The Miami Dolphins held their first Organized Training Activity on Tuesday. This OTA was ‘voluntary’ and brought both rookies and veterans together. We say ‘voluntary’ because while they are technically voluntary, it’s frowned upon if players miss them. The Dolphins had excellent attendance, with every eligible player participating on Tuesday. A few players (Massam and Gray) were unable to practice because of injuries…..and a few others (Jonathan Martin and Josh Kaddu) were unable to practice because they are still taking classes. Overall, the Dolphins had almost all of their full 89 player roster, on the field.
One player that did more individual work than team activities was Vontae Davis. Vontae apparently has an undisclosed injury, but it didn’t appear to slow him down much. He still took part in some of the team drills, after completing his individual work. Vontae’s injury does not appear to be serious, but it’s worth monitoring in the upcoming OTA’s and minicamps.
You can read full recaps of the first OTA here and here. It’s impossible to learn as much as we will need to from an OTA. After all, the players are not in full pads and there is virtually no hitting. It’s also the first time the players have been exposed to some of the plays and formations. But, since we’re missing football, we’ll take all of the updates we can get!
By all accounts, Joe Philbin runs a much different practice than Tony Sparano. Philbin wants to get a good look at all 89 players on the Dolphins roster AND wants to emphasize an up-tempo offense. Jesse Agler mentioned on The Finsiders that the Dolphins had 2 different sets of 11 on 11 drills running parallel. One play would be run on one side, then the coaches would turn to the other 11 on 11 drill and a play would be run by those players. Philbin is trying to run as efficient a practice as possible. The one things that will come out of this up-tempo style of practice is player conditioning. Reggie Bush, one of the most in-shape Dolphins players, had to come off the field at one point because he was gasping for air. Reggie was fine, but was surprised by the speed at which the practice was being run. I like the fast paced practices. Hopefully it translates onto the field in September!
After reading all of the media recaps of the practice, it appears that Lamar Miller was a player that stood out. Miller was split out and ran some plays as a wide receiver. His speed could create matchup nightmares for defenses. Imagine Miller and his 4.34 40-yard dash speed lining up against a linebacker? I’m still sticking with my thought that Miller will turn out to be the steal of this year’s draft.
Sean Smith also had a good day, grabbing 2 interceptions in team drills. Reports indicate that all of the quarterbacks looked good, with David Garrard, possibly having the best day. Ryan Tannehill had a good practice, but made a few questionable decisions, according to onlookers. Again, this is an OTA in May. These practices are meant to be educational for the players, to get them accustomed to the new practice style and playbook. The snaps with the first team offense were mostly split between Garrard and Matt Moore. Tannehill and Pat Devlin split time running the backup offense against the backup defense.
Joe Philbin recognizes that splitting snaps with the first team will be a challenge moving forward. The Dolphins want to see all 3 quarterbacks with the first team offense. I can’t wait for the training camp battle to start! The Dolphins have 2 more practices this week, but unfortunately, they are not open to the media….so we’re not sure what updates we’ll get. I’m sure some news will come out of the practices…and when it does, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.