Friday, July 25, 2014
Dolphins camp report: Day 1
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
- It was a shaky day for the Dolphins' first-team offense. The first two plays in team drills were a timeout and fumbled snap by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and new center Shelley Smith, who is filling in for injured Pro Bowler Mike Pouncey. There also were drops by receivers, two near picks by Tannehill to cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan and Jamar Taylor and not much going in the running game. Miami's defense definitely won on Friday. “It's the first day, it's not going to be the prettiest practice we have,” Tannehill said afterwards. “Obviously, I don't think today is the practice we wanted to have with the balls on the ground and the sacks. But we have to have something to build off of. The quicker we can get those corrections made, the better we will be.”
- The first-team offensive line had three changes from the final day of minicamp. Smith moved from left guard to center in place of the injured Pouncey (hip). Free-agent pickup Daryn Colledge was put in at left guard and Dallas Thomas moved from left guard to right guard. Miami head coach Joe Philbin said nothing is set in stone. “I will tell you that we will be looking at a number of different combinations,” Philbin explained. “This is practice No. 1. This is the way we want to look at it today."
- Dolphins fans in attendance Friday got to see something they rarely saw last season. Tannehill and No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace connected on a deep ball in what was easily the play of the day. Wallace beat second-year cornerback Jamar Taylor by a couple steps and Tannehill hit Wallace in stride for an approximately 40-yard gain. Tannehill and Wallace struggled with deep-ball connections last season.
- Here is more good news for the Dolphins: Everyone passed their conditioning tests. There had been issues with other teams around the NFL with players failing conditioning drills and missing the start of training camp.
- The Dolphins have an interesting balance this summer with second-year defensive end Dion Jordan. He was suspended four games for violating the NFL's conduct on performance enhancing substances but can participate in training camp and the preseason. Jordan's role as the third defensive end didn't appear different Friday from what we've seen in minicamp and organized team activities. The Dolphins must balance getting Jordan reps to get him ready for later and reps for players behind him who will fill in during the first four weeks of the regular season. “We're disappointed in that, but Dion's going to be out there,” Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey explained. “He's going to be out there competing. He's going to be out there growing.”