Here are some notes and observations from Wednesday's practice in full pads:
Miami top receiver Mike Wallace (groin) dressed for practice and fully participated for the first time in more than a week. Wallace also had the most impressive play of the day. He beat Miami cornerback Nolan Carroll deep for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The throw was made by Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Wallace said he expects to play Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, although head coach Joe Philbin was non-committal. “We’ll see how it goes,” Philbin said. “We haven’t made any final decisions of who is playing and final snaps. We will determine that. We will have a plan.”
Tannehill had an average day throwing the ball overall. He wasn't awful like Tuesday, when Tannehill threw four interceptions. Tannehill had the big play to Mike Wallace for a touchdown and made several other good throws. But Tannehill did have one interception in 7-on-7 drills to cornerback Dimitri Patterson. Tannehill’s performance in training camp has been up and down. He's thrown five interceptions in the past two practices.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was in attendance to watch training camp. Ross met with the media earlier Wednesday and said he’s hopeful for a playoff run after spending plenty of money this offseason to improve the team.
Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle had high praise for Derrick Shelby. The backup defensive end has been one of the pleasant surprises in training camp. Shelby led the Dolphins with two sacks in last weekend’s 24-20 preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “I’m really pleased with Derrick,” Coyle said. “Derrick is a very sound, very technically efficient player. But I see more production out of Derrick, starting the other night. He’s always a guy that you can count on to be in the right place. He’s very dependable. Yet we saw that playmaking ability the other night and we’ve seen it throughout training camp. He’s been difficult to block.”
On the injury front, Dolphins starting running back Lamar Miller practiced but the team was careful with the workload after he was shaken up on Tuesday. Miller’s right foot was heavily taped. Dolphins third-string quarterback Pat Devlin (hand) also practiced. The team was without rookie corner Jamar Taylor and fullback Jorvorskie Lane.
There was also a John Jerry sighting in practice Wednesday. Miami’s starting guard didn’t dress but he’s been absent for a while after injuring his knee. His injury sent the offensive line scrambling. Jerry’s timetable is unknown. But the fact that he’s around the team this week is a good indication that he’s making progress for an eventual return.
The Dallas Thomas experiment continues. Miami tried Thomas out at right tackle on the second team for the first time in camp. Thomas has been struggling as the backup left tackle. He was particularly exposed on the left side in the Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys. Thomas didn’t have a strong practice at right tackle either on Wednesday. I think his best position is guard, and it may be time to permanently move Thomas there before the rookie loses confidence. According to Philbin, the team wants to continue to experiment. “He’s got to work on his technique and fundamentals,” Philbin said. “That’s the only way to solve the problem. ... We have to continue to work on leverage, punch, timing of the punch and his feet.”
The Dolphins will be off on Thursday so they can travel to Jacksonville. Miami will play its second preseason game against the Jaguars on Friday.