The Miami Dolphins have been in training camp for 4 days and the early reviews are positive. For those of us Dolphins fans that haven’t made the trek to see training camp practices in person, have no fear because Hard Knocks starts a week from today. The Dolphins camp has featured a couple of injuries, a blitzkrieg pace, and a number of position battles.
The featured battle is for the starting QB position. David Garrard and Matt Moore have been taking turns competing with the Dolphins first team offense. At this point, Garrard seems to hold the advantage on Moore. Again, Matt Moore isn’t the greatest practice player, so this isn’t totally unexpected. The real test for both QBs will be when the exhibition season starts.
The Miami Dolphins welcomed their supposed QB of the future back to the practice field on Sunday. Ryan Tannehill, working on just about 5 hours of sleep, checked in to Dolphins training camp Sunday morning and made a pretty good first impression. Tannehill worked with the second team, but was efficient with his throws, completing 11 of 12 passes at one point. It was only one practice, but the Dolphins have to be encouraged by what they saw in Tannehill.
During OTAs and minicamps, Tannehill held onto the ball for too long and made some questionable decisions. After practice coach Philbin said that Tannehill made faster decisions ‘a couple of time’. Tannehill, who missed the first 2 days of practice ‘didn’t miss a beat’, according to Mike Sherman. This is all good news, but ultimately, whether or not Tannehill stays in the QB competition, will depend on how well he plays in the Dolphins first couple of preseason games.
At 8am this morning the Miami Dolphins held their first training camp practice for the 2012 season. However, a certain Dolphins QB was NOT present. Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins first round pick, didn’t practice with the team. This is the major headline from the Dolphins first practice, but if Tannehill signs later today and practices tomorrow, is it really that big of a deal? Yes, it looks bad that the Dolphins couldn’t sign the first 1st round QB taken since Marino, and get him to camp on time. But Tannehill knows this offense better than almost anyone, so he’s already ahead of all of the other rookies and most of the veterans. [UPDATE: After practice, Jeff Ireland said that he wishes Tannehill was signed and practicing, but the two sides are talking, negotiations are ongoing and progress is being made....stay tuned!]
Tannehill needs experience so that he can acclimate to the speed of the NFL. He needs to learn how to properly read an NFL defense, both pre-snap and post-snap. He needs to get to camp, without question. But, will one practice, or even 2, make THAT big of a difference. I think the perception, both nationally and locally, will be that the Dolphins messed up by not signing him on time. While I agree, I just don’t think 1-2 days are going to change the course of Ryan Tannehill’s career with the Dolphins. Now, if this drags on for a week or longer, then we can start to worry.
Earlier today, Miami Dolphins players officially reported to training camp in Davie. Dolphins’ players were given their playbooks, yearly physicals and conditioning tests. Interestingly, the Dolphins waited until today, the first official day of training camp, to add another veteran to the roster. Earlier today, the Dolphins signed veteran guard, Eric Steinbach to a contract. The Dolphins have not made a secret of the fact that they needed John Jerry to arrive to camp in shape. Is it possible that Jerry tipped the scales in his physical, a little more than the Dolphins wanted? Could he be a cut target? It’s all possible, but the team hasn’t given an explanation for the Steinbach signing at this point. All we know is that Steinbach will compete with Artis Hicks and John Jerry (if he’s still here) for the starting right guard spot.
Entering today, the Dolphins roster was full, so they had to make a cut to make room for Steinbach. We feared that it could be Ray Feinga (a fan favorite) that would be cut….but alas it was undrafted free agent rookie Derek Dennis. Steinbach missed the 2011 season with a back injury. Prior to that, he started 124 of 125 games. If healthy, he should be able to win the starting job since he’s the type of lineman the Dolphins are looking for. He is a pulling guard with athleticism. We’ll know how healthy he is, soon enough!
The Miami Dolphins can cross one unsigned rookie off of their checklist. Moments ago, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that the Miami Dolphins have signed 3rd round defensive end Olivier Vernon to a contract. As we mentioned earlier today, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald said that the Vernon deal was ‘close’….well, now it’s done!
The Dolphins selected Vernon, the former University of Miami DE, in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. Vernon is expected to backup Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick at defensive end for the Dolphins. Vernon will likely see a lot of action in obvious passing situations as part of the Dolphins defensive line rotation. Here’s a look at Vernon versus FSU last year:
Now the Dolphins can focus their attention on finishing up the contracts for TE Michael Egnew and QB Ryan Tannehill. I believe BOTH will be signed, sealed, and delivered in time for the Dolphins first practice on Friday.
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The Miami Dolphins players begin reporting to camp today and tomorrow, with the first team practice taking place on Friday. As we mentioned earlier this week, the Dolphins have some work to do off the field, as they still have 3 unsigned rookies. The Dolphins are trying to beat the clock by signing all 3 unsigned rookies before Friday’s practice. The unsigned rookies are TE Michael Egnew, DE Olivier Vernon, and QB Ryan Tannehill. Things seem to be progressing on at least 2 of those contract negotiations.
Armando Salguero tweeted the following moments ago:
@ArmandoSalguero: Text from source on Ryan Tannehill 4-year contract: “…should get done soon”
Miami Dolphins WR Chad Ochocinco is no more….in name anyway. The Dolphins wide receiver finalized his name change this morning, returning to Chad Johnson. According to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com on Twitter, Chad was at the courthouse bright and early this morning and officially change his name back to Chad Johnson for a grand total of $401.
Johnson started the name change process shortly after his wedding earlier this month. According to Chad himself, his new wife Evelyn did not want her last name to be Ochocinco…..and honestly, why would she?! As Dolphins fans, this really doesn’t effect us, unless of course, you already bought a jersey with Ochocinco on the back of it!
The Miami Dolphins report to camp in just 3 days and the Dolphins first team practice is on Friday. However, as of today, the Dolphins could be missing 3 of their top 4 draft picks, including Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins are said to be talking to all 3 unsigned rookies, Tannehill, Michael Egnew, and Olivier Vernon. Tannehill is the most interesting negotiation because it appears the Dolphins are ‘digging in’ on the inclusion of offset language, per ProFootballTalk.com.
Offset language is the part of a players contract that protects the team in the event that the player is cut. Tannehill’s camp contends that the offset language is not needed, as none of the other top 10 draft picks that have signed, had offset language in their contracts. According to the report, the Dolphins Vice President of Administration, Dawn Aponte, is insisting that the language is included. Because of the new rookie pay scale, the financial terms of Tannehill’s contract are pretty much set. He will receive a 4 year deal worth approximately 13.5 million. Tannehill was drafted #8 overall and both the #7 and #9 picks have signed. The amount that is guaranteed on Tannehill’s deal is the only thing standing in the way of the Dolphins signing their quarterback of the future.
Next Friday, the Miami Dolphins finally open up training camp. And seriously, it can’t get here soon enough. I’ve heard enough of the National Media beating up on the Dolphins for one offseason. Yes, the Dolphins lack some star power at wide receiver, BUT they had a pretty good draft, have a new offensive system, and a brighter future. Most, if not all, of the ‘experts’ think the Dolphins are destined to finish 4th in the AFC East. That’s fine, keep the expectations low and maybe, just maybe this team can sneak up on some people.
Anyway, back to our headline. On Wednesday, ProFootballTalk.com posted a story about Dolphins season ticket sales since the draft. The increase in sales could be a direct result of the Dolphins finally drafting a quarterback in the first round, in Ryan Tannehill. At the bottom of the story, PFT writes that they believe the Dolphins QB competition could be a phony competition. They reason that the Dolphins want Tannehill to start the season as the Dolphins QB, but want him to gain confidence by leap frogging Matt Moore and David Garrard during the preseason.