4 Practices Left Before 1st Pre Game: Morning Update

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Final Morning Update

The Miami Dolphins are starting their 1st practice of the week, a countdown to the start of the Pre-season games that will begin this coming weekend.  Ben Volin is back in the drivers seat providing as much coverage as possible.  You know the drill. 

10:45

Practice just ended. These practices are definitely getting shorter, and the hitting is lighter.

A few more quick hits:

  • They’re doing team drills, but mostly working on swing passes and stuff to the running backs.
  • Henne and McCown have a couple nice throws to Ricky and Ronnie, hitting them perfectly in stride.
  • Edgar says Ronnie showed off some great speed on an off-tackle run.
  • You get the feeling Ricky and Ronnie are going to be a BIG part of the passing game this year. Ricky has 246 career receptions, most among current Dolphins by a mile. Ronnie had 39 catches for 389 yards in seven games last year, and was a combo-yardage monster. With receiver being a weak spot with this team, I can see each of these guys getting 200-250 touches this season.
  • Anthony Fasano drops a touchdown pass from John Beck.
  • Shotgun handoff to Jalen Parmele, who runs around left end and into the end zone nearly untouched from 10 yards out.
  • The receivers aren’t helping Beck. He rolls out right and finds Matthew Mulligan open in the end zone, but Mulligan drops it.
  • Chad Henne doesn’t do much, throwing a couple quick outs and handing off to Ronnie.
  • Josh McCown is in, and it’s more of the same. On one snap he trips over his feet, falls down and fumbles the handoff to Patrick Cobbs. Whoops.
  • They finish up by practicing the goal-line offense, and it’s not full contact.
  • McCown finishes the day with a nice throw to Mulligan in the corner of the end zone. Redemption for Mulligan.

10:18

Some more quick hits:

  • The team is practicing its punt formation as I come back outside. Brandon Fields is punting from the back of the end zone, and once again is booming them past midfield.
  • The team slowly moves down the field, until Fields is trying to pin the return unit deep into their own territory. His punts are landing at about the 10-14 yard line every time.
  • Meanwhile, the quarterbacks are doing an interesting drill. An inflatable drum is set up about 5 yards behind a net that stands maybe 10 feet tall. The quarterbacks are dropping back and trying to feather a throw over the net and into the inflatable drum.
  • It’s not an easy drill, that requires a lot of touch. And John Beck hits the target the most, maybe four times, including one perfect throw that lands inside the drum.
  • McCown and Henne each hit the target once apiece.

Now they break up into 1-on-1 OL vs. DL drills, and 7-on-7 passing drills. I’m trying to watch both at the same time.

As for the OL vs. DL:

  • Langford starts off by blowing around Vernon Carey. A couple minutes later, Carey gets his revenge and completely snuffs out Langford.
  • Nice job by Donald Thomas slowing down Randy Starks.
  • Langford also gets around Trey Darilek. Nice quickness from Langford.
  • Justin Smiley trips up Vonnie Holliday, sending Holliday sprawling to the earth.
  • Next play, Holliday does a spin move to the inside and blows right past Smiley.
  • Phillip Merling is trying to do a spin move around Jake Long, but Long isn’t buying it. Chalk this one up to Long.
  • Daren Heerspink does a nice job slowing down Rod Wright. Nice showing today from Heerspink.

In the 7-on-7 drills:

  • Nice swing pass from Henne to Ronnie Brown for a big gain down the left sideline.
  • Henne throws a quick out to Anthony Armstrong, and then takes advantage of a mismatch by finding Derek Hagan on a 20-yard seam route in the end zone. LB Charlie Anderson was covering.
  • Nice coverage by Quentin Moses, batting away a Henne pass to Davone Bess.
  • Josh McCown is in now, and he chucks it at Boomer Grigsby’s feet on a check-down.
  • McCown comes back and throws a nice touchdown to John Dunlap, beating Will Allen on a post.
  • Next pass is another nice one, a quick fade to Hagan in the front left corner of the end zone, Will Billingsley covering.

The team does a big group huddle, as they’ve been doing in the middle of practices, then breaks out into team drills.

9:51

A few more observations. It took about 45 minutes for practice to really get going.

  • Reagan Mauia isn’t doing himself any favors during individual drills. He drops two catches in the end zone, and there’s no one covering him. He dropped a screen pass in Saturday’s scrimmage, too.
  • Ronnie Brown, meanwhile is making one-handed catches in the end zone. He’s a very smooth receiver.

Team splits up into three groups: O-Line vs. D-Line, quarterbacks and receivers vs. cornerbacks, and John Beck and the running backs vs. safeties.

  • The linemen aren’t going full speed on every play. But Steve McKinney is practicing today, lining up at right guard, and I see him do a nice job standing up Jason Ferguson.
  • In the receiver drills, Jayson Foster makes a nice catch on a slant route with Chris Roberson draped all over him.
  • Will Allen blankets Anthony Armstrong and intercepts Josh McCown’s pass. Armstrong looked like he gave up on the route.
  • John Beck is making almost all the throws. The only ones he misses are a deep wheel route to Jalen Parmele that was a bit too far, and he can’t connect with Patrick Cobbs after Keith Davis does a great job jamming Cobbs at the line of scrimmage.
  • A Ted Ginn sighting: He toasts Roberson for a 40-yard touchdown from Chad Henne.
  • Nice toss from McCown to Camarillo in the corner of the end zone, and a nice job by Camarillo positioning his body to eliminate Will Billingsley from the play.

They’re breaking out into team drills now. Back for more soon. 

9:26 a.m.

A couple quick updates during warm-ups and individual drills:

  • No new guys out on the field today. Only 78 players right now on the roster. Didn’t expect that one.
  • Still no Justin Peelle (knee) or Michael Lehan (ankle). They’re doing agility drills on the sideline. With Aaron Halterman waived on Saturday, the Dolphins have only three tight ends at practice today (Fasano, Martin and Sean Ryan).
  • Donald Thomas continues to line up as the First Team right guard.
  • Chad Henne lines up with the First Team in blocking sled drills.
  • John Dunlap is back after missing Saturday because of family reasons.
  • And Bill Parcells is having a nice chat with Chris Crocker during stretching. Seems like whenever I see Parcells chatting with a player, it’s almost always him giving tips to a DB.

Things I’m looking for today (Volin):

  • How will the quarterbacks bounce back from a sub-par Week 1, specifically John Beck?
  • Who will the Dolphins sign to fill the two roster vacancies created on Saturday? Quincy Carter? Terry Glenn? Dan Marino???
  • How will Ronnie’s knee hold up?
  • And who is going to play right guard?