The release of the depth chart Monday confirmed what reporters had been seeing in practice for over a week and that was Richard Marshall working a lot with the first-team defense ahead of Vontae Davis, indeed, often moreso than the former first-round draft pick.
Hard to believe, right?
The Dolphins were lining up a free-agent addition -- and not an exceedingly high-priced one -- ahead of the player who last season led the team in interceptions and finished with something of a flurry.
And so out came the speculation and theories. It must be a move to motivate Davis. It must be the team saving Davis' hamstrings, which betrayed him early last season. It must be coaches trying to light fires or put out fires.
It couldn't simply be that Marshall was practicing harder and more consistently than Davis. I kind of bought into the so-called conspiracy theories for a couple of days. But today I quit. Today, I begin to believe the truth and that is Davis will regain his job when he's the better cornerback and right now, today, he's not there.
Simple as that.
And don't believe me. Check out what defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle says of Marshall:
Tremendous focus. Not a snap in practice he doesn't give everything. More consistent in practice. Made more plays.
Simple as that.
Philbin apparently is not the mind-bending coach that Jimmy Johnson fancied himself as being. Philbin believes in communicating what he expects and then wants players to respond with maximum effort to meet those expectations.
"If you clearly communicate as a coach what the expectations are, what the job requirements are and what you're looking for, it's up to the player to fulfill those ... If you communicate what you're looking for and what you need from each guy, it's up to them to fulfill that role on the ballclub. I don't necessarily spend a lot of time thinking about ... again, we want guys that love the game and want to be good. If you have to play tricks with the depth chart today and this other thing tomorrow, at the end of the day, that's probably not the type of player that long-term is going to fit here in my opinion."
Coyle says not to put stock in the depth chart in early August. It is not the Gospels. But unless Davis turns around his inconsistent work and shows all the focus and consistency he is capable of mustering, his superior athletic skill won't be enough to retake the job.
I don't know if that will happen or not. The Dolphins want it to happen because it means they've got a gifted player at his best while also having Marshall giving them a third cornerback that could compete for a starting job on many teams.
If that happens, great. If not, Davis will still play a lot. But Marshall's move in training camp will not be the ploy by a coaching staff pulling strings. It will be legitimate.
It was a fine day for Miami's wide receivers. I didn't see any drops today. Not one. Meanwhile B.J. Cunningham had two leaping grabs that impressed, Clyde Gates had two deep catches and catch on a slant that showed good concentration, and Roberto Wallace snatched another ball out of a defender's grasp. Good work all around.
Chris Clemons had an interception of David Garrard at the goal line ... Jimmy Wilson dove and came up with an interception that he basically scooped off the ground after another defender knocked it down ...
Shotgun snaps continue to plague as Mike Pouncey had one errant snap today ...
Matt Moore's hands continue to be a question mark. He had a hard time holding on to the ball in the pocket last year. He fumbled on today while scrambling.
Daniel Thomas had his best run of training camp when he took a handoff and plowed through a hole between Jake Long and Richie Incognito during team drills. The kid looked like a latter day John Riggins on the play as he accelerated past the second level.