NFL Nation: ryan tannehill

Observation Deck: Miami Dolphins

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
10:10
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MIAMI – If something happens this season to Ryan Tannehill, the Miami Dolphins have reason to feel secure in their backup quarterback. Eight-year veteran Matt Moore capped a strong preseason Thursday in a 14-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams.


Moore was 5-of-8 passing (62.5 percent) for 38 yards in just one quarter of play. But most importantly Moore finished the exhibition season 30-of-46 passing (65.2 percent) for 368 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in three games.

Tannehill and many other starters did not play Thursday as they rest for Miami’s regular-season opener Sept. 7 against the New England Patriots. Tannehill is durable and started all 32 games his first two seasons. But Moore also showed this preseason that he’s capable and ready this year if called upon.

Here are some other thoughts on the Dolphins' final preseason game:
  • Thursday was a huge game for Miami backup running back Daniel Thomas. The former second-round pick is on the roster bubble after suffering a hamstring injury, and other rookie running backs (Damien Williams and Orleans Darkwa) have shown flashes. Thomas rushed for 38 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown against St. Louis' backups. The Dolphins will have an interesting decision to make on whether Thomas did enough to make Miami’s 53-man roster. The Dolphins have to make their final cuts by Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
  • Dolphins kick returner and receiver Marcus Thigpen was another player who was injured this preseason and needed a good showing while on the roster bubble. He produced a mixed bag. First, Thigpen had an awful bobbled punt in the second quarter; he fumbled it twice and nearly turned over the ball. Then, Thigpen had a nice 32-yard punt return in the second half. Backup receivers Jarvis Landry and Damian Williams are both capable of splitting the return duties, which will make the roster decision with Thigpen interesting.
  • Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan started his first preseason game, one that marked his final game action until October following a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Jordan recorded two tackles against the Rams. Rookie linebacker Chris McCain registered two sacks and should make the 53-man roster after a strong preseason and training camp.
  • Injuries are always a concern in this final preseason game. Miami rookie linebacker Jordan Tripp, who has been a bright spot in training camp, suffered a chest injury in the first quarter. He was taken to the locker room with trainers and did not return to the field. Other than that, the Dolphins exited the game in good health.
DAVIE, Fla. -- Many of the current Miami Dolphins were children when quarterback Dan Marino dominated the football scene in South Florida. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was still working his way up the coaching ranks in the 1980s and 1990s.

Marino remains the best and most popular player in franchise history, and last weekend the team hired the Hall of Famer as a "special advisor." The reaction from players and coaches has been positive.

"I'm elated that he's part of the organization," Philbin said this week. "He's always kind of been an unofficial part of the organization. I had a chance to visit with him earlier today. He's excited about it. I'm sure there are a lot of things he can contribute to the organization in whatever roles Steve (Ross) and those that are in charge want that to be. He's always welcome here."

Marino's role with the Dolphins has not been defined publicly. There was no fanfare about the hire other than a news release, and there wasn't a news conference that allowed the media to ask Marino questions about his new job.

What is known is Marino will work in a variety of capacities. As time goes on, we will most likely know more about his role in Miami.

"I don't know. I don't know exactly what his role even is," Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill admitted. "No one has really even told me that. But, if he's open to some time, I'd love to pick his brain a little bit."

Regardless of his role, hiring Marino is a big win for the players. It's a rare resource to have a Hall of Famer who has been in current Dolphins' shoes readily available. Marino brings instant credibility as a person who's played the tough quarterback position as good as anyone in NFL history.

"Any time you have a guy like that just being around the organization is positive for you," Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace said. "He's a legend, so any time he can come into this building and see a guy like that around is going to motivate you and help you play. You know he's going always to give you a couple of tips and nuggets, so that's always good."
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins finished their final practice in preparation for Thursday’s preseason final against the St. Louis Rams at Sun Life Stadium.

Sturgis
Here are some notes and observations:
  • Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis returned to practice on Tuesday. His kicks looked strong and he didn’t show any ill effects from his groin injury. Miami has had injury issues at the kicker position, but it appears Sturgis is on his way back to the field. “All initial reports are positive,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “We’ll see once he warms up [Thursday] if we can get him out there.”
  • Philbin was not as forthright with the playing time of his starters Thursday, particularly his starting offense. It remains unknown if starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Co. will play against the Rams. Last year, Tannehill did not play in the final preseason game. But last week, Miami’s offense struggled to put points on the board against the Dallas Cowboys in the third preseason game as the Dolphins’ starters scored just three points in six possessions. Miami may want to get its first-team offense some confidence before its Week 1 showdown against the rival New England Patriots.
  • Miami backup running back Daniel Thomas said he’s ready to make his preseason debut against St. Louis. Thomas missed some of training camp and the entire preseason with a hamstring injury. Since then, Miami rookie running backs Damien Williams and Orleans Darkwa have stepped up and played, which has put Thomas’ roster spot in jeopardy. Thursday’s preseason game may be Thomas’ last chance to impress. “It’s pretty important,” Thomas admitted. “I haven’t gone out there in a while. So I just want to show coaches that my hamstring is good, I’m feeling good and I’m ready to play good.”
  • There were dual “Play of the Day” candidates in practice. The first big play was Tannehill throwing a 30-plus-yard touchdown to speedy receiver Mike Wallace in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. There has been a lot of chatter about Tannehill and Wallace’s inability to connect on big plays, and that was a nice connection. The second play of the day was a pick-six by safety Reshad Jones off quarterback Brady Quinn in team drills.
  • The Dolphins are currently at 86 players. They have to make 11 cuts to get down to 75 players by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. ESPN.com’s Dolphins blog will provide a cut-down analysis Tuesday evening once the team makes it decision.

Observation Deck: Miami Dolphins

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
10:20
PM ET

MIAMI -- Until Saturday night, the Miami Dolphins were left to wonder what their running game looks like at full strength under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Miami had gone without Knowshon Moreno, a key free-agent pickup, the entire preseason due to knee surgery.

But Moreno made an impressive 2014 debut in Saturday's 25-20 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Moreno rushed for 64 yards on 10 carries (good for a 6.4-yard average) in his Dolphins debut. Moreno ran strong between the tackles and added a new dimension to the Dolphins' offense. He showed good vision, burst through the hole, and wasn't afraid to punish defenders at the end of runs.

Moreno is competing with incumbent starter Lamar Miller (34 rushing yards) and perhaps closed the distance with this preseason performance. Miami hopes Moreno's output Saturday is a taste of things to come in the regular season.

Here are some other thoughts on the Dolphins' third preseason game:
  • It was a mixed bag from Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who completed 13-of-21 passes for 119 yards and one interception in the dress rehearsal game. The third-year quarterback did a decent job of moving the Dolphins' offense down the field, but sloppy play kept points off the board. Tannehill threw his interception into double coverage while Miami was driving down the field in the third quarter on his final throw of the night. Tannehill also completed a pass to tight end Dion Sims, who fumbled the ball in the first half to stall another drive.
  • The Dolphins’ starting defense held up well against a talented and dangerous Cowboys’ offense. Miami held Dallas’ offense to just six points in the first half when starters were on the field. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looked befuddled at times by Miami’s defense. Romo was 10-of-18 passing for 87 yards in the game and was sacked three times. Dolphins starting defensive ends Cameron Wake (two sacks) and Olivier Vernon (one sack) got to Romo.
  • In addition to Moreno, Dolphins starting tight end Charles Clay also made his 2014 debut. Clay tweaked his knee during Miami's team scrimmage earlier this month and missed the first two preseason games. Clay played in the first quarter and recorded one reception for 18 yards.
  • The Dolphins still have a lot of work to do on special teams. Dallas reeled off big returns Saturday, including a 50-yard kickoff return from Cowboys receiver Dwayne Harris in the first quarter. Miami rookie receiver Jarvis Landry also fumbled a punt return that he later recovered. The Dolphins also had a punt blocked, but it was called back due to a Dallas penalty. On top of that, Miami kicker John Potter also injured his hip in the first half and didn't finish the game. Punter Brandon Fields performed kickoffs in the second half. It was a rough night for Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi, who certainly has a lot to talk about with his group next week.
  • Miami starting middle linebacker Koa Misi was a late scratch Saturday night with a shoulder injury. He practiced during the week but was held out against Dallas. The Dolphins started backup linebacker Jason Trusnik in place of Misi. Dolphins kick returner Marcus Thigpen, kicker Caleb Sturgis and running backs Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee were also among the key players who didn’t suit up for Miami Saturday night.

W2W4: Miami Dolphins

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
12:00
PM ET
The Miami Dolphins (1-1) will host the Dallas Cowboys (0-2) on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium.


1. Offensive production: The Dolphins' offense under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has shown a mixed bag during the first two weeks of the preseason. The passing game and tempo have been upgrades from what we've seen last season. However, the running game is virtually non-existent thus far. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 75 percent (15-for-20) of his passes and is playing faster and more decisive football. The passing game under Lazor has been sharp. But the offensive line is getting little push in the running game. The Dolphins had minus-5 yards in the first half last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and must improve their production on the ground.

2. Healthy returns: Running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) and tight end Charles Clay (knee) have practiced all week for the Dolphins. There is a good chance one or both will make their 2014 debut Saturday against Dallas. Moreno and Clay are expected to play major roles in Miami's offense this season. Clay was a steady force over the middle last year with 69 receptions. Moreno also is coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season in 2013 with the Denver Broncos. Clay, in particular, said he feels ready to play against Dallas. But the final call Saturday will be up to the medical staff.

3. Change at right guard: Free-agent signing Shelley Smith will get his first start in a Dolphins uniform Saturday at right guard. Smith replaces the struggling Dallas Thomas, who was manhandled last week by Tampa Bay Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Right guard is the final spot on the offensive line that is still up for grabs. Smith, who signed a $5.5 million contract in March, has a chance to solidify that spot with a strong performance against the Cowboys.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins will play their third and most important preseason game Saturday when they host the Dallas Cowboys.

Tannehill
All eyes nationally will be on the high-profile Cowboys and stars such as quarterback Tony Romo and Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant. But for Miami, this team is focused on taking another important step forward before its Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the AFC East rival New England Patriots.

Saturday could be the final time key starters play in the exhibition season. Most coaches prefer to use the fourth preseason game to let the backups determine the final roster spots.

"It’s the most game-like," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said of the third preseason game. "It’s the game where the starters will get the most playing time out of the entire preseason. It doesn’t really count, but it matters, it matters to us and the progression we make as a team as far as getting better. It’s our last chance before we play for real."

Tannehill has made steady progress throughout training camp and the preseason, which is good news for the Dolphins. He started training camp with a rocky start, including one stretch early where he threw six interceptions in two practices. It was part of the growing pains of learning a new offense under Bill Lazor.

However, Tannehill has been solid in the second half of training camp and the preseason. He completed all six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons and was 9-of-14 passing last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tannehill is completing 75 percent of his passes during the preseason and playing faster and more decisive.

Tannehill and the offense are showing early signs of growth compared to last season. This unit was 27th in the NFL in 2013. If Miami’s offense can rise to the middle of the pack, the Dolphins could be dangerous when paired with a talented defense.

"I’m excited about this team," Tannehill said. "I’m excited about the players we have first and foremost, I’m excited about the offense we have and the meshing of the two. I think it’s a good fit, the personnel we have is a good fit for this offense."

Observation Deck: Miami Dolphins

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
10:38
PM ET


The Miami Dolphins knew they were in for a tough test offensively Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Miami's first-team offense was nearly perfect in one touchdown drive against the mediocre Atlanta Flacons’ defense last week. But Tampa Bay has defensive talent at a lot of positions, and the Dolphins’ offense would be on the field longer.

The result was a mixed bag for Miami's starting offense during a 20-14 win over Tampa Bay. The first-team offense produced three points in three drives. The other two resulted in a punt and a lost fumble by starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The good news is Tannehill threw the football well. He was 9-of-14 passing for 110 yards.

Tampa Bay’s defense was able to expose some things needed to improve in Miami's new offense under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Here are some other thoughts on the Dolphins' second preseason game:
  • Dolphins starting right guard Dallas Thomas struggled mightily. Thomas had the tough task of Tampa Bay Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Thomas gave up a sack and fumble to McCoy in the first half, another hit on Tannehill and a tackle for loss. Thomas also had a false start in the second quarter when McCoy was not in the game. Questions will certainly arise whether Thomas can handle the starting job for 16 games. Miami has other options to explore if Thomas continues to struggle. Rookie third-round pick Billy Turner and veteran free-agent signing Shelley Smith could get another look next week in practice.
  • Miami’s running game also remains a cause for concern. Starting running back Lamar Miller rushed for just 3 yards on three carries. He had just 11 yards on four carries last week against Atlanta. Miami is getting little push from its offensive line in the running game. In the first half when starters and key backups played, the Dolphins rushed for minus-5 yards on nine carries.
  • It is only the preseason, but Dolphins starting cornerback Brent Grimes produced one of the best plays of the exhibition season. Tampa Bay rookie receiver Mike Evans made a strong catch over the middle and broke through a tackle attempt by Miami safety Jimmy Wilson. Evans appeared on his way to a touchdown, but Grimes hustled from the opposite sideline to force a fumble before Evans reached the end zone. After review, the Dolphins were awarded the football via a touchback. For a Pro Bowl cornerback to hustle that much in a preseason game says a lot about Grimes.
  • The Dolphins showed off their depth at receiver. Backups Brandon Gibson, Jarvis Landry, Rishard Matthews and Damian Williams all made their presence felt against Tampa Bay. This foursome combined for nine receptions and one touchdown catch. Miami might want to consider trading one of its lower-level receivers in order to gain depth at another position.
  • Miami backup quarterback Matt Moore virtually locked up the No. 2 quarterback job Saturday night. Moore was 13-of-19 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown. He threw a nice touchdown pass to the corner of the end zone to Matthews before halftime. The Dolphins signed veteran quarterback Brady Quinn this week to push Moore. Quinn was the third quarterback Saturday and was 4-of-4 passing for 22 yards.

W2W4: Miami Dolphins

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
12:00
PM ET
The Miami Dolphins (0-1) will travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) on Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.

1. Tannehill's momentum: Has Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill fully turned the corner in Bill Lazor's new offense? It's too early to tell. But last week's 6-for-6 passing performance for 62 yards and a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons certainly provides reason for optimism. Tannehill played only one series in the preseason opener but carried that momentum into a solid week of practice. He finished training camp on a strong note with several good practices heading into Saturday's game. Now, Tannehill must continue to build off that momentum with a solid outing against Tampa Bay.

2. Will tackling improve? The Dolphins were a poor-tackling defense in 2013. Last week's preseason opener against Atlanta offered more of the same. Therefore, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin put a major focus on form tackling this week. Philbin hopes those sessions pay dividends and that his defense tackles much better this week, especially when the starters play in the first half. Keep a close eye on Miami's starting linebackers, who must improve this year.

3. Changes in secondary: The Dolphins received bad news just hours before last week's exhibition game when starting safety Reshad Jones was suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances. Jones started anyway against Atlanta, because it was too late for Miami to adjust the secondary. However, the Dolphins made several changes in practice this week by inserting backup Jimmy Wilson into the starting lineup and making Jones a backup. Wilson also had to give up his nickel corner role. Miami is still trying to decide who will take that job. Candidates include starting corner Cortland Finnegan, corner Jamar Taylor and backup safety Michael Thomas.

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 15

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
1:30
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
  • Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace expects to make his 2014 debut Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wallace missed last week’s preseason opener due to a hamstring injury but has practiced all this week. The speed is still there. Wallace caught a pretty deep ball from quarterback Ryan Tannehill in practice Thursday over Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes in one-on-one drills. Tannehill and Wallace were criticized last year for not making enough big plays. “Me, personally, I always tell you I don’t care about what nobody says,” Wallace said of the critics. “I know how hard we work every single day. I feel like it’s going to come, it’s going to happen for us.”
  • Miami tailback Knowshon Moreno practiced for a full week, but his status remains up in the air for Saturday. Moreno recently got off the physically unable to perform list and participated in team drills for the first time this week. Although he doesn’t look 100 percent, Moreno made some nice runs and showed solid hands. But the goal is to have him ready for the regular season. “I think [in] the running game, he’s starting to look like his old self,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. “I don’t know about the passing game just yet.”
  • Dolphins rookie linebacker Jordan Tripp is making an impression. Tripp was used a lot Thursday on the second team – both in base and nickel defenses. Tripp had a fumble and recovery for a touchdown in Miami’s scrimmage and nearly had an interception against the Atlanta Falcons last week. The rookie fifth-round draft pick appears to be a strong candidate for the 53-man roster.
  • Another rookie who is making plays is undrafted running back Damien Williams. He has about two weeks to continue to push for a roster spot. Williams caught a long touchdown pass from Tannehill on a wheel route Thursday and made darting runs in camp. “Playing in the NFL, you gotta make plays, you want to make plays,” Williams said. “My main priority is getting in the end zone.”
  • This was the final official session of training camp. The Dolphins will take the day off Friday in order to travel before Saturday’s game against the Buccaneers. Miami will return to the practice field on Monday.

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 14

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
3:40
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DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
  • Dolphins starting cornerback Cortland Finnegan returned to practice after missing the past two days. Finnegan hinted on social media that he had a death in the family. However, Finnegan did not want to get into specifics on Tuesday. On the field, Finnegan was back on the first team and also played in the slot on the nickel defense. The Dolphins rotated cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis on the outside once Finnegan moved inside.
  • Miami is making a concerted effort to get new quarterback Brady Quinn acclimated to the offense. Dolphins quarterbacks coach Zach Taylor and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor spent plenty of time in practice giving Quinn personal instruction. The Dolphins signed Quinn on Monday to compete with Matt Moore for the No. 2 quarterback job. Depending on how Quinn develops, he could make his Dolphins debut Saturday in the second preseason game.
  • The play of the day goes to Dolphins safety Reshad Jones. He was demoted to the second team this week after violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. But Jones isn’t going in the tank. He made an impressive, diving interception against Moore in team drills. Jones won't be available for the first four games of the regular season. Jimmy Wilson was promoted to the first team.
  • Miami’s defense did well with blitz packages in team drills. The Dolphins got sacks by cornerbacks Finnegan and Taylor on nickel blitzes, and Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake also beat rookie right tackle Ja’Wuan James off the edge to cause a fumble by starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Miami’s pass protection looked solid in the preseason opener last week against the Atlanta Falcons. But the Dolphins’ offense struggled at times protecting the quarterback on Tuesday.
  • After three consecutive practices, the Dolphins will have their first day off this week on Wednesday. Miami will return to the field on Thursday in preparation for its second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 13

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
1:00
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
  • The Dolphins went full pads for the first time this week. Miami’s coaching staff is putting a major emphasis on tackling and worked on a few full-contact drills. The Dolphins did their version of the "Oklahoma Drill" with linebackers against running backs. The running backs dominated and won a majority of the one-on-one battles. Miami’s linebackers continue to be a concern with stopping the run and covering tight ends and slot receivers.
  • Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill had one of his strongest practices of training camp on Monday. Tannehill made strong, decisive throws and had big gains to receivers Brian Hartline, Rishard Matthews and Damian Williams in team drills. Perhaps Tannehill gained momentum from his strong start to the preseason last week against the Atlanta Falcons. He will try to build on that Saturday in his second preseason game, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Speaking of quarterbacks, one of the big stories in camp today was the Dolphins reportedly working out veterans Rex Grossman, Brady Quinn and John Skelton on Monday. Miami has dealt with quarterback injuries to backups Matt Moore (shoulder) and Pat Devlin (hamstring). Both participated in practice, but have been limited in camp. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin wasn’t willing to say what the workouts mean for his current quarterbacks. "We’ve had workouts nearly every single day," Philbin said. "This is no different. We’re always evaluation different people are out there."
  • On the injury front, Miami backup running back Damien Williams returned to practice after getting injured in Friday’s preseason game. New injuries Monday included offensive tackle Jason Fox (chest), running back Mike Gillislee (hamstring) and defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds (knee).
  • Finally, the Dolphins will return to the practice field at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday for their third session this week.

W2W4: Miami Dolphins

August, 8, 2014
Aug 8
12:00
PM ET
The Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons open the preseason Friday night at the Georgia Dome.

1. Lazor focus: Much has been made this offseason and in training camp about offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s new scheme. Dolphins players and coaches have praised Lazor for the job he’s done with Miami’s offense, and Friday is the first time everyone gets to see it in a game situation. Lazor arrived in Miami this season after a stint with Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Dolphins are adding many of the concepts from Kelly’s high-powered offense. Does Miami have the personnel to pull it off? It’s been up and down early in training camp. But performing well against Atlanta will give Miami’s offense some confidence.

2. Tannehill kicks off Year 3: Just as Lazor’s offense will be in focus, a lot of eyes will be on Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, as well. The third-year quarterback is 15-17 as a starter and enters a make-or-break season. Tannehill is learning a new offense and could use some early momentum in the preseason opener. He was inconsistent this week in training camp. Tannehill threw seven interceptions in the past three practices. Tannehill is not expected to play much more than two or three series on Friday.

3. Familiar faces: It’s just a preseason game, so don’t expect regular-season intensity. However, it is worth noting Miami will face former longtime Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai for the first time. Soliai spent seven years with the Dolphins from 2007-13 and wanted to stay in Miami this offseason as a free agent. However, the Dolphins disagreed on Soliai’s value and the Falcons signed him to a $33 million contract. Soliai could be motivated to perform well in his limited playing time. Friday also marks the return to Atlanta for Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes. He played against the Falcons last year in the regular season in Miami.

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 11

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
1:30
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
  • It was a bounce-back day for Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He struggled mightily this week and had his two worst practices of training camp on Monday and Tuesday, when he threw a combined six interceptions. But Tannehill was sharper Wednesday. He made several nice throws to receivers Damian Williams and Rishard Matthews. Tannehill did have one interception in practice, but the pass was tipped and fell into the hands of Miami linebacker Jason Trusnik.
  • The “Play of the Day” goes to Miami rookie receiver Jarvis Landry. Not known for his speed, Landry surprised the Dolphins’ defense by running past defensive back Kevin Fogg for a 50-plus yard touchdown reception in team drills. Landry caught the ball in stride on a ball thrown by Miami backup quarterback Seth Labato. Landry received a high-five from teammate Mike Wallace, who usually runs the deep routes. Landry, a second-round pick, has been very good so far in training camp. He’s steady, reliable and will be difficult for the coaching staff to keep off the field at this rate.
  • On the injury front, the Dolphins saw the return of running back Knowshon Moreno, who missed all of training camp because of knee surgery. Moreno dressed in full pads but only participated in individual drills. It seems unlikely that he will play this week in Miami’s exhibition opener. Also, starting defensive end Olivier Vernon returned to practice Wednesday from a back injury. Vernon’s chances of playing Friday are more optimistic.
  • New Dolphins center Samson Satele got first-team reps for the third day in a row. Therefore, it would be surprising if he is not the starter Friday against the Atlanta Falcons. Satele signed a one year, $2 million contract over the weekend and split first-team reps on Monday. But the past two practices Satele has worked nearly exclusively with the first team. Satele is expected to replaced injured Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey in Week 1 of the regular season. “All we have to do is solidify,” Satele said. “Once you find that five, and then just work the next couple weeks of communicating up front.”
  • The Dolphins will have their first “travel day” of the 2014 season. They are off from practice and heading to Atlanta on Thursday. Miami will play its preseason opener at 7 p.m. Friday against the Falcons.

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 10

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
3:00
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:


  • There were questions coming into the season with how much veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan has left in the tank. Miami’s free-agent pickup signed a two-year contract after a pair of down years with the St. Louis Rams. But Finnegan has had a solid training camp and Tuesday was his best day. He had three interceptions -- two off quarterback Ryan Tannehill and one off Matt Moore – to cap a strong practice. Finnegan is solidifying a starting cornerback job opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes. “He got a lot left in the tank,” Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace. “He’s a really smart guy. He knows how to play the combinations of routes. He’s seen every combination you can possibly bring. He’s a smart guy and takes chances.”
  • It was another rough day for Miami’s offense overall. Tannehill and Moore combined for five interceptions. Tannehill was picked by Finnegan (twice) and Grimes (once). Moore's picks also were to Finnegan and Grimes. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said the turnovers are not what the team wants, but he’s trying not to get too high or too low with practices. On the flip side, the defense was terrific and easily won the practice against the offense.
  • The Dolphins added several key players to their injury list on Tuesday. Starting defensive end Olivier Vernon (back), running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring) and tight end Michael Egnew (concussion) all will miss multiple practices, according to the team. It’s also unlikely any of these players will participate in Friday’s exhibition against the Atlanta Falcons.
  • With Vernon out, Miami 2013 first-round pick and backup defensive end Dion Jordan has received first-team reps this week. It appears Jordan most likely will get his first career start -- albeit in the preseason -- Friday against the Falcons. This is a good opportunity for Jordan, who had a non-descript rookie year and will be suspended the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Still, Jordan is having a solid camp and continues to make plays in practice.
  • The Dolphins will return to practice Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET for their final practice of the week. Miami will have a travel day on Thursday and take the field Friday for its preseason opener against the Falcons.
DAVIE, Fla. -- Here is the tricky part about training camp: The practices are informative, but you don't want to overrate them.

That thought process certainly comes into play this week with Miami Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He has six interceptions – yes, six – in the past two practices heading into Friday's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

Tannehill threw three interceptions for the second consecutive practice on Tuesday. He had a trio of turnovers to Miami starting cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes. Tannehill nearly threw a fourth interception in team drills, but Grimes dropped the pass. Grimes later did pushups on the sideline after the missed opportunity.

Add in the fact that Tannehill also threw three interceptions on Monday and, at the very least, it raises some eyebrows.

"Obviously, offensively, we don't want to have those in a ballgame," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said of the interceptions. “But you can't get too high or too low in the middle of a practice because it can taint your image. ... There were too many interceptions, however, I thought they responded well later in the practice and worked through it."

Tannehill said one of his interceptions Tuesday to Finnegan was a "brain fart" and the other was inside the bubble early in practice when the offense wasn't warmed up.

The Dolphins wrapped up their installation phase on offense and defense Tuesday. But according to Tannehill, the team is still experimenting and it led to several of his six turnovers Monday and Tuesday.

"It's a combination of a bunch of stuff," Tannehill said. "Some throws we're trying to just make in practice to see if it’s something we want to move on with during the season. We have other answers on the play. But the coaching staff wants to take a look at some throws on different coverages to see if we can complete them.

"I think we've come to the conclusion that we're going to move onto another route.”

Tannehill is learning a new offense for the first time since college under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. It is a demanding, uptempo scheme where much is expected from the quarterback. Growing pains are expected for Tannehill, especially in training camp.

But the truth is this is a big Year 3 for the Dolphins' starting quarterback when everything will be monitored closely. Tannehill's past two practices were certainly worth noting, and many will be curious to see how he responds Friday in his first live action of the preseason.

A strong preseason debut is the easiest way to erase a poor week of practice from Tannehill.

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