DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins held another practice Monday to kick off the final week of organized team activities. The AFC East blog was live at Miami’s training facility to take in all the action.
Here are some notes and observations from Dolphins' practice:
Last week the defense clearly won. This week it was an even battle. The offense made some plays in team drills and the defense usually responded. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked much sharper this week and had several good connections to Brian Hartline and tight end Michael Egnew for touchdowns that stood out. Tannehill also looks patient out there and isn't afraid to throw the ball away during bad plays. It's clear he's making a strong effort to cut down on his interceptions and turnovers this season.
As far as attendance, Miami No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace is back in practice. He missed the last OTA session open to the media for personal reasons. Dolphins linebacker Dannell Ellerbe did miss practice Monday. Ellerbe said on his Twitter account that he had two flight cancellations. As expected, defensive tackle Randy Starks, who received the franchise tag, wasn’t present but is expected to show up for next week’s mandatory minicamp.
The Dolphins are still trying to figure out their options for punt returners. There were several players fielding punts on Monday, which included Hartline, tailback Lamar Miller, receiver Brandon Gibson and kick returner Marcus Thigpen. Last year Davone Bess and Reggie Bush handled most of the punt-return duties. But Bess was traded to the Cleveland Browns this offseason and Bush signed in the Detroit Lions in free agency.
Dolphins backup offensive lineman Nate Garner is getting reps everywhere on the offensive line. He has taken snaps at guard, center and tackle thus far during OTAs. One of Garner's biggest assets is his versatility. He could become a top sub off the bench at a couple of positions this season.
Finally, the Dolphins offered their support for the Miami Heat. Several players, including defensive end Jared Odrick, said they are rooting for the Heat to win Game 7 tonight in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers. The winner will advance to the NBA Finals.