The Dolphins officially hit the field today for their first publicly open training camp practice of the year. The mood was slightly tense however, as rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has begun his holdout for a contract. It is unknown how long this may last, but both sides seem firm on their positions on the issue of offset language. One theory that has been floating around for this is that the Dolphins are trying to make a Hard Knocks storyline out of the holdout, and it does seem like a good opportunity. Not only could Hard Knocks capture Ryan signing the contract, but could follow up with questions to other players on how they felt about Tannehill's holdout, giving them something else to talk about. Now, on to the actual practice, I have my report after the jump.
In light of Ryan Tannehill's absence, QBs David Garrard and Matt Moore split the 1st and 2nd team reps, while 2nd year QB Pat Devlin took almost all of the 3rd team reps. Today's QB winner was clearly David Garrard, who finished the day with multiple great passes, including a 40 yd TD pass to Roberto Wallace. He also made some nice passes to Davone Bess, rookies Jeff Fuller and BJ Cunningham, Clyde Gates and another to Roberto Wallace. Garrard did not throw any INTs, but had dropped ones by LB Gary Guyton and CB Vince Agnew. 2nd year QB Pat Devlin shined today, but did have some inconsistencies. One example is this, one play he threw a beautiful 40 yd TD to WR Marlon Moore, but followed that play up with a wobbly duck pass to nowhere. Devlin also threw nice passes to rookie Jeff Fuller and 2nd year man Clyde Gates, but also had an INT to rookie S Kelcie McCray. Matt Moore had a poor practice today, despite having the most 1st team reps. he was sacked twice by Jared Odrick, randomly fumbled on the first play of 11-on-11s, threw poor passes, and almost threw an INT to CB Sean Smith. He did not have any great plays other than one nice 20 yd pass to WR Davone Bess.
As for the offensive line, today featured a starting lineup of (Left to Right) Jake Long, Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey, Artis Hicks and rookie Jonathon Martin. The 2nd unit, from left to right, was Lydon Murtha, Eric Steinbach, Ryan Cook, John Jerry and converted TE Will Yeatman. Moving to other offensive positions, it seems as if two of the three starting WR spots have been locked up. Legedu Naanee spent most of the time at the split end spot, or as the X WR. Bess is obviously the favorite for the slot, or the Y WR, leaving the Z WR, who does most of the work, open. Today, it seemed as if WRs Brian Hartline and Chad Johnson were splitting reps, but neither looked very good. Johnson dropped a Matt Moore pass, and struggled to beat defenders and break tackles, while Brian Hartline struggled with his speed, as he wasn't as fast as he usually is. It is unknown if this is because of the recent appendectomy he has had, but he will need to improve if he wants to keep the starting spot. Roberto Wallace seems to have locked down the role of the 4th WR off the bench, which will be key as the west coast offense run by Mike Sherman relies heavily on 4-WR sets. Clyde Gates also had a notable practice, but not just for a good reason. Apparently, Gates did a great job getting open, and was open almost every play, but he struggled to bring the ball down and catch it, showing a major case of the dropsies. Other standouts were rookie Jeff Fuller, who seems like the rookie WR to beat, and CFL pickup Marcus Thigpen, who is shining as a kick returner.
Now, on the defensive side of the ball, DE Jared Odrick had a great day, picking up 2 sacks on Matt Moore. Sean Smith also had a good day, breaking up passes and protecting his island. As for the other CBs, Vince Agnew once again showed why he deserves a roster spot, breaking up key passes, while Richard Marshall seemed to struggle today, but it seems as if Marshall's struggles were due to conditioning issues, meaning he should improve over time. Moving further in the secondary, Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons started the day as the starting safeties, but Clemons was replaced midway by Jimmy Wilson. Clemons left practice limping and did not return to the field. It is unsure how severe his injury is. As for the linebackers, Koa Misi seems to have a tight hold on the starting strong side linebacker spot ac cross from Kevin Burnett. For the defensive line, they dominated as usual, with Soliai showing off new mobility after bringing his weight down 15 lbs to a total of 330 lbs. Speaking of Soliai, fans got to see the first affects of the rookie hazing tradition as Soliai had dyed the hair of all or the rookie D-lineman blond, and in strange designs, such as polka dots or tiger stripes.
That is about it for today's training camp report. Even though today was secondhand information, I am actually heading out to training camp tomorrow, so I will have some more detailed, firsthand analysis of practice. Be sure to keep checking in, and leave feedback below.