After a day off on Sunday, the Dolphins were back on the practice field in Davie for workout #9 of training camp on Monday morning. This was the team’s first work since Saturday’s scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium and the first practice of preseason game week #1 as a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons looms on Friday evening. Today the team hit the field in full pads with an emphasis on third down situations. In contrast to the scrimmage, the defense held a firm upperhand over its counterparts on the offensive side of the ball.
Here are some of my observations from the ninth practice of Dolphins training camp:
1. Changes on the Offensive Line
The primary development since Saturday’s scrimmage was the signing of center Samson Satele. It didn’t take long for the eighth-year pro to make an impact, as he instantly lined up with the first-team on offense with Daryn Colledge and Branden Albert to his left, and Dallas Thomas and Ja’Wuan James to his right. Satele looked comfortable in his first practice as there were no exchange issues between him and quarterback Ryan Tannehill. In addition to the insertion of Satele into the first team offensive line, the coaching staff moved players around with Billy Turner, Shelley Smith and Sam Brenner getting some reps with the first-team in 11-on-11 team drills.
2. Offense Struggles
Much of the discussion following Saturday at Sun Life Stadium revolved around the command Tannehill displayed and the efficiency with which he ran the offense. However, the opposite occurred on Monday as the offense had a rough day. The new-look offensive line appeared overanxious off the bat with a pair of false start penalties to begin team drills. Lazor promptly shuffled the 1st-team off the field in favor of the 2nd group. Upon the first-team’s return, Tannehill was intercepted by Will Davis. This began a trend as Tannehill was twice picked off in 7-on-7 drills. While it was a difficult outing for the offense, it must be acknowledged that Tannehill was operating without starting wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline (both limited participants) and starting tight end Charles Clay (knee).
3. Defensive Dominance
As stated above, this was a day for the defense to shine. Davis, Cortland Finnegan, Reshad Jones, and Walt Aikens all hauled in interceptions, with the first three coming against Tannehill. The secondary was very active, led by Davis who also had three pass breakups. He has a knack for being around the ball and was the catalyst during today’s practice as Jamar Taylor also batted down a pass and Jimmy Wilson recorded a sack. Overall, the defense continued its strong start to training camp as the unit looks primed for a big season.
News & Notes
- The following players were held out of practice today: Charles Clay (knee), Jalil Brown (knee), Pat Devlin (hamstring), Stephen Williams (ankle) and Caleb Strugis (groin).
- Several players also left the field during practice, and did not return to action. Those included defensive end Olivier Vernon, tight end Michael Egnew, tight end Gator Hoskins, offensive lineman Nate Garner, running back Daniel Thomas.
- Quarterback Matt Moore, linebacker Jelani Jenkins, wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline were limited participants.
- There was a special visitor at practice this morning, as US Senator Marco Rubio was on hand watching the Dolphins ninth training camp workout.
- Two players that did not participate in the last practice or Saturday’s scrimmage returned to full action today, as wide receiver Matt Hazel and defensive tackle Anthony Johnson were both participating fully.
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