Tuesday, June 3, 2014
More observations from Dolphins OTAs
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins held their second practice during organized team activities that were open to the media Monday. ESPN.com's Dolphins page was there to take in all of the action.
Here are some additional observations from Monday's practice:
- Keep in mind that it's very early, but I've been pleasantly surprised so far with the development of second-year guard Dallas Thomas. The Dolphins are playing Thomas with the first team at left guard, and he's holding his own next to Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert. Thomas suffered through injuries and looked mostly confused last year as a rookie playing guard and offensive tackle. But he's healthy and more experienced this year. Thomas has to hold off rookie third-round pick Billy Turner in training camp.
- Speaking of Turner, he looks a little raw in the two practices I've seen him. Turner still plays a bit high, which is understandable because he was a left tackle at North Dakota State. The stance at guard is much different. Turner also needs to work on some of his footwork and fundamentals, such as his punch, at the NFL level.
- New Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is trying many new things, which is refreshing to see. Miami's offense was stale and predictable last year under former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. But Lazor is doing several creative things, such as moving No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace around and using a lot of motion and tempo to dictate to the defense.
- Miami head coach Joe Philbin said the team should have about 85 percent of the new offense installed by the end of this week. One of the biggest storylines to watch this offseason is how quickly third-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the group can pick up the offense. This week's practice was more crisp that last week's session.
- One interesting wrinkle I saw in practice Monday was Miami using Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller in the same backfield. There are plenty of possibilities with that pairing.
- Dolphins' second-year defensive end Dion Jordan continues to impress with his athleticism. This week he ran Miami tailback Mike Gillislee down from behind. Keep in mind Jordan is 265 pounds. Miami must find a way to get Jordan on the field. He looks ready for increased responsibility.