Day two of training camp was much like day one. The team continued on installations and fundamentals on both sides of the football. It was a good day on the offensive side of the ball for the most part, starting fast with a lot of synergy between the quarterbacks and the wide receiving groups. That doesn’t mean that the defense didn’t have their share of game changing plays however. Both units competed well and it was a highly-contested practice for just the second day of training camp.
Here are some of my observations from Day Two of Dolphins Training Camp:
1. Zone Read Influence
It’s no secret that the Dolphins offensive system will dramatically change this year compared to prior years. One of the main differences is the installment of the zone read. Whether in college football or the NFL, this scheme allows the offense to create hesitation at the edge of the defensive line and at the linebacker position. With the athletic ability of Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, his foot speed and simply reading the edge of the defense causes doubt in the minds of the backside pursuers. This one simple play gives the Dolphins running game a way to attack an overly aggressive front seven and make them play more honest at the point of attack.
2. Cleaning It Up
Yesterday, it was almost predictable that the ball would find its way to the ground with Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey on the sidelines. Today was a different story as center Shelley Smith and that position as a group improved not only in their shotgun snaps, but there weren’t any major problems with the center-quarterback exchange. That simple mechanic allowed the offense to function more efficiently and led to a number of big plays down the field. This included Ryan Tannehill finding Mike Wallace on a deep in route, as well as hitting Damian Williams over the top of the defense for a big gain.
3. Tip Drill
We just discussed the simple mechanics of the QB-center exchange and for a defensive back the equivalent is executing the tip drill to perfection. The defense took advantage of a number of tipped passes today that they turned into interceptions. Some of the plays that stood out included a deflection by nickel defensive back Jimmy Wilson that ended up in the hands of cornerback Brent Grimes, as well as a great center field play by safety Reshad Jones on a go route to Mike Wallace. Also, defensive back Michael Thomas and linebacker Jason Trusnik found their hands on the football as practice came to a close.
Some News & Notes
- Wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Armon Binns are continuing to showcase their skills in practice, with both catching the ball cleanly and having a knack to exploit openings in the secondary.
- I thought Matt Moore threw the football especially well today, and it looks like he has a terrific feel for this new offense from Bill Lazor.
- There were plenty of Dolphins alumni in attendance today, with former linebacker Bob Brudzinski and A.J. Duhe, as well as The Finsiders’ own OJ McDuffie and Troy Stradford.
- Even though the pads don’t come on until tomorrow, I felt that the offensive line looked a lot better today as a unit.
- I think one thing to pay attention as we move deeper into camp and preseason games is how flexible the defensive line can be. There’s a solid three man starting rotation at tackle involving Randy Starks, Jared Odrick, and Earl Mitchell, and unfortunately we’ll have to until Game 5 of the regular season to see Dion Jordan, who looks like he’s poised to make a strong impression in his second year.
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