After a week of nothing but sunshine, mother nature was not as kind starting week two of offseason training activities. With a torrential downpour going on outside, the Miami Dolphins went to work inside their indoor facility. The team went through the normal progression of practice, with both sides of the football having their moments to shine. While it’s good to get execution down during this time in the summer, it’s also a time for experimentation, and testing the limits and boundaries of each individual player.
Here’s five things I took away from today’s OTA:
1. Developing Chemistry: It’s only been a week of work for the Dolphins during OTAs so far, but I like how the Tannehill-Wallace combination is looking so far. The reason I say this is because Mike Wallace is no longer stagnant in the offense, lining up on the same side at the same position. His position flexibility will allow Ryan Tannehill to get him the football not only vertically down the field, but horizontally and sometimes behind the line of scrimmage through the screen game. Two plays that stood out to me today were a beautifully thrown fade route, where Wallace’s alignment allowed him to adjust to the football in the back of the end zone, and a red zone skinny post that showed his hand strength from a perfectly timed Tannehill throw.
2. A Whole Lot of Motion: One of the qualities of the Dolphins’ new offense is their ability to break the huddle in one formation, have multiple players reset, and run a play out of something completely different. Doing this puts extreme pressure on the defense to identify and adjust so they have their proper matchups. Sometimes, the offense could get an advantage from this formation deception because they gain leverage on the defense strictly because of alignment. So far, this offense looks multiple in its formations and motions, which allows more space and room to operate hopefully at a high level.
3. Working Wilson Inside: Today during practice, I noticed that one man and one man only was working as the primary nickel defender in the secondary. That man was Jimmy Wilson. Wilson has always had a diverse skill set that allows him to play multiple positions. But nickel could be the spot where he gets the majority of his snaps in 2014. With Louis Delmas and Reshad Jones entrenched in those starting safety spots, and Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan on the perimeter, Wilson’s aggressiveness and instincts look to fit the attacking nature and the speed that defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle would like this unit to play with. Wilson benefited from those great instincts today, as he intercepted a deflected pass during a red zone team drill.
4. Going To School With Sam: Last week, it was former Dolphins great Jason Taylor serving as a guest coach. Today, another former Dolphins defender served in that role, as The Finsiders’ own Sam Madison shared his wisdom with the young cornerbacks. Madison primarily worked with 2nd year corners Will Davis and Jamar Taylor, as well as rookie Walt Aikens. As a physical corner at the line of scrimmage himself, Madison was focused on the press coverage footwork and alignment of the corners, and also sat in and took part in the meetings, which was probably an added bonus for the song players.
5. Back At It: After not participating in the first OTA last week, Marcus Thigpen was back on the practice field today, primarily working with the receivers lining up in the slot position, and worked his normal return duties. Brian Hartline looked to be 100%, participating most if not all of the drills today. Rookie tight end Arthur Lynch also was back on the field, doing everything as a full participant in practice. The lone men out of full participation today were defensive tackle Jared Odrick, who worked in and out, and wide receiver Brandon Gibson, who started practice, but didn’t do all team drills.
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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.