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3 Observations From Monday’s Practice
By on August 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

081814-ObservationsFollowing a day off after the Dolphins’ 20-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami hit the practice field after breaking training camp to return to a more regular season schedule with a lighter practice on Monday. The team practiced in helmets and shorts, working on play recognition and correcting mistakes that were made in the second preseason game. The team will follow a more regular season schedule going forward, as the players will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before an off day on Friday before Saturday’s game.

Though it was a lighter practice, there was plenty to take away from it. Here are the three things that stood out the most during practice on Monday:

1. Easing Back Into It 

After Saturday night’s 20-14 win in Tampa, the Dolphins went back at it in practice today, but in helmets only as they prepare for the long working week leading up to the Dallas game this Saturday. All individual groups worked on technique and simple fundamentals that greatly impact their position, as well as doing extensive work on special teams.

On offense, the quarterbacks worked on catching and throwing quickly from the shotgun formation and running back and wide receivers ran through multiple catching drills. Tempo and specific situational work was the definitely the focus on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, fitting the running lanes and simulating live tackling using dummies started out practice on this side of the ball. Lots of practice forcing inside runs and the quick passing game was the main focus for the defense.

2. Shift Up Front

There are still some moving parts to the Dolphins offensive line, and that’s been a consistent theme throughout the offseason and training camp. Today’s starting five included Shelly Smith moving into the starting role at right guard replacing Dallas Thomas. Thomas struggled on Saturday night and that has given Smith a window of opportunity to take control of the right guard position. I still believe we will still see a lot of both players on Saturday night, but Smith will get the 1st chance to make a lasting impression all week and hopefully for him, against the Cowboys.

3. Important Week

Although today’s workout was short and sharp, the practice had the feel of a regular season workout. I say this because both sides of the ball worked on Dallas installation and it’s only Monday. There are multiple position on this roster that are very difficult to evaluate and all teams on in the NFL must cut down from 90 to 75 a week from today. What the players put on tape this week and especially Saturday night should clear the picture for this coaching staff, and the work the bubble players put in over the next three days will give them one more week to prove they belong on this roster.

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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.

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