Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Dolphins minicamp notes: Vonta Leach?
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins continued Day 2 of their three-day minicamp on Wednesday. The AFC East blog was live in attendance to take in all the action.
Here is a recap of big happenings in Dolphins’ camp.
- Although unusual, most of the buzz in minicamp Wednesday surrounded the fullback position. Former Baltimore Ravens fullback and Pro Bowler Vonta Leach was in town to meet with Miami’s brass. Miami head coach Joe Philbin spent some time with Leach in Green Bay early in Leach's career. Philbin told a funny story about Leach’s first day. “I remember on his first day I had to point him to the practice field and give him a ride to the practice field – and that’s a true story,” Philbin said. “He was lost. He was totally lost.” Philbin added that the Dolphins are always looking for ways to improve the team.
- Meanwhile, one of Miami’s fullbacks had an awful day at practice. Fullback/tight end Charles Clay had three drops and another borderline drop in team drills. Clay and Jorvorskie Lane are both in the spotlight now that Miami is looking to upgrade at fullback. The Dolphins also claimed former Chicago Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez off waivers, although he didn’t do much Wednesday in his first practice.
- Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t have one of his better days. The offense sputtered in team drills and Tannehill threw two interceptions -- one to cornerback Brent Grimes and the other to cornerback De’Andre Presley. One of Tannehill’s issues from last year is reducing turnovers. He had more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (12) in 2012.
- Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino stopped by to watch practice. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee and general manager Jeff Ireland also were in attendance.
- Miami No. 3 receiver Brandon Gibson had another very good day. He made several terrific catches and is making good progress in the slot. Gibson is a smooth route runner and provides a sizable target inside. Gibson looks much more comfortable than he did three weeks ago.
- It was an up and down day for Dolphins rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis. The fifth-round pick made three field goals from 43, 47 and 50 yards, but he also missed two kicks from 43 and 46 yards. Sturgis is in a tight competition with veteran incumbent Dan Carpenter. It will be up to the rookie to do extra if he wants to take the roster spot Carpenter has held for several years.
- Finally, Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks received reps for the first time in team drills. Starks, who held out of organized team activities in a contract dispute, played mostly on the second team. But Starks also rotated some with Jared Odrick at defensive tackle with the starters. Miami could have a strong three-man rotation at defensive tackle this year with Starks, Odrick and Paul Soliaia. Second-year player Olivier Vernon is playing a lot at defensive end, and it appears he will compete with No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan in training camp for the starting position.