The Dolphins wrapped up practice #10 of their 2014 training camp as the team took the field without pads Tuesday morning. In the process, Miami completed the installation phase of camp and will now turn its focus to Friday’s preseason opener at the Atlanta Falcons. As that game approaches, the defense continued to shine as bright as the sweltering sun in Davie on Tuesday.
Here’s a few of my observations from the 10th practice of Dolphins Training Camp:
1. Superb Secondary
For the second straight day, the secondary was outstanding by posting six interceptions. Three of those came courtesy of Cortland Finnegan, who looks like the Tennessee Titans version of himself so far in camp. Finnegan has hauled in five picks over the last three practices and appears to be fending off the surging Will Davis and Jamar Taylor as they compete for the starting cornerback spot opposite Brent Grimes. Speaking of #21, he snared a pair of picks Tuesday while Jimmy Wilson was responsible for the other interception. The entire secondary has been flying around the practice field this week. Ryan Tannehill will be happy to see a different defense come Friday night.
2. Specialty Situations
The key component of completing the final installation phase of training camp involved specialty situations that the Dolphins practiced Tuesday. These included overtime scenarios, 4th-and-1 plays, and the usually exciting Hail Mary. However, Tuesday’s version wasn’t suspenseful as the team walked through the deep heave play with the defense allowing the offense to execute with little resistance. On a 4th-and-1 play, Dannell Ellerbe made a great read of the snap count to blitz Tannehill for a sack. The team also worked on gadget plays for the end of the half and regulation. These scenarios don’t come up often over the course of a season, but it speaks to the thorough nature of the coaching staff that all situations are covered to ensure that the team is prepared for anything that may occur in 2014.
3. Offense Starts Slowly, Ends On A Strong Note
As described above, it was another rough day for the offense as Ryan Tannehill was intercepted 3 times for the second straight workout. Part of this was due to what Tannehill described as new route combinations versus different defensive coverages. Also, while it was encouraging to see Mike Wallace back fully working for the first time since Tuesday, July 29th, there was clearly a rust factor between he and Tannehill and their chemistry. This is likely to improve in the coming days and weeks assuming both stay healthy and on the field. It was also terrific to see the offense as a whole overcome the slow start and finish practice with a strong final team drill. Tannehill saved his best passing production, precision, and accuracy for the end of Tuesday’s work.
News & Notes
- The following players were ruled out of action today and will miss multiple practices: tight end Michael Egnew (concussion), tight end Gator Hoskins (hamstring), running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring), defensive end Olivier Vernon (back).
- After missing practice yesterday, defensive back Jalil Brown (knee), tight end Charles Clay (knee), and quarterback Pat Devlin (hamstring) all remained out of action.
- The following missed practice yesterday but participated today: quarterback Matt Moore, wide receiver Mike Wallace, wide receiver Brian Hartline, kicker Caleb Sturgis.
- The Dolphins offensive line is looking like it’s slowly coming more together as a unit. It’s definitely true on the left side of the line, as Daryn Colledge has been solid the past few days, and Branden Albert had his best day of practice as he stonewalled Dion Jordan all morning long.
- Brett Brackett returned to the team after being released a few days ago, giving the team tight end depth heading into the Atlanta game. Wide receiver Stephen Williams was waived to make room for Brackett.
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