastern University has doubled as the site of the Miami Dolphins' headquarters and training camp staging grounds since 1993. The team's training facility, which spans more than nine acres of the northwest quadrant of the school's bucolic campus, is set against a tableau that is typical South Florida: palm trees ring the facility's twin outdoor practice fields, finger-sized lizards skitter across the pavement for cover as you walk and temperatures hover between the high-80s and the low-90s. (A steady breeze helps take the edge off of 70 percent humidity.) When sunshine and blue skies gave way to lightning and rain on Thursday, the Dolphins retreated to an abutting practice bubble just across the way. Fans, who get in free, aren't allowed in there, but the outdoor fields' bleacher seats can accommodate about 2,000. During the Dolphins' first week of camp, about that many showed up each day slathered in sunscreen and swaddled in aqua and orange. One of the more fan-friendly features is the six-foot gate separating the bleacher seats from the field; it folds in half to foster more personal interactions between fans and players during post-practice autograph sessions.
Those guys are among nine receivers Miami is currently carrying; Sparano said the team probably won't keep more than five. "We're gonna have some hard decisions to make," he said.
If sixth-year safety
The outsized intrigue in West Virginia passer
But he's hardly in any imminent danger of losing his job. Selected 44th overall, White was considered a reach. But the Dolphins were beguiled by his abilities as a runner and a passer and believed that a player of his caliber could enhance its successful Wildcat offense with a downfield passing component it did not have last year. Sparano said the team has put together a "Pat Package" of plays that capitalize on his unique skill set.
The site of Dolphins veep
1. Despite stats that rank among the NFL's best tight ends, fourth-year pro
2. Rookie free agent wideout
3. Two players -- third-year safety
4. Since purchasing a 95 percent interest in the Dolphins in January, real estate magnate