The Miami Dolphins finished their final practice of the week earlier today. This is the last practice of the week because the Dolphins will hold their first scrimmage of the preseason tomorrow at Sun Life Stadium. Admission and parking are free, so head on out if out if you can. How the Dolphins scrimmage will take place isn’t set in stone quite yet. Will Ryan Tannehill get a shot against the first team defense? Will David Garrard or Matt Moore start with the Dolphins 1st team offense?
One thing we do know is that the Dolphins are giving away free tickets to preseason games to the first 1,000 fans that arrive at the game. So if you plan on going, get there early and you’ll get some free tickets! I’m not sure how many people know about this because the Dolphins blasted it out on Twitter. However, according to our poll yesterday, it doesn’t appear that a majority of our readers are on Twitter. We’re on it regularly and will certainly keep you posted on anything interesting that comes up.
Among the Dolphins players that stood out today, according to reports, were Chad Johnson and Matt Moore. Johnson is said to be making plays in practice, which is a good sign since he disappeared after struggling early in Pats camp last year. Johnson felt so good that he even wandered into special teams drills and fielded a few punts (he caught both cleanly!). Matt Moore has heard all of the buzz about how much David Garrard is distancing himself from Moore in the QB battle. Today, he got up off the mat and put together one of his best practices this season. Good for Matt!
Speaking of Garrard, Peter King of SI.com visited Dolphins camp on Wednesday and writes in his Dolphins postcard that he believes Garrard looked better in Wednesdays practice than Peyton Manning did when he visited Denver. Peter isn’t saying Garrard is going to have a better season than Peyton, he’s simply giving Garrard credit for doing a great job in practice on Wednesday. King contends that from his perspective, David Garrard is comfortable in the Dolphins offense and looks like the eventual starter.
Ryan Tannehill took his first snaps with the first team offense yesterday and took a few more snaps today. Interestingly, most of his snaps with the first team have come against the second team defense. It appears the Dolphins are breaking him in slowly, which is fine with me. Better to let him learn slowly instead of rushing him into action. This is especially true if Garrard is playing as well as people say he’s playing.
The offensive line had a tough day on Friday, giving away ground to the 1st and 2nd team defensive lines. This has to improve. No matter who the QB is, he needs to have protection or the Dolphins could be calling on Pat Devlin before the season is over. One thing that I have found interesting is the contrast between the offensive line last year and this year. Last year, Sparano mixed and matched offensive linemen throughout camp. This year, Philbin is keeping it consistent with the following lineup being the same since the start of camp: LT Long, LG Incognito, C Pouncey, RG Hicks, RT Martin. The offensive line had been performing well, prior to today. Hopefully they can continue to gel and become more consistent as camp progresses.
Brian Hartline and Clyde Gates were the only notable injured players that missed practice, but that’s nothing new. Both are showing signs of improvement and could be back on the field next week. Both need to, since some of the younger receivers have stepped up recently.