Pretty uneventful practice Sunday.
I watched rookie Dan Carpenter on kickoffs and he does have a booming leg. He drove all but one of his kicks to the goal line and a couple even went out of the end zone. I will be writing a column about the kicking competition that Bill Parcels basically announced last week in the coming days. A couple of things in there will surprise you as Jay Feel attempts to keep his job.
The three quarterbacks all got first-team snaps today. John Beck had a couple of nice throws, including one in which he basically got the ball over a defensive lineman's helmet as that lineman was grabbing onto him and the rest of the pocket was breaking down.
Ernest Wilford was present for the walk-thru before the media was allowed in to watch, according to Tony Soprano. He was absent for the actual practice because he had a flight to catch, the coach said..
As to the advancements the team made during the three-day camp:
"I just told the team this at the end of practice, I thought we had an awful lot of competition during this training camp," Soprano said. "We had competition in the red zone, in two-minute situations, on third down. We were able to evaluate some of our bigger people packages and we got a chance to see our blitz-pickups and blitz packages."
So the Dolphins, like FedEx, got a look at a lot of packages this weekend.
The top performers of the weekend IMHO?
1. Ricky Williams. Looks cut, quick and strong. He is the best player on the team right now. It says something when Parcells gives the player a fist-pound after a play, which he did Saturday. By the way, Williams got all of the first-team work in team drills as Ronnie Brown is being held back from that as he recovers from ACL surgery. Brown is still well ahead of schedule.
2. Yeremiah Bell. I kidded with him that he looks like Dan Marino out there because he's wearing two ankle braces and two knee braces. He laughed but Sparano called the safety "a good quarterback out there," meaning that is the role Bell plays on D. I don't believe he blew an assignment all weekend long.
3. Vonnie Holliday. Let's face it, he is the team's best DL right now. He is healthy, he plays smart. And frankly, he looked to be schooling some of the OLinemen most of the weekend.
4. Ernest Wilford. He is the team's best receiver right now. He catches everything, he knows how to run routes and he knows how to separate even though he doesn't have the greatest speed in the world. My prediction is he leads all receivers in catches this year although Ted Ginn is the No. 1 receiver.
5. Joey Porter. I know he was something of a disappointment last year, primarily because his performance didn't match his salary. But was he a bad player? I don't think so. This weekend he spent extra time working with defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni on his pass-rush technique. He told me to expect new things we haven't seen before. We'll see.
Also, the Dolphins brought former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer to training camp today and he spoke for 45 minutes about how to deal with the media.
"The most important thing about dealing with the media is mental discipline," Fleischer told me. "The same mental discipline athletes bring to the field, they should bring to the press. That way they don’t make mistakes. They don’t get taunted into a situation. They don’t get pitted against a fellow player or coach. I told them to respect the press. They have a hard job to do. They get paid to ask hard questions and you’ve got to work with them.”
The Dolphins will be off Monday and return for OTA work Tuesday-Thursday before going on vacay.
Before you go to the comments section, let me know the answer to the poll ...