The Miami Dolphins were back in action this afternoon at the Doctor’s Hospital Training Facility for Practice #10 of training camp, getting in their second to last practice in before Sunday night’s Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio against the Dallas Cowboys.
The team was not in pads, but that didn’t keep several players from starring during a practice that focused on red zone football, and the crucial two-minute drill.
Here are some of my takeaways from Thursday afternoon’s practice:
1) Davis Shines Bright: Normally in training camp, it takes a while for most rookies to flash or show that they belong at the NFL level. Through 10 practices, it’s very evident that 3rd round pick cornerback Will Davis believes that he not only belongs, but is rapidly moving up the depth chart. Now running with the 2nd unit, Davis has been able to get his hands on the football, and that’s something that this defense has been preaching the entire offseason. Six interceptions in four days are numbers that would stand out for 10-year veteran, let alone a 10-day rookie in training camp.
2) Opportunity Knocks: With the Hall of Fame Game rapidly approaching, the Miami Dolphins have been placing more emphasis on all aspects of special teams over the last couple of practices. When there’s a roster of 90 players, sometimes the more teams that you appear on, the more opportunities you have to make the team. Sometimes it’s as simple as not getting a holding call, or making sure that you’re not on the bench when you’re supposed to be on the field. This is one area of the team that can either make or break a player’s fate as the preseason progresses.
3) Young Guys Making Waves: Not only is rookie Will Davis making a name for himself, but there are several other young players standing out. Tight end Dion Sims has really improved his opportunity not only to make this team, but also make an impact in the passing game. His body type allows him to not only play along the line of scrimmage, but gives quarterback Ryan Tannehill a huge target in the middle of the field. Sims has shown sure hands, and a great feel for finding the open areas in zone coverage.
On the outside, rookie wide receiver Chad Bumphis has made his presence known over the past couple of days. His quickness in and out of routes and his ability to consistently catch the football is starting to appear at the right time. I’m sure he’ll get a lot of playing time on Sunday night, and Bumphis must take advantage of the situation to separate at a crowded position.
Some Quick Hits:
- Josh Samuda was back with the starting unit playing the right guard position. I’m not sure if this is a day-to-day rotation on the offensive line, but it’s good to see him at least challenging for a starting role.
- Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace both participated in the walk-through portion of practice in the bubble, but once the team moved to the outside practice fields, both veterans worked individually on the side.
- There was a big emphasis on red zone play for both the offense and defense today. This is an area of the field where the Dolphins’ offense must improve, and where the defense tries to carry over last year’s impressive numbers, as they were #1 in Red Zone defense.
- It was a Dan Carpenter’s kicking day today. Carpenter was 2-3, good from 33, and 36 yards out, and missing from 47.
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