Today’s focus included a half-line inside running drill, and a two-minute end of game simulation, with the offense needing a touchdown to win the game. The offensive and defensive lineman received plenty of work going against each other, including one-on-one running and pass-rushing periods. Here are my takeaways from today’s workout:
1) Situational Work For The Offense - Quarterback Ryan Tannehill received plenty of work today and looked sharp again in one-on-one’s and team situations. He also seemed to spread the football around, especially in the red-zone finding multiple receivers for completions. One receiver that has been sharp through the first week of camp has been Brian Hartline. He’s been the most consistent wideout when it comes to precise route running versus man coverage and finding the open areas against zone looks.
The offense was facing an end-of-game scenario at the end of practice today down four points, needing a touchdown to win. Starting from the minus 40 yard line, Tannehill found Dustin Keller on an out route and Hartline a play later on the slant to move the chains. Tannehill again connected with Hartline on a short corner route that set up the offense at the 35-yard line. Two plays later, Tannehill threw a strike deep down the field to Marvin McNutt behind cornerback Brent Grimes for a touchdown.
2) Samuda Getting Plenty Of Work - The offensive line has seen plenty of lineup changes over the last couple of practices with the absence of John Jerry at right guard. It would seem that moving Jerry’s replacement into the lineup would be the simple answer to this issue, but multiple positions experiments have been the norm, not the exception. Center Mike Pouncey has been taking some reps at right guard, moving backup Josh Samuda into more practice time at center. Samuda has looked good getting the extra snaps at the position, and my guess is this move is short term.
It also must indicate that no one is stepping up to define himself as a clear replacement for Jerry. Reserve guards Lance Louis and rookie Dallas Thomas need to step up and be noticed quickly because there are plenty of other candidates waiting to get their opportunity. Also, veteran Richie Incognito has seen action at right guard when Pouncey is at center, moving the rookie Thomas to the left guard position.
3) Clean Day For Carpenter - The six-year veteran had a solid day kicking the football, and every attempt was from outside the 49-yard line. That has been the focus area for Carpenter throughout the first week of training camp. He must prove to this coaching staff that his leg can consistently convert from 50 yards out, which was a concern last season. Carpenter made kicks today from 55, 49, 53 and 54 yards out today while rookie Caleb Sturgis awaits his next opportunity to kick. It’s still unclear just how head coach Joe Philbin will handle the kicking duties during the preseason, but Carpenter has proven so far that he’s up to the challenge.
Some Quick Hits:
– Rookie defensive end Dion Jordan is starting to get more work each and everyday, joining the defensive unit for a portion of the team drills today. Also, Jordan took more pass rushing repetitions in the one-on-one drills.
– Rookie cornerback Will Davis responded from a couple of disappointing periods today with two interceptions, one of them stepping in front of a Pat Devlin pass to end practice on a high note for the defense.
– Marcus Thigpen has been showing off his versatility by not only getting reps at running back and on special teams as a returner/gunner, but also lining up as a slot receiver. The help might have been needed with the absence of Rishard Matthews and the lower left leg injury today to Armon Binns.
– The Dolphins made a roster move today by signing wide receiver Andrell Smith and waiving quarterback Aaron Corp.
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