The Dolphins rookies looked a bit better this morning than they did Friday -- at least that was true of quarterback Pat White and some of the other players on the field.
White had one of the first passes he attempted batted back, which is something I worry we'll see considering he's a 6-foot quarterback. But he seemed to have a better feel for things thereafter.
"The first couple of throws in 7 on 7 he sees things crytal clear and that good because that was from this morning's install," coach Tony Sparano said. "I thought he threw it a little better today than he did yesterday."
Anthony Armstrong, a practice squad receiver most of last season, had a good practice overall. He beat tryout safety JC Neal on one sweet route that was one of several highlight moments for him. He also had a notable drop.
The match between 6-5 receiver Patrick Turner and 6-3 cornerback Sean Smith is something to witness. It's hard to believe the size and athletic ability on these guys. Smith got the better of the matchups today, shadowing Turner most of the time.
But Turner impressed Sparano with his ability to "drop his hips" quickly enough to get out of his initial route burst and make his cut or come back to the ball. Big receivers that can't do this give defensive backs too much recovery time to stay in coverage ,so being able to slow down and come back to the ball or change direction is key.
"I want to prove I'm a red zone target," Turner said. "I want to prove I'm a consistent receiver and I make plays."
One thing I noticed immediately about Turner and Brian Hartline is that they are indeed tall as advertised but they are quite lanky. Turner is 220 pounds but looks like he can easily add 10 more pounds of muscle. Same thing with Hartline.
Compared to older, more veteran receivers who are somewhat V-shaped, these two are built straight up and down for now. I'm certain the Dolphins weight program will do wonders for them and improve their ability to get physical with defensive backs.
I talked to J. D. Folsom, the seventh round pick, about playing special teams. This kid's ticket to a roster is largely connected to his ability to contribute on special teams. "You got to learn the new techniques we're being taught and use them," Folsom said. "Like you said, my ticket onto the team is on special teams so I'm going to do whatever I need to do to make sure I contribute and do what coaches want."
Finally, you should remember this is a non-contact camp. But free agent nose tackle Louis Ellis got my attention as he is 315 pounds and not fat. He is just seemingly country strong and that showed at times even in these drills as he showed good penetration on a couple of snaps.
In the afternoon session that ran 90 minutes White looked good again -- as did Turner, and Smith, and Anthony Armstrong.
I did notice Vontae Davis clutching his lower back a couple of times so that will bear monitoring the on Sunday.
Anyway, the highlight of the afternoon session was a beautiful 40-yard completion down the left sideline in which Turner beat Smith despite the fact Smith had excellent coverage and was draped all over him as they went to the ground.
The play showed the athletic ability of the QB, White, in that the deep throw was accurate. It showed the athletic ability of the cornerback who was in good position against a very big receiver. And it showed extraordinary ability and concentration by Turner who not only displayed good hands but the ability to run a deep route.
Tight end John Nalbone isn't getting a lot of love from coach Tony Sparano. Yes, the fifth-round pick got open and caught a 12-yard pass but he went to the ground at around 17 yards and the head coach wasn't pleased.
"Don't fall down," Sparano said. "Dammit John, nobody even touched you!"
The other fifth-rounder, safety Chris Clemons, is clearly one of the fastest players on the field. In special teams work, he's always the first guy down the field on punt coverage work. the lone exception was the play in which 295-pound tryout player Demonte Bolden jacked him up by hitting him with a big blocking pad.