The Dolphins are participating in a voluntary veteran minicamp and right away I noticed two things:
1. Cameron Wake was not here. His displeasure over his contract status -- he's entering the final year of his deal that calls for him to make $615,000 -- is personified by his absence. Interesting that Wake was part of the conditioning workouts last week after missing the first week of those workouts.
2. The Dolphins are on a quicker practice pace, it seems to me. If you've read this blog for any period of time, you know I'm a big proponent of practicing fast. Moving, moving, moving because I believe if you practice fast, you play fast. The past couple of years, and last year in particular, I often complained the club lumbered through workouts. It picked up as the season went on but it was dead slow through training camp.
3. Jared Odrick sat out the entire workout and instead worked on the side with ropes for strengthening work. Karlos Dansby also sat out portions of the workout this morning. It is unclear if they are nursing injuries or which injuries they're nursing.
It just dawns on me the Dolphins played better later in the year than earlier.
Anyway, the pace today was very, very quick. The offense would run a play and soon as it was over, the next play was up. In team periods, what sometimes happened is one unit would run a play and the next unit would be right up.
The rules at this minicamp prohibit me from telling you where players are lining up or how they are running in depth chart order. In fact, I cannot tell you practically anything about practice.
But let me tell you this:
In Miami's coming hybrid 4-3, Wake will be a defensive end. Obviously we didn't see this today because Wake is not here. But I am making a prediction of where Wake would fit best. It'll be interesting to see how this works, but I would tell you he played defensive end in the CFL when he had approximately 14,024 sacks his final two seasons in that league.
I can also tell you the Dolphins are hoping from a lot out of Clyde Gates. He was on the receiving end of more passes than just about any wide receiver today. I didn't say he was the most impressive receiver at the workout. To me, that was Brian Hartline and Roberto Wallace.
But suffice to say Gates was a major focal point.
I get asked by many of you how the Dolphins will handle their quarterback situation. That's impossible to predict with accuracy because we don't know if the Dolphins will add a QB in the first round or beyond in the draft.
I would guess this: Matt Moore will take the first-team snaps in training camp. David Garrard will take second-team snaps. Pat Devlin will take third team. The rookie (assuming Miami gets one) will take fourth team. I assume, eventually, Moore and Garrard will shift so that the former Jacksonville veteran will get some work with starters.
That's the only way to keep the competition legitimate. It's also a way to keep it competitive because if Garrard is always going against second-team defenses, he'll almost certainly always look better than Moore.
I like the Dolphins' plan for Reggie Bush. Yes, he might get introduced out of the tunnel on Sundays. But he might not necessarily get the most carries. It's clear Daniel Thomas, who was busy gaining his footing (pun intended) as a rookie, seems more grounded now (pun intended).
He looked good today. Obviously, there were no pads or hitting out there. But Thomas simply looked like he belonged.
Bush? I like the idea of getting him the ball on swing passes or putting him out in space a lot more than I like having him stick his nose in the B-gap and try to grind out four yards. Yes, I know it worked last year, but there's no guarantee Bush would stay healthy through two years of that type of work.