It was interesting that Friday's first training camp practice was the Brandon Marshall Show and fans attending the workout loved it. Tony Sparano didn't love it.
Sparano, you see, is the coach of the Miami Dolphins. He is the coach of the offense that showed up Friday. And he coaches the defense that got used a little bit. So a 50 percent success ration in practice is akin to an 8-8 team. It is not what the Dolphins want.
The Dolphins want to "feed the wolf," so to speak, on both offense and defense. And Dolphins players are wearing shirts encouraging everyone to feed the wolf this camp. What's that wolf thing, you ask?
"In spring, after not a great practice, I had a meeting with the group and got into them a little bit about 7-9 not being good enough," Sparano said. "... This football team shouldn't be fat, they should be starving, they should be hungry. And they should want to feed the wolf. So when we talk about this, one of the things we talk about is feeding the wolf with a little successes each day. So with these little successes, the wolf gets fed and you have more success and that stuff starts to become contagious. From our end, we feed the wolf when we do something good.
"I thought today the wolf was fed pretty good this morning. It wasn't fed yesterday. It was fed yesterday in the running and conditioning test but not in the practice. Today, there was very good give and take today in practice. Offensively they'd make a play or two and then defensively they'd bounce back, making a play or two. Then Henne throws a TD to Bess and stops the bleeding. That give and take feeds competition."
I like Ike
For the second time in as many practices, Ikaika Alama-Francis is getting a ton of work at SOLB and doing it with the starters. Alama-Francis got some limited snaps with the starting unit Friday and got most of them on Saturday.
So one naturally has to wonder if this is just a fad or a legit possibility.
It is legit.
"I don't think right now we're putting our toe in the water on this," Sparano said. "We're saying we want to see this guy and give him the opportunity to play this position."
Alama-Francis is listed as a 6-5, 290 pound defensive end on the roster.
He's down to 275 and he's looking good.
"We want to take a good, long look at this project because there's something there that's different than some of the other guys at the position," Sparano said. "We want to see if this can be a possibility."
Sparano said Alama-Francis's mobility is the most intriguing thing about him.
"Bill Sheridan jammed this down my throat, to watch him move in some of the drills and some of the things we were doing, for the size ... his movements remind you of a big strong linebacker like that," Sparano said. "He's not a finished project by any stretch of the imagination but he really works at it. He's a [conscientous] kid."
A wee-bit of info on Pat White
Sparano shot down one media outlet's reporting that fourth-string QB Pat White is A) Missing training camp, B) Could miss the entire season, C) Is on the non-football illness list.
A club source tells me the Dolphins were concerned White might have to deal with an illness the source would not reveal. But the source insists the Dolphins never considered White would be out any significant length of time.
And Sparano confirmed that.
"Pat was just dealing with and we were dealing with some personal health issues that we wanted to get checked out and we did," the coach said. "We're all satisfied and we got him back on the field today. Everything's good and he's ready to go."
Does the issue have lingering effects?
"No, I wouldn't say so," Sparano said.
Did the Dolphins at any time have concerns about White being at training camp?
"No," Sparano insisted.
As for defensive back Evan Oglesby, who does have a non-football illness, the prognosis is apparently good.
"He's sick. He's getting much better," Sparano said. "We're kind of waiting and he should be fine any day now."