Saturday, July 27, 2013
Dolphins camp notes: Lineup changes?
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins continued their training camp Saturday with their sixth session.
Here are some notes and observations from Miami training camp:
- Cornerback Dimitri Patterson got a good look on the first team in this practice. Patterson, who has been steady as the No. 3 corner all week, made several good plays on the ball. On one play in team drills, Patterson nearly jumped a route and intercepted a pass by quarterback Ryan Tannehill. “He’s really doing a good job,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “He’s playing fast and decisive. ... He’s really got that cat-like quickness that you like to see and the ability to redirect.”
- Saturday was probably the best day of training camp so far for Miami’s running backs. Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas and rookie Mike Gillislee have had trouble reeling off big gains against the Dolphins’ physical and athletic front seven this week. But there were more big runs than usual by the trio on Saturday. The only major negative was Thomas’ fumble in team drills, which was recovered by defensive tackle Jared Odrick.
- The Dolphins continue to experiment with various changes on the offense line after an injury to starting guard John Jerry. On Saturday, the Dolphins explored a significant change by moving starting center Mike Pouncey to right guard and playing Josh Samuda at center. It’s early, and chances are the Dolphins are just trying out different combos at this point. But potentially moving Pouncey, who is a stud, away from center would be a mistake in my opinion. You need to have your strength in the middle of the offensive line and the center does the most communication with the quarterback and the other offensive linemen. “It’s weird, but it’s whatever the team needs right now,” Pouncey said. “We’re short guys, so they want to see guys work in different spots and we’ll see how it goes.”
- Tannehill was solid again on Saturday. He got off to a slow start to camp but has strung together three good practices in a row. Tannehill made several good connections to tight end Dustin Keller and receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson in team drills. Most importantly, Tannehill has gone three straight practices without an interception.
- Fullback Evan Rodriguez got reps with the starters over Jorvorskie Lane. Rodriguez was claimed off waivers this offseason after he was released by the Chicago Bears, and the coaching staff is trying to see where he fits. “You got to start off slow, but now I’m getting a feel for it,” Rodriguez said. “It feels good to be back out here.”
- The announcement by Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett that quarterback Tony Romo (back) will not play in next week’s Hall of Fame Game impacts the Dolphins. Miami was 27th in pass defense last season and could have benefitted from reps against a quality quarterback. Starters will most likely play just a series or two, but every rep against a quality quarterback counts. Romo recently received an extension exceeding $100 million from the Cowboys this offseason.
- Saturday on the injury front Jerry, tailback Cameron Marshall, kicker Caleb Sturgis and cornerback Jamar Taylor all missed practice for at least the second day in a row. Backup wide receiver Armon Binns also fell awkwardly after making a diving attempt at a catch and injured his left shoulder or arm.