What to expect from Miami Dolphins 1st contact practice
By Brian Miller
Tomorrow morning the Miami Dolphins will not just be wearing a helmet, they will be in full pads for a full contact practice. It’s the first full contact these players have had since the 2014 season ended. While the Dolphins are likely to ease into full contact the first practice should still give us a lot of perspective into this years squad.
More from Dolphins News
- 4 offensive tackles Miami Dolphins could draft at 51
- Miami Dolphins don’t need CB help but these 5 could be available at 51
- 4 players that could replace Wilkins if Miami Dolphins don’t re-sign him
- Miami Dolphins have a starting point with Wilkins after Simmons deal
- The Miami Dolphins should not take a running back in the draft
The quarterbacks will continue to don the red-don’t-hit jerseys but the rest of the team will be full go contact. Here are some things to watch for come tomorrow morning.
The offensive line has been playing push and shove with the defensive line thus far dating back to off-season workouts. Tomorrow they will get their first taste of the new additions Ndamukong Suh, C.J. Mosley, and Jordan Phillips. It’s likely Mike Pouncey and Ja’Wuan James will hold down their positions but at both guard positions and left tackle it could be much different
Consider that for the first time rookie Jamil Douglas is going to get his first taste of NFL action when he will likely face Suh and Dallas Thomas will get the same. The battle for the guard positions will come down to the trio of Thomas, Billy Turner, and Douglas. With contact now in play, the physicality of the offensive line will be on display…or the lack of.
While the offensive line has questions there are none on the defensive line. How will Suh look when able to use his full power to penetrate the line? Mosley? What about Jordan Phillips who has been said to take plays off and sometimes lacks focus and effort? Full pad practices will give the defensive line a great opportunity to shine and more importantly give the offensive line perhaps one of the best defensive fronts to practice against. For fans seeing Suh go full speed will be something they have waited for, for a long time.
Chris McCain and Kelvin Sheppard have looked good thus far but contact is a different bird. Can Mike Hull continue his impressive start to camp and get more reps with the 2nd team? Hull has the chance to make a big impression in contact drills but Sheppard may be the first one to watch as he wants to push Koa Misi for the starting job. McCain has been high on himself since last season ended and thus far is backing up his claims of being good enough to start. Tomorrow we will see how well he can read the offense and put himself in position to make the plays that will matter once the season starts.
Davis hasn’t looked good thus far and I find this troublesome because cornerbacks shouldn’t need contact to practice well. When I coached defenses I used to tell my secondary that regardless of contact or full pads, coverage is about being in the right place and reading the routes then breaking on the ball. Davis will need to start showing the physical part of his game and perhaps maybe the physicality will make it easier to get in the right positions to make plays.
Blocking is a big job for a tight end as they are often used as a 2nd outside tackle but the duo of Jordan Cameron who had a good day on day two and Dion Sims will be about the shedding of line contact to get into their routes. It will also be nice to see what Tim Semisch will now do with pads on as well.
Injuries will occur with or without pads but first contact practices are often dangerous as players bodies have yet to acclimate to the collisions of full contact. The Dolphins, like every team, are hoping to avoid injuries through camp. Tomorrow’s practice will put each player in a position to get their bodies bruised as they start to reinsert themselves into football shape.