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Topics on Tony Sparano's mind today

Tony Sparano just had his press availability for the day and here are the highlights:

The coach has obviously taken notice of the practice receiver Patrick Turner had Sunday evening and again Monday morning when he had another couple of nice plays.

"He made a play yesterday that was a good play," Sparano said. "He had to go up and get the ball and he did. He ended up falling on his back and all that good stuff. We got that thing out of the way. He's come out here and made a couple of nice plays this morning. I like what he's done right now. We're trying to get him in the mix a lot right now because we didn't get a good picture out him in the spring. So we're trying to get as many reps as we can with him. He's done a good job mentally so far. There's still a little rust because of not being out there in the spring. He's working through it and he's done a good job right now."

Donald Thomas worked at first-team left guard again Monday morning so that's good news for him. But just being there won't necessarily keep him there. Remember, as I've preached over and over now, the offensive line is what? ...

... A chemistry lab.

And Thomas, like the other linemen can't blow up like an experiment gone bad from time to time.

"He's done some nice things at times," Sparano said. "And we're looking for better than, 'at times,' from all of those guys."

Consistency will be what will separate the players competing for work along the offensive line. Thomas has an advantage because he's more than a powerful guy. He moves well, too.

Interestingly, rookie John Jerry, who has been working at left guard has experienced "minimal, minimal," mental mistakes according to Sparano. But he needs to get better technically and move quicker to keep his spot, according to Salguero.

Ivey You'll remember that yesterday, rookie Travis Ivey got a classice dose of rookie hazing when he was packed like a station wagon full of pads (pictured).

I asked Sparano his take on such hijinks.

"I've seen it go all different ways, Armando. Some of it is ridiculous, to be honest with you, and it can get carried away and some of it is good fun," Sparano said. "Ivey carrying a bunch of shoulder pads on him, shoot, he made ESPN and you guys thought it was great. At times that's good for chemistry and bonding but sometimes it gets carried away. And if I feel it's crossing the line, I get involved."

Finally, I've been saying for months how the WR job opposite Brandon Marshall was Brian Hartline's to lose. That is what I was told would be the situation.

But Sparano today pulled back the curtain on why that is so, on why it is Hartline that is getting first dibs on the spot.

"Honestly, it's run after catch," he said. "He had some big plays for us with his hands on the football running the ball so there was a little bit of that there."

Sparano cautioned that just because Hartline has the job today doesn't mean he'll keep the job.

One would expect the Dolphins coach to say exactly that on the fourth day of training camp. That's why they call it competition.