The Miami Dolphins got back to work today at Nova Southeastern Practice facility in Davie, FL. The players, coaches, reporters, and fans were all present to witness the start of a long training camp process. As all day ones go, the Dolphins had to first address the players who were not able to practice based on health and conditioning. The list is as follows: Arian Foster, Bobby McCain, Zach Vigil, Damien Williams, and Cam Wake(limited). The list is not surprising, except for Bobby McCain who needed to be ready right away to earn the starting nickel spot. Instead it was Michael Thomas filling that spot and he was a, reported, standout of the day.
Also in terms of non practice players, Dion Jordan was reinstated by the NFL today and the Dolphins have been informed that he will undergo counseling and be re-evaluated before week 1. The Dolphins and Adam Gase are aware that this is just the start of his comeback and they have to be patient with him. “I don’t know him….when he gets here it’s a fresh start with me,” said Gase on Jordan (Omar Kelly, Sun-Sentinel).
One of the other big news of the day was the position of 2016 first round selection Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil took all his snaps as LT with the second team as Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner held the first team guard slots. Of course Tunsil is only a rookie and he does not have a grip on the system as well as Turner and Thomas, but at some point in camp you have to expect his talent to prevail and he will find the first team snaps. Some of the other rookies fared much better. Starting with Jakeem Grant who had a TD reception on the second team from Matt Moore. Grant also looked solid in punt return and kickoff duties despite one drop. Leonte Carroo also had a nice outing and connected well with Moore. I didn’t notice much from QB Brandon Doughty as he did not take many snaps. Look for the rookies to contribute more as preseason rolls around and they get more familiar with the game.
Earl Mitchell lined up alongside Ndamukong Suh on the first team but did not stand out over Jordan Philips or Chris Jones. Jones looked rather surprising for a pickup off the waiver wire. He contributed many “tackles” in the backfield and constantly providing pressure on the line. Overall, though hard to judge, the defense looked solid but there is a lot of concern in the secondary as they failed to make very many plays.
Quarterback is always the topic of discussion in Dolphins camp and today was no exception. Ryan Tannehill delivered more of what we have come to expect from him. He was not very accurate in the red zone and he didn’t look improved in the pocket. Tannehill did connect with his number one guy Jarvis Landry multiple times, but he has to build better chemistry with his TE’s and RB’s. Special teams players were on pint today as punter Matt Darr was flawless on pinning the ball to the sideline and inside the 20. Kicker Andrew Franks was 3-3 on feild goal kicks, which is encouraging as he missed some crucial kicks last season.
All in all, the Dolphins did not provide any proof of drastic improvement, but they have shown that they are all buying into what new head coach Adam Gase is teaching and it is only a matter of time before those lessons take the field. Expect the team to look better as the practices continue and the level of physicality goes up.
Remember to follow me on twitter for more updates and news. I also hope to provide some footage on the public portion of practices soon.