Under normal circumstances, the Miami Dolphins would already be prepping for this week's officiating crew in Houston.
They would have reams of data showing what types of penalties this week's crew traditionally calls and how that compares with its recent tendencies.
That, of course, goes out the window with replacement officials still in place while the NFL keeps trying to break the zebras' union.
Does that mean the Dolphins will try to use data from this preseason when it comes to a scouting report on this week's officials?
"We may. I don’t know," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said when I asked about this on Wednesday. "We actually started that process. I’m not sure the league has gotten that type of information yet, but we're kind of in the middle of that process as we speak."
"Normally we'll find out Wednesday," Incognito said. "We’ll meet about it and talk about it and we’ll go over, 'OK, they’re throwing a lot of these flags. They're watching for this.' It’s just a point of emphasis in the work week out there on the practice field, but with the replacements there’s none of that."
How much information has Philbin been able to glean in the past as a member of those Green Bay coaching staffs when it comes to the zebras?
"It’s helpful, I think," Philbin said. "How much to share with the players? I’ve seen both sides of that. I’m not one to make a huge deal out of it with the players; moreso with the staff....But there’s some merit to that. I think it’s wise to examine it and have a feel for it and hopefully subtly coach against that."
How does Philbin see that process working once the usual data is available?
"We'll educate the players subtly during the week: 'Hey, [this is] the highest pass interference crew, let’s get on these guys about playing the ball down the field, getting their eyes turned around to play the ball,' " Philbin said. "And if it’s offensive holding, 'Jimmy [Turner], make sure our guys play with their feet,' as opposed to walking into a team meeting and saying, 'Smith calls the most holding penalties. My God, don’t hold.' "
As long as the replacements are on the job, they'll all be "Smiths" to NFL coaches and players eager to see the real refs return.