Thomas Morstead talks Miami Dolphins football

Thomas Morstead is entering his 14th NFL season and his first with the Miami Dolphins. He took the time to answer some of our questions.

How Morstead ended up in Miami is interesting. During an interview with Paul Pickens on OnTheFinSide, Morstead said his agent called the Dolphins after he realized the Dolphins weren’t going to bring Michael Palardy back. He told them he was ready to play at the league veterans minimum and that Miami jumped at the chance.

Now he wants to prove that 14 NFL seasons doesn’t necessarily mean the end of his career. Morstead describes himself as a gym rat and videos he’s posted to social media show he’s exercising fairly consistently. No matter what position you play, longevity in the NFL is rare and a testament to his work ethic.

You’ve been in the NFL for 14 seasons. What are you seeing with the dolphins so far?
different, good or bad, than the other three teams you’ve been on, the Saints, Falcons,
and nozzles?

The new facility is the best I’ve seen in the NFL. Top in every respect. Ownership has given the team all the resources it needs to be successful. That’s all you can ask for as a player or coach. It’s exciting to be part of a team that has a head coach in their first year. The chance to be part of building a culture is greater than me or anyone else.

You’ve seen a lot during your time in the league, especially with the Saints. Drew Brees is
a prospective HOF recruit and the Saints’ offense was impressive. What have you noticed about OTAs and minicamps with Miami so far? Offensively or defensively that you seen or noticed?

This might be a disappointing answer, but I’m in my own world most of the time. I don’t sit
hanging around near the water cooler and watching the offense and defense do their thing. Usually during each exercise I have a very clear process as to what I’m trying to achieve. I don’t really focus on much else.

What was it like playing for Sean Payton and do you see any similarities to Mike McDaniel?
What has impressed you so far about Coach McDaniel?

Obviously, Coach Payton is a Hall of Fame coach and Coach McDaniel is just beginning his freshman year as a head coach. I try not to omit too many comparisons to players or coaches in this league
respect to all.

It’s still a relatively young team. Do you find it easier to earn each other’s respect?
Players given your years and achievements in the league or do you still feel like it’s a start-
about situations in which you have to work to earn that respect?

I think age and skins on the wall make players and coaches pay attention. It’s a very demanding league and it’s very difficult to play at a consistently high level there. I think everyone has to start over every year and build that foundation. Teams don’t just pick up where they left off the year before. There are new players and new coaches every season. You gotta go out there and earn it every year.

Thomas Morstead

Thomas Morstead (Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins via AP)

You work closely with Jason Sanders. How is this relationship developing so far and how?
You also know a thing or two about kicking. Practice kickoffs alongside him in
work out? If not yet, do you think you will be in training camp?

Working with Jason and Blake is the reason I’ve been at OTAs all spring. Developing the chemistry and confidence with these guys is the most important thing for the season. I’m stepping back and forth here and there to make sure I’m ready to go if the team ever needs me, but it’s not something I specialize in anymore.

How has the league changed for players since your rookie season in 2009?

I think it’s better than ever. Our salaries are higher, health and safety protocols are better. Our benefits are incredible and growing. Of course things can always get better, but I think it’s good to have perspective and realize how good we all have it.

Speaking of rookie season… Coach Payton put you under incredible pressure
in the Super Bowl. An onside kick executed by the team’s punter to start the second half against the Colts. I know it’s been a long time, but I doubt you remembered it. allowed to
Will you walk us through this emotion a bit?

It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me professionally. Having that amount of pressure and having the biggest moment and being able to pull through and do my small part to help our team in the Super Bowl has given me confidence on the field and for the rest of my life. It was an extremely stressful situation. The coolest thing about the game was that after we made that game, I think everyone on our sidelines knew that we were going to win the game. Great to be a part of New Orleans Saints history.

You also donated a large amount of money to a children’s hospital in Minnesota after losing to the Vikings. I know why it was donated and where it came from, but I would love to
hear in your own words how it came about and how it made you and even your family
Feeling. That was pretty amazing.

A Vikings fan on Reddit started convincing other Vikings fans to donate to my foundation because they were inspired by my performance in the Spring 2018 playoff game against Minnesota. Realizing what was happening, I announced that I was going to give the money back to a hospital near them, and that’s when it exploded. It was definitely something special, allowing for personal healing after a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs.

What Morstead didn’t say here is that he was injured in the game. When the Vikings took a late lead, the game was over, but the referees brought the players back for the extra point. Morstead was the first back on the field. It was a testament to his love of the game and sportsmanship.

Longevity at any position is rare in the NFL, but here you are – 12 years with the Saints and
another year apart with the Falcons and Jets. What is the key to staying in the league?
so long and hopefully longer with the dolphins?

There are many keys. You have to like it, that’s the main thing. Being a 24/7 athlete is a lifestyle. All of the small decisions you make every day all have the larger goal of being the best player you can be. I would say the personal discipline and consistency is tremendous.

How do you find South Florida on a personal level? It’s more than just the heat we’re hearing
alot about. Has your family joined you in Miami yet, and if so, how do they find the diversity?
The area?

We found an apartment this fall and I am really looking forward to offering my family a new experience. The heat here is nothing compared to New Orleans, so I love the sea breeze every day.

It’s interesting to hear that the “heat” isn’t a big deal compared to other cities, but then again, the heat in New Orleans is very different. We would like to thank Thomas Morstead for taking the time off season to answer some of our questions.

Morstead is already fast becoming a fan favorite in Miami.

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