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News, notes from Tuesday's practice

Barry Jackson, making another cameo in Armando's blog after covering Dolphins, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics practices today.

Tuesday was the second of six offseason practices that will be open to the media. David J. Neal has a story - next to this blog - on the Dolphins being selected to appear on HBO's Hard Knocks, something we mentioned was a possibility in my Sports Buzz blog over the weekend. A few notes from Tuesday's session:

### With David Garrard back home in Jacksonville attending to his storm-damaged home, Matt Moore was the best of the Dolphins' quarterbacks Tuesday, but FAR from perfect. Ryan Tannehill had difficulty in the red zone, overthrowing passes to Clyde Gates and Davone Bess and throwing two interceptions to Reshad Jones.

Moore continued to get more snaps against the first-team defense than Tannehill did, but Tannehill took some of the snaps against the No. 1 defense that Garrard got in last week's sessions.  Tannehill struggled during several of those snaps. Most of his completions Tuesday were screens or short patterns over the middle. His best throw was a terrific sideline throw to Marlon Moore, who beat Arizona State rookie linebacker Shelly Lyons.

Tannehill has shown good touch during previous media availabilities (rookie mini-camp, an OTA day last week), but wasn't sharp Tuesday. No need to worry or fret, but facts are facts.

For more on the quarterback play Tuesday and several other notes (such as what rookie was dropping more passes; the troublesome issue with Clyde Gates, and Tuesday's first-team change on offense), please click here on My Sports Buzz blog:

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sports-buzz/

Here are a few more notes beyond the ones in my Buzz blog:

### Besides Garrard, Reggie Bush also was missing from the voluntary practice, and Joe Philbin refused to discuss it. Bush mentioned on his twitter account on Monday that "Vegas is the Devil," which suggests what he was doing over Labor Day weekend.

### Daniel Thomas opened with the first team in Bush's absence, but Steve Slaton got a lot of work. There weren't many holes for either. Paul Soliai completely swallowed up Slaton on one play. Asked about Thomas, Philbin said he likes his size but then suggested he needs to do a better job in blitz pickup. Thomas was responsible for at least one sack last year.

### Vontae Davis and Brian Hartline were limited and three rookies (Jonathan Martin, Josh Kaddu and Dustin Waldron) were not in attendance because their classes are still ongoing. Richard Marshall, who had been with the first team at cornerback in Davis' absence, missed the last hour of practice after injuring his leg.

Marshall was covering Jeff Fuller on the play and landed awkwardly. He limped around the sideline for a while afterward. Philbin said that before the injury, "I like how Marshall is doing and his progress. Not a lot of talk [from him]. Just a lot of action."

### Jonathan Wade replaced Marshall when Marshall went out, on the opposite side of Sean Smith. But Nolan Carroll got work in the nickel package. Carroll made a nifty play, knocking away a deep pass from Tannehill to Clyde Gates.

### Lamar Miller made another nifty play, taking a screen from Pat Devlin for a score. Miller often stands out when he gets the ball, and it's clear coaches will need to carve out a role for him as a rookie.

### Philbin continues to work Reshad Jones (a favorite to start) with Chris Clemons as the first team safeties, with Jimmy Wilson and Tyrone Culver playing in the nickel package. Clemons was badly beaten on a Moore touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano over the middle.

Safety Tyrell Johnson apparently hasn't done anything to push the starters to this point. But Philbin said he he really  likes how Wilson has adapted in his move back to safety (where he played as a senior at Montana). "Good acceleration, good instincts," Philbin said.

### Philbin has become a big fan of center Mike Pouncey: "Like his quickness. Some centers are [more] stout, but we like the way he moves. Got good awareness in the middle."

### Three long-shot signings who turned heads Tuesday: Maryland rookie defensive back Trenton Hughes, who picked off a Matt Moore pass; Ohio State defensive back Anderson Russell, who poked a ball away from Legedu Naanee to prevent a catch; and Boise State rookie defensive end Jarrell Root, who had a sack.

Arkansas State safety Kelcie McCray, who drew plaudits from Jeff Ireland after rookie mini-camp, blew coverage on a pass from Moore to Davone Bess.

### A Les Brown sighting! The former accountant, who's a strong possibility for the practice squad if he shows much summer, caught a couple passes, including a short one from Tannehill than he ran in for a score. He seems to get upfield quickly after the catch.

###Cam Wake, asked about the quarterbacks: "I hate those guys!"

### The defensive line looked good overall Tuesday, with backup Tony McDaniel batting down a Moore pass. Jamaal Westerman got snaps in the nickel package and was active.

### Moore continues to make considerable use of Charles Clay, who usually finds soft spots in the defense. Make no mistake: Clay will be a valued weapon in this offense.

### Marcus Thigpen, the former CFL standout, participated in kickoff return drills with Clyde Gates and Bess.

For more Dolphins notes, please click on my Sports Buzz blog link above, and check routinely there for Dolphins notes. The next Dolphins practice open to the media is June 11. David J. Neal or I will check in then, and David J. will post any significant news here in the interim.

--- BARRY JACKSON

 

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