The Dolphins’ three-day minicamp kicked off today, as the team prepares to wind down their offseason program. Much of the offensive and defensive schemes have been installed, and as a unit, this group seems to be on the right track heading into training camp later this summer. Today it was the defenses turn to dominate, and control the tempo of practice, making multiple plays on the football, and disrupting the timing of the offense. There were multiple things to take away from practice today, and here are the three that stood out to me the most.
1. Full of Energy: It seemed like the players had a different pace and tempo to the first mini camp practice inside the bubble today. Guys on both sides were flying around, especially on the defensive side of the football. Defenders made multiple interceptions, but there was one in particular that stole the show. Rookie DL Terrence Fede made a leaping interception in flat coverage, sending the defense as a whole into a frenzy. He tried to put on his best running back imitation after the catch, but he ended up losing yards on the attempted return. It was just one example of the athleticism and energy from this 2014 group, as this year’s team has a much more expressive and passionate vibe to it.
2. Offensive Line Rotation: Starting Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey took only mental reps today, as backup centers Sam Brenner and Tyler Larsen took all of the snaps at that position. It looked like it was an excused absence for Pouncey, as he was present at practice and around every drill, but not participating physically throughout the morning workout. It gave offensive line coach John Benton an entire practice to observe both Brenner and Larsen, and maybe that was the objective of holding Pouncey out. The one thing I did notice about this group of lineman, especially Ja’Wuan James and Branden Albert is that they are much more athletic and move better blocking at the second level than last year’s tackles. Free agent acquisition Jason Fox also fits into this category, as well as utility offensive lineman Nate Garner. Both Fox and Garner rotated from left side to right side throughout practice.
3. Defense Dominates: For Ryan Tannehill and company it as just one of those days where they will watch the film, regroup, and try to attack again tomorrow, because the defense set the tone for today’s practice. Not only did they disrupt the timing in the pass offense, but they were breaking on the football with regularity and effectiveness. Primarily, safety Jimmy Wilson was around the football the entire day and if he wasn’t, his voice was pretty close to the football as well because you could hear him all over the field. A slight change at one of the corner positions put second year DB Jamar Taylor in the starting role opposite Brent Grimes, and he did not disappoint, getting his hands on the football a couple of times throughout the morning practice. This might have been the same type of situation as Brenner and Larsen went through on the offensive side, as veteran-starting corner Cortland Finnegan was dressed fully, but did not participate in team drills. Middle linebacker Koa Misi seemed to play close to game speed today, and if that’s any indication of the team speed the Dolphins have on defense, this entire unit should look for big improvements in 2014.
RELATED: Quick Hits: Minicamp & Stadium Vote
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.