DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins hit the practice field this week for their first full-squad practice open to the media.
There have been several stories written about the team from organized team activities, but I didn’t hit on everything. Here are some leftover notes from OTAs that caught my eye:
One of the big surprises to start OTAs was Dallas Thomas starting at left guard. Thomas was a non-factor in his rookie year. Miami tried him at guard and offensive tackle and Thomas failed to find a niche at either position. But the Dolphins’ coaching staff is showing early confidence in Thomas by making him the early leader to start next to Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert. Miami rookie third-round pick Billy Turner will compete with Thomas.
I like what new Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is doing with Mike Wallace. Lazor is moving Wallace in different spots in an effort to get him more opportunities. Lazor is a protégé of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, and they coached a similar receiver last year in DeSean Jackson. Former Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman didn’t properly use Wallace and the offense became stale and predictable.
Cornerback could be a position of depth this year. Brent Grimes is Brent Grimes, and Cortland Finnegan picked off quarterback Ryan Tannehill this week. Second-year cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis also moved well and appear to be healthy. Finnegan, Taylor and Davis should have a healthy competition that will only make the trio better.
The Dolphins are not fully committed to using rookie receiver Jarvis Landry in the slot – at least not yet. Miami’s second-round pick was working in the slot and outside this week. Landry’s skills fit best in the slot, where he will compete with Rishard Matthews and Brandon Gibson. He has good hands, toughness and doesn’t have elite speed. Landry also is a candidate to field punts.
It appears Miami plans to use Nate Garner primarily as the backup left tackle. Miami is streamlining Garner’s workload mostly to back up Albert. Garner is Miami’s most versatile lineman with the ability to play all five positions. However, he wasn't particularly great at either position. Garner allowed a sack to Dolphins second-year defensive end Dion Jordan.