Had the opportunity to attend the opening of Miami Dolphins training camp today. Thought I’d share my notes and observations from today with you all.
It was blazing hot outside today and the Miami Dolphins coaches gave the crowd what they wanted to see, a lot of Offense vs Defense action on the near sided field.
Noticed the Wide Receivers working on running bubble screens and getting out in front of the play to block for the pass catcher, at the beginning of practice. Looks like the quick passing game will be of emphasis this season as an extension of the run game.
The first team session got off to a rocky start with Ryan Tannehill calling a timeout on the first play and following that up with a fumbled snap. That would be a theme for the day, as it was evident there will be growing pains as the Offensive Line acclimates to playing without Mike Pouncey at center.
The first team O Line today was Ja’Wuan James at Right Tackle with Dallas Thomas at Right Guard, Shelly Smith slid over to Center, with recent acquisition Daryn Colledge inserted at Left Guard next to Prize Free Agent pick up Branden Albert at Left Tackle.
Smith, Sam Brenner, and Nate Garner had issues with Center to Quarterback exchanges today with Brenner’s miscue being of the over the head shotgun snap variety. That obviously needs to be cleaned up.
It was very refreshing to see the new Offense utilizing Tannehill’s legs more as I saw about a dozen plays that incorporated either a bootleg or designed rollout; shoot there was even a Tannehill read option where he kept the rock and took off.
Brian Hartline looked like his usual dependable self catching his patented comeback routes, with one of them coming against starting Corner Brent Grimes. Armon Binns probably had the next most productive day of the group, with some nice catches on a deep in and a deep out.
It was good to see Brandon Gibson out there in full participation, but its obvious he still has some work to do to get to full speed, there were a few passes that he couldn’t make that extra burst to close on for the completion. Still encouraging to see him out there.
There was 2 bombs to Mike Wallace from Tannehill. One that was a beautiful throw down the right sideline into the hole of cover 2 converge, but the DB contested it and distracted Wallace enough to where he couldn’t make the play, the pass was on the money though. The other came later, where they hooked up on a pretty deep pass down the left sideline which was encouraging to see. Progress is being made there and it’s exciting.
Stephen Williams caught a bubble screen that worked to perfection, just like they were practicing in individuals period, the 2 receivers flanked out wide with him, got out in front with good blocks and sprung Williams down the sideline.
Charles Clay had some nice catches and looks so much more comfortable and consistent in his approach. Michael Egnew had an early drop that had fans heckling him, but he rebounded with some nice catches and one real difficult catch across the middle in good coverage that he showed excellent body control going up and contorting his body to catch a pass that was behind him.
Gator Hoskins made some nice catches against the other reserve players, very strong hands, plucks the ball seamlessly. Dion Sims, Kyle Miller, and Aaron Lynch were all quiet with Lynch and Miller looking like they couldn’t get separation.
Daniel Thomas was the only Running Back to really stand out today. He ripped off 3 runs where he was able to get to the second level untouched, prompting fans in the stands to say “you better run like that when the pads come on!”. The rest of the Backs were stopped rather quickly, although Mike Gillislee ripped off one run and Lamar Miller caught a decent screen pass.
On Defense, Middle Linebacker Koa Misi seemed to be getting more and more comfortable, I know they aren’t in pads yet, but he was quick to fill the gaps on run plays and didn’t look lost in coverage.
Safety Louis Delmas blew up a reverse to Mike Wallace in the team period, and second year Corner Jamar Taylor had a few nice pass break ups with one in coverage against Rishard Matthews that was quite impressive. The other second year Corner, Will Davis was relatively quiet except for a pass that Binns out muscled him for.
Free Agent pick up Cortland Finnegan looked great, with some real solid coverage and 2 really tough pass break ups. Jimmy Wilson had a nice deflection in zone coverage where he jumped up high to deflect a pass Tannehill was trying drop over behind him to an open Receiver who broke off his deep route for a comeback.
Not a lot of pressure up front, O Line seemed to hold their own, Tannehill held the ball a little too long at times, with only glaring sack coming on a Jason Trusnik blitz where he embarrassed a guard who I couldn’t make out his number.
Cameron Wake had a nice break up of a screen play that he nearly picked off.
Other than that, it was a good first day for the Miami Dolphins, these were my observations mine alone, hope you fans make it out to Saturday’s practice to support your squad. FINS UP!!!