The team started as they always do working out inside the bubble, focusing on individual positional skills before heading outside for 7-on-7 and team drills. There was some personnel movement on both sides of the football that was very noticeable, and some new faces were getting more work leading up to Monday night’s scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium.
Here are some of my takeaways from today’s practice:
1) Movement On The Offensive Line – When a 6’5, 335-pound lineman isn’t lined up at his normal position, you definitely take notice! Dolphins right guard John Jerry missed today’s workout with an unspecified absence that started a domino effect up front. Starting left guard Richie Incognito moved from the left side to Jerry’s spot on the right, and rookie lineman Dallas Thomas received significant reps at left guard.
My gut tells me that this move isn’t by design, but it allows the Dolphins to experiment with different lineups along the interior line and give players like Lance Louis, Jeff Adams and the always-versatile Nate Garner more opportunities to impress this coaching staff. This is an area to watch over the next couple of days to see if Jerry bounces back, or who emerges if he’s lost for a week or two.
2) Tannehill To Wallace Getting Better – The timing in the pass offense looked cleaner today as the quarterbacks seemed to find some rhythm with the receiving unit, including Tannehill to Wallace. The speed route to the outside was my focus when Tannehill hit Wallace and receiver Brian Hartline with consistency. It always takes time to read your receiver’s body language as a quarterback and it’s starting to look more effortless with Wallace.
Another group that impressed me today was the running backs and how versatile they are catching the football out of the backfield. Lamar Miller and Marcus Thigpen were the two that caught my attention. Both had multiple opportunities to catch the football underneath and in the flat, flashing run-after-catch abilities and making it look easy!
3) Dion Jordan Getting More Work – I’m quite sure that this coaching staff has a detailed plan for their first-round draft choice defensive end Dion Jordan. It looked like part of that plan included easing Jordan into one-on-one pass rushing drills at the end of practice today. Although it wasn’t a heavy workload, Jordan showed nice quickness off the edge, blending in his hand technique against the offensive tackles. Cam Wake mentioned after practice that Jordan displayed the correct mental approach; something he believes is needed for a young situational pass rusher. It remains to be seen just how this coaching staff will use Jordan’s talents, but we can only hope that today was used as his launching point.
Some Quick Hits:
– Nolan Carroll not only had a solid day in the defensive backfield, but also showed why his special teams talents shouldn’t be overlooked. Carroll was used as a gunner on punt cover and was able to get into position, catching the football with ease inside the five-yard line.
– Placekicker Dan Carpenter had his first disappointing day kicking the football, going one for three. This competition between Carpenter and rookie Caleb Sturgis will continue well into the preseason, so today’s results will just add to the decision-making process.
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