First-time Head Coach Joe Philbin has definitely changed the way this team moves on the practice field and most noticeable difference is the amount of team repetitions that have taken place.
All four days have been crisp for the most part with both sides of the football showing signs that this team doesn’t believe the national perception of having a middle of the road season! Here are some of the notes and highlights that I have come away with early in training camp 2012:
– Day One: Quarterback Matt Moore took the majority of the first team snaps and hooked up with veteran receivers Chad Johnson and Legedu Naanee multiple times. Johnson looked like he was energized to be a Dolphin and Naanee caught the football clean which was pleasing to see. Rookie wideout Jeff Fuller flashed to me as well using his size (6’4” 223 pounds) and speed to make a great first impression.
The defense was led by two takeaways by safety Kelcie McCray and linebacker Koa Misi. Misi undercut a pass to the short side of the field and took it to the house for six points!
– Day Two: It was quarterback David Garrard up first with the number ones and he was accurate and on time with the majority of this throws. He found wide receiver Julius Pruitt down the seam for a big play early in practice. Pruitt has been consistent catching the football and his ability to change direction and give a window for the quarterback to throw is something that must continue.
Tight ends Anthony Fasano, Charles Clay and Jeron Mastrud have a lot on there plate, but have shown so far to handle the heavy workload! Third round draft choice Olivier Vernon displayed his great first step and looks to be athletic enough to make the transition from college to pro.
The defense as a unit looked particularly sharp in the seven on seven period. Safety Tyrell Johnson broke on the football well and veteran corners Vontae Davis and Sean Smith look in shape and ready to go! Also, Jimmy Wilson took the first team snaps at one of the safety positions and looked confortable moving to his new position.
– Day Three: This day was highlighted by the presence of the Dolphins first round draft choice quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and he put on a terrific throwing display. Tannehill also showed poise at the line of scrimmage and a firm understanding of the offense. His anticipation and the ability to throw the ball with precise location were evident.
This was also the first day of full pads in training camp and the play was physical on both sides of the football. Linebackers Gary Guyton and Jason Trusnik came away with interceptions on deflected passes at the line of scrimmage.
– Day Four: The focus of practice was the red zone and both sides of the ball had their highs and lows. The quarterback group as a whole looked sharp throwing the football on time. Wide receiver Davone Bess was sharp in tight quarters make catches in traffic, and Naanee continued to impress with his body control. Also Pruitt and Marlon Moore showcased their talent and why they shouldn’t be overlooked!
The running backs have been consistent through four days led by Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Steve Slaton. All have caught the ball cleanly out of the backfield and rookie Lamar Miller and Marcus Thigpen has another gear that really is noticeable.
Safety Reshad Jones has looked comfortable in the secondary and the defensive line was bringing the heat on a consistent basis!
I understand that it’s very difficult to draw a complete assessment after only four practices, but I do see some noticeable improvements in this football team. They are a faster group overall on defense, and I believe that’s due in part to the way the offense is pressing the issue on every snap. I like the attacking style on both sides of the football, which should lead to a highly competitive training camp, and hopefully the right 53-man roster come September!
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.