Friday, July 26, 2013
Dolphins camp notes: O-line changes
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- After one day off, the Miami Dolphins took the field on Friday for their fifth practice of training camp.
Here are some notes and observations:
- The coaching staff made two significant changes on the starting offensive line Friday. First, starting right guard John Jerry wasn't at practice and Richie Incognito moved from left to right guard. Second, rookie Dallas Thomas was moved up to the first team and played left guard. Philbin didn't explain why Jerry missed practiced, but said he wanted to experiment with the offensive line. The group had a slow start to training camp this week. Philbin kept a close eye on the unit most of the morning in practice. “It’s training camp and you want to get a look at different combinations of guys in different spots,” Philbin said. “We’re still in the teaching phase of the offense. So a young player like Dallas Thomas hasn’t had experience throughout the whole install. So we don’t want to be flipping him around quite yet. I will look at the tape, but I think he was good.”
- Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill had his best practice of training camp. Tannehill was sharp, efficient and made quick decisions. More importantly, Tannehill made several really good throws to new No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace for first downs. The Tannehill-Wallace tandem also had their best connections of the week. Tannehill has received some early criticism for his slow start in camp. But he’s had two good practices in a row on Wednesday and Friday without any turnovers.
- There has been an interesting dynamic developing between rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis and veteran kicker Dan Carpenter, veteran punter Brandon Fields and long snapper John Denney. The veteran specialists have been together in Miami for several years, and Sturgis is the “new guy” in town trying to break up the trio and take Carpenter's job. As a result, the media has noticed there hasn't been much communication between the veterans and Sturgis during practices since he arrived. However, Sturgis didn’t seemed bothered when asked about it Friday. “He’s a good pro,” Sturgis said of Carpenter. “He’s nice to me, but he does his own thing and I do my own thing. There’s definitely nothing between us.” Also worth noting Friday is Carpenter missed two field goals, from 50 and 52 yards. He has been solid otherwise in camp.
- First-round pick Dion Jordan (shoulder) had some contact Friday for the first time in one-on-one drills only. He has been limited without contact since being cleared to practice on Tuesday. “Anytime I get to go out there and compete with the guys, I feel like I’m getting better,” Jordan said. “It’s been a couple months before I’ve been able to come out here and get some natural football work. So it was great."
- Finally, in other injury news, rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor and backup running back Cameron Marshall both sat out of practice. Philbin refuses to discuss injuries in training camp. But Marshall had a wrap on his left leg and Taylor has been trying to overcome a sports hernia injury all offseason.