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Week in camp and Dolphins aren't hitting ... much

The Dolphins will conduct practice at Sun Life Stadium Saturday morning and part of that session will include an intra-squad scrimmage that I am assuming and hoping will include some actual hitting.

Why am I looking for tackling?

Well, because there's been precious little of it so far in training camp. The Dolphins have been in camp for a week and I've yet to see goal-line work. I've yet to see an Oklahoma drill. I've yet to see full-speed contact.

I've seen slow-speed contact. But in watching the coverage of other camps on the various networks, and having covered 24 previous training camps in Miami and around the NFL, I've been seen a lot of hitting going on by this stage. I haven't seen that much with the Dolphins so far.

It must be said that less contact typically means fewer injuries. But eventually, a team has to hit to prepare for the coming preseason and then the regular season. You don't want to go into the preseason without having hit and have the hitting in preseason be the introduction to contact.

One certain sign of Miami's low-contact camp so far has been the absence of fights among players. Obviously no coach encourages that sort of stuff, but it is a yearly fact of life in the NFL that training camp breeds a scuffle or two.

Not this camp. Not so far.

[UPDATE: Not today, either, as the team is in shorts today.]

I'm not saying this is a poor or wrong approach. I am simply reporting that so far, this is definitely the approach for Joe Philbin's Dolphins. It is interesting to me.

And it'll be more interesting to see if there is any fallout resulting from the minimal contact -- be it a team not prepared for hitting and rife with poor tackling or a team that is healthy and fresh for the start of the season.

It can, after all, go either way.

[BLOG NOTE: Come back this afternoon for the practice and interview update. And follow me on twitter for real-time updates.]


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maybe they just wanted to get the plays and formations down before the started contact? both sides of the ball are learning all new offensive and defensive play books. maybe the staff finds it easier to evaluate going half speed at first. aso, with the new CBA isn't there something limiting the number of full contact practices? i'm pretty sure there is during the season. not so sure about camp.

Amando - I can see getting the schemes down first since they are different on both sides but soon we gotta do the oklahomas and live goal lines to be physical and sharp. You practice what you do in the games.

The hitting in the past has not worked thus far, mine as well start of this way and see what happens.

Dear Mr. Salguero

I agree about the lack of hitting.

I remember just a few seasons ago when Ricky Williams would hit the Bong and all you saw was a puff of smoke and he was gone....... wait thats not right.

I remember just a few seasons ago when Ricky Williams would hit the Pipe and it always caused a Dust up.....no thats not right either.

I remember just a few seasons ago when Ricky Williams would hit the Bowl and leave the defense in a fog....not yet but I am getting close.

I remember just a few seasons ago when Ricky Williams would hit the HOLE......never mind.

Soiled :)

It seems physical conditioning is being stressed and I never really understood how both units beating themselves up physically helped a team during the season as IMO it always seemed to ensure the team tired as the long season wore on.

I'm happy to see the coaches are focused on getting the team up to speed on the new schemes so they have a command of the playbook headed into week 1.

Generally teams that don't hit are "soft". I think most injuries in training camp are non-contact variety.

The NFL is going towards a flag football product as it is. Hard contact is frowed upon. No worries

Good morning guys,

I think right now Philbin wants the guys to learn what they are doing before going full contact. The team is learning a whole new scheme on both sides of the ball so there is no reason to have guys getting drilled when they don't even know what they are doing yet. However they eventually will hit and MUST hit.

I didn't play football past high school and I know these guys are professionals and the best of the best but you must hit to prepare and it also goes back to fundamentals. I remember my sophomore year we didn't at all because the coach felt there wasn't enough depth with more then half the roster being sophomores. Needless to say the first game of the season we got smoked and the next week and the next and so on. 1-8 was the outcome.

By Senior year all we did was hit everyday we lost some valuable guys along the way but for a team with only 2 D-I players on the entire roster we barely missed the playoffs at 5-4 and lost to the top 2 teams in NJ by a combined 3 points (21-20 missed extra point and 9-7 to the #1 ranked team in the state). I'm saying this to basically sum it all up in a nutshell that tackling is the most fundamental aspect in all football. If you can tackle and keep the other team in front of you no matter how much more talented and gifted the other teams are you have a fighting chance.

Philbin, get them boys hitting! Look at how terrible Green Bay's D was last year and some of it was just piss poor terrible tackling.

I have confindence that Philbin has a plan and eventually they will hit and be fine come regular season play.

Eddie @ 8:37,

Good point the physical conditioning might be the priority because the better condition you are in the more capable you are of doing everything better including tackling. So hopefully that's the plan.

I can't wait to watch Hard Knocks. From everything I have read and heard I am really liking Philbin and even his assistants in Sherman and Coyle. I think the up-tempo practices and conditioning will pay huge dividends early and late in the year. Not saying Miami will win many of those but they will at least be in the fight and that's all I personally could ask for from what I see as a rebuilding team.

They are learning the playbook. Joe said they are 75% done with the playbook. Once the team knows the plays, the hitting should start.

They still have over 25% of the playbook to learn. We are not a 2 yards and a cloud of dust team anymore. Don't expect to see the same play over and over again at the Goal line.

Don't believe the Hype(Tebow) on TV. They will get into the hitting when it's time. Philbin did say he had everything planned out until the first game of the preseason. Hitting will come in time. Probably, Next Week

Also picture running Practice at the pace the Team is Running and then Add Live Tackling into it. Body's will be dropping like flies.

If U have good team speed the art of tackling becomes easier. Not so many 1 on 1 tackles and more Gang tackles. The Fins do want to force more T/O's.

Is Clemons Starting at Safety again? Is wilson getting time with the 1st team?

The mark of the great QB is shown in the 4th qt specially when coming from behind.

Yes. Philbin seems to be on a good track.

This kid Marlon Moore seems to be very consistent, has other +'s.

Worst problem for the Dolphins this year will be bench, across several areas.

Andy please dont compare your garbage high school team(only 2 D1 players) to a NFL team, as someone pointed earlier hitting in the past with Sparano didnt help us out so might as well see what this non-hitting brings. This is the Philbin regime, lets see what it brings before you criticize it

You really don't want to hit another team mate too hard, specially #17.heheh

I seem to remember under Sparano they didn't hit either. I believe he called it "thumping". I also remember under Sparano all of those missed tackles and it taking 2 or 3 Dolphins to bring down a RB or WR. I don't however, remeber too many plays where a Dolphin broke any tackles. I hope that it is just the fact that they are waiting to install the rest of the playbook.
Armando, please remeber to ask this question at the next Philbin media availability. Also, does anybody know if Greenbay was hitting in Training Camp and how far into it was it before they started.

pros dont forget how to tackle, you either have it or you dont. This beating up on eachother is a thing of the past. Injurys, for the most part, happen to people who dont wanna hit or practice.

I'm glad the Jets are hitting each other pound and ground game that TS is running out there, it's sounds familiar huh!! And what did that gave us last year! 0-7 start! I so happy TS is at the Jets. Look Philbin has been around great coaches and learn from coaches that won SB! So I'm sure he is simulating GB training camp tactics! So having stamina will make a team not get so tired early and allow to play at a faster pace!
I would think right! But what I know I'm the dumbest dolpfan on this app!! LETS GO HHHHHHHHHHEAT!! Oops! My bad. Let's go DOLPHINS!!!!!

I really don't know what can be done about Tannehill's heavy ball except to get some receivers that can catch it.


Eat a fat one and read the entire post before making one of your hater comments bro. I said I believe in Philbin and I was simply pointing out that no matter what level you play on tackling is the most FUNDAMENTAL part of the game. I don't care if it's youth football or the NFL or anything in between. You clearly are miserable in life and have zero football accumen so please go bother someone else who cares.

Fins have no bench? Please Explain.

Fins might have a Couple Questions but they have multiple players at almost every position. The Fins have Depth, we might not have "Star Players". But the team is the best we have put on the field in the Last Couple Years.

AndyNJ, You mad bro?

I agree that this is probably the best Team we have put on the field in the last couple of years, Dashi. I'm just saying that if one of the starting LB's or OL's gets hurt for a considerable period of time, we is in trouble.

Not to mention that our secondary doesn't have a proven great player except maybe, and a considerable maybe, Vontae.


Not in the least bit but read a whole post and see what my point was. I clearly said "I didn't play football past high school and I know these guys are professionals and the best of the best but you must hit to prepare and it also goes back to fundamentals". So either you have no reading comprehension skills or just decided to be a hater and call me out for no provoked reason.

You stated to give Philbin a chance and I closed my post with "I have confindence that Philbin has a plan and eventually they will hit and be fine come regular season play.".

So again lack of reading comprehension or just hater either way take a hike.

Not to defend 1 or the other, But he does have a point. U don't forget how to tackle. Guys that play in the NFL have been tackling for 10 plus years by the time they get in the NFL.

It's like hitting a Baseball. Great Hitters Know U get in condition/Shape to hit better in the off-season. U use the Pre-Season to get ur hitting in.

Does Ray Lewis Practice Tackling in the Off-Season or Does he work on his body?

Like Clue said, TS way wasn't working. Philbin is bringing The Mentality from GB. Philbin might've never called a game, but he ran the practice's in Green Bay.

I never tackled(heheh) only caught passes.

You catch the ball with your hands, man, and not with anything else.


I understand all that but you must practice tackling. You use Ray Lewis as your example. He is arguably the greatest LB to ever play. You don't think guys like Koa Misi need practice tackling in the open field as another example. And it's not that guys forget how to do it but the fundamental aspect of it isn't as easy as run and hit. Hitting and tackling is needed it's also a huge part of conditioning. Perhaps you never played football either. It's not an insult but if someone doesn't understand the importance of LIVE tackling then it's one of the following they either never played organized football before OR don't understand the game. Which is it?

I agree on the LB's. We lack depth. I also don't believe Misi is the Answer. Reminds me Of the Zack Thomas days. 1 real good MLB, 1 OK SLB and No WLB. Actually Zack had less to work with.

But the O-line the Deepest we've had in years. we Got 3 Veteran OG (Hicks, Incognito, and Stitch), 3 OT's and a Good-to-Great Center. 6-7 decent linemen. The Backup's can play Multiple Positions. OG can play C, and OT's can Play OG.

On the Secondary we have 3 safeties and 3 Starting Cb's. Yes, The Secondary is inexperienced at Safety but we have potential we Might find 2 good starters out of the 3.

I do remember once, playing sandlot tackle football, that this semi-pro guy named Yahoo broke thru the line and was coming straight at me and iidin'tknowwhattodo, didn't want to look bad and suddenly Speedy Gonzalez got a heel tackle on him and he went down. UFF...

Andy, I just simply critique your post calling me names or whatnot is simply childish, I suggest you dont get your panties in a bunch.

Guys, what's with all the talk of trading Moore for a 4th or 5th round pick? Seriously? Is that really what we need? So we can do what? Draft another Clyde Gates or someone like that? No thanks.

I think some of you guys are being a bit hard on Moore, ONE week into camp. He's never been a great practice player. He's learning a new offence with new coaches. So he hasn't looked great in camp so far....who cares? To me, if Garrard wins the job, a guy like Moore is great insurance should Garrard have injuries or struggle. The goal in all of this is not to expose Tannehill to the rigours of the NFL until it's clear he's ready for it. It's clear right now that he's not ready for it. 4th or 5th round picks do nothing for us. Keep depth at the position to have ANY chance at making the playoffs....and I believe that's what we all want, right?

Maybe yes, regarding the OL, Dashi. But in the secondary, rather than finding those 2 players, I prefer to know them already.

I agree and they need to start hitting soon. There are a lot of things that go into making a tackle and these guys need time to work on it. I will say this though, The Dolphins have sucked at tackling in the past when they have hit early sooooo, maybe this will change our luck in that area. I would expect to see them hitting by Monday at the latest. But please ARMANDO, ask Philbin today what their philosophy on hitting at practice is and when they might start. Pretty please?


You critiqued my post by saying "garbage high school team" and then tell me it's childish to call names. Do you know what the word hypocrite means? Again maybe you have no reading comprehension so no worries. Never in my post was I bragging or a pat on the back or Al Bundy days of glory story telling. I was simply pointing out that tackling is fundamental in football.

I thought Misi was playing the Sam LB?

Misi's Problem is not Tackling. It's getting the Plays down. The Mental Part, Falling back into coverage, RReading Routes, Etc.

Andy Ur stressing Fundamentals. Isn't that Philbin's Pet Peeve?

U've played Organized Football before, U should now tackling is as much about attitude as it is about Technique. It doesn't matter if u have ur feet under U and U wrap up nicely. If u don't want to bring that guy down. U won't. I've seen players tackle other players with just one hand.

The most important part of tackling is wanting to tackle. Some players do some don't. Deion knew how to tackle, doesn't mean he wanted to tackle.

Everyone in the NFL knows how to Tackle. Like I said 10+ years of Experience for Most. In HS U have kids who have never played before. Reason why Tackling is important in The Amateur Ranks. The Pro Leagues have more to worry about. More Plays, More Adjustments, Multiple Responsibility's.

Most Division 1 players get enough Tackling Practice in College.

..The idea that you don't forget how to to tackle is laughable. Have you guys watched the NFL the last 4-5 years? The tackling for the most part is abysmal. With the new rules as far as using your head. Teaching fundamentals is even more important as a lot of guys dissmised these fundamentals instead using their heads as hammers.

You don't think this team needs work on tackling you haven't been paying attention. Now. Some of these fundamentals can be taught without pads. But just like baseball players who repitidly take gound balls to sharpen their fundamentals...The same goes for tackling. Lets just play 2 hand touch so nobody gets hurt. Do some gasers so we are in better shape week 1 and everyone will be just fine tackling the oponent?

I find this a bit bizzare..It screams soft. This doesn't mean that it is the wrong approach. It doesn't mean we will be a poor tackling team down the road. And it doesn't mean that Philbin should put his guys in pads after he reads this post..He should get a chance t run his camp the way he feels is the best to get his team ready. At least before guys like me start to critique him..It may indeed be the right way to do it(no pads)..I just think it is football..Go freekin hit someone.

"Does anyone know if Greenbay was hitting in Training Camp and how far into it was it before they started."

Green Bay was 32nd in defense last year so if they aren't hitting we might want to start. :)

I wrote about this above. You know what I really don't like about Matt Moore? He failed miserably under pressure in the 4th qt last year.

No hitting. Not practicing two a days in the afternoon sun is making this team soft. These players will be sucking more O2 during September home games than the opponent.
Shula's teams did not have air conditioning at Biscayne college training facilities. And we kicked ass every September and October.

Also, It says they are wrapping up and Stuff, Just not Full out Thumping. Philbin probably doesn't want anyone on the ground, Takes away from time in between Snaps. Still makes them go thru the Fundamentals

A 4th or 5th for Moore? Trade him yesterday. No one will give anything for him. He's not that Valuable.

Agreed on the Secondary oscar, maybe by the End of Pre-Season we will know what we got at Safety.

I wouldn't mind Seeing Jimmy Wilson on the Field. The Guy has that Killer Instinct.

Calling his high school team garbage is an insult, idiot.

Good discussion this mroning guys. Nice to see some of the best bloggers out here and providing great insight even if the views are contrasting.

Nice to come here and not read 18 pages of Tannehill is a bust and Ireland must be fired and I will not spend one dollar on the Miami Dolphins until they win 18 consecutive super bowls like the old days when we were undefeated for 13 years straight ...

..Also for those on the side of this is nothing..(You all could be right, and I'm not trying to make a huge deal of this. Just offering an opinion)

Remember that the new rules already limit contact, and practice hours.. So we don't get these practices back, we don't get to suit up in the second half of 2 a days. Just sayin..We should be in pads.


I am going to have to totally disagree with you. You hear guys at every position talk about technique. Remember the Cam Cameron season they didn't hit much at all in that camp either. I don't get how some of you guys don't see the importance of technique and how live tackling isn't something you just know how to do no matter who you are and how many years you been in the league.

Tackling takes timing, angles and leverage. You think this is easily accomplished by not doing it until game? Attitude does play a role in the willingness to stick your head in there (ahem, Sean Smith) but attitude alone doesn't get the job done. If that was the case the best LBs in league history would be guys like Shawne Merriman, Brian Bosworth.

You do have to give Philbin a chance to prepare his Team as he chooses, as DD says. We just have been around here for a long time and have seen many things. Who knows? Perhaps we will learn something new from Philbin and Philbin from us.

Craig, Tannehill is said to be on even ground with Moore at this point in training camp. I agree that good depth is necessary because Garrard is older and had the back surgery and who knows if he will stay healthy. But if Tannehill separates himself in the slightest he could become the backup. At that point I don't know how necessary it is to keep Moore and his value will plummet during the season. He won't be here next year if that's the case so why not trade him early on in the season and see if you can possibly work a conditional third from some desperate team? Or we will lose him and get no compensation. There's still time for Matt to pick it up but the window is closing. First preseason game is next week, time for Moore to stand out in practice, Philbin can't rely on "he's a gamer" , 6-6 seems to indicate that maybe he's not. (I realize it's a team sport but the Moore fans always use "his" 6 wins as an example and I'm just flipping the coin)

Again, If ur in high School U catch Ground Balls all day. If u are in the Majors U work on ur body and Start catching Ground Balls in Spring Training.

Pro athletes worry about Conditioning and Shape more than Technique. Ur not going to change much from something U've done ur whole life. It's embedded in ur Muscles how to do it.

Now the importance should be placed on Pursuit. I would rather have my whole Defense going after the Ball in bunches than just worry about 1 on 1 tackle. 1 guy holds him up and the other guys follow and start stripping the ball. Didn't philbin say that a Couple days ago?

Sounds like its a party for the players. Not the way to win. WTF Philbin?

Yup. Group tackling.

Cameron made the same mistake. YIKES!

Bye bye Garrard if Tannehill can handle the backup role.


I guess we will agree to disagree. Tackling drills condition a players body. You always here guys say playing LB, safety, RB etc is like being car crash when playing on Sundays. You don't think that your body is better conditioned when it gets accustomed to taking those hits?

You think Karlos Dansby who goes about 250 doesn't need the reps of breaking down in space vs smaller elusive players like Reggie Bush? Sure he can tackle him if he can get his hands on him and if he practices taking those angles over and over again then come game day he is prepared to make the tackle. In another instance Im sure Chris Clemons knows in order to tackle Shonn Green barreling down on him in a 1 on 1 he must get lower but how do you mentally prepare for that contact? You can't mentally prepare for the contact.

A totally different sport but Michael Jordan the greatest athlete I ever saw said he practiced like he played. I think that goes without saying but in football to not hit before game days to me leaves me to believe a lot of missed tackles and big plays for the other team.

AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN I have faith that Philbin knows what he is doing and that he see's no point in hitting when guys aren't even sure where they are supposed to be. I was just stressing the importance of why tackling is important not suggestting Philbin won't do it, just urging for him to do so.

Those QB's getting killed by the D today.

Expect the D to thoroughly dominate tomorrow.

I'm not saying Tackling isn't Important. But it reminds me of Something Ricky said. They spend 6 months destroying their bodies. Why not spend 6 months building his body back up.

We will have Tackling, Let's just have the Offense/Defense Playbook down before they can go out and just react. Probably next week leading up to the Game we will see some Tackling.

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