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Dolphins camp Day Two in the books

I think I've figured it out. It took me a couple of practices and talking to a couple of people, but it is clear to me why the Dolphins applied the stiff-arm to fullback Vonta Leach late last week.

It's just that the Dolphins are going to use a one-back look with four pass-catchers (three receivers and a tight end) or an I-formation look with the tight end as the lead blocker look going forward. And none of that leaves a lot of room for a fullback on the roster.

It makes sense, really.

When you consider the Dolphins have three starting-caliber and high priced receivers in Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson on the team, it makes sense to get them on the field as much as possible. When you consider Dustin Keller is an experienced and solid tight end and the Dolphins are heavily invested in the position with Charles Clay, Dion Sims, Kyle Miller and Michael Egnew, it makes sense to have an extra roster spot not occupied by a fullback and instead used on an extra tight end.

Voila, mystery solved.

So at the end of this camp, it is possible the Dolphins can keep either an extra tight end, or perhaps use the spot elsewhere such as cornerback or linebacker or receiver, and not feel the pinch of being lessened because the fullback spot has become marginalized, anyway.

 I remind you the Dolphins still have two fullbacks on the roster: Jorvorskie Lane and Evan Rodriguez. But neither has gotten even one snap with the first or second-team offense in two days of camp that I've noticed. Both are in a deserate fight to merely make the team. I don't like their chances.

Now, I know at least a couple of you scoffed when you read Michael Egnew's name among the tight ends the Dolphins have invested in. Obviously, he was a disappointment last year. But today he had a relatively good day.

He caught a handful of passes (four actually) and that included a grab from Matt Moore between two defenders in tight coverage on a seam route that stretched 17 yards. It almost brought a tear to my eyes to witness. Almost.

Some other practice highlights:

Big men go one-on-one

I love the one-on-one pass rush drills when offensive and defensive lineman match wits, girth and physical attributes. Todays highlights?

Second-year defensive end Olivier Vernon, who is working with the starting unit and doing well in my opinion, schooled new left tackle Jonathan Martin on an inside move. Martin allowed his feet to get tangled. It was ugly.

Not surprisingly, veteran Randy Starks abused rookie Brian Thomas, a free agent out of Texas A&M, and he didn't even look like he was going full speed.

The Dolphins have an interesting situation working at defensive tackle. Jared Odrick has been impressive at the position which he's been playing exclusively so far in camp -- no defensive end work -- and so it could be Soliai and Starks on early downs and then Starks and Odrick on passing downs. Obviously, whichever player doesn't start will get plenty of playing time in rotation.

It's also possible Odrick might still be used at defensive end but, as I said, he hasn't worked at end yet in camp.

Devlin works with 2s

QB Pat Devlin got some second-team snaps today. Matt Moore worked some with the third-stringers. It was interesting perhaps only to me because I recall that Devlin has a reputation for being among coach Joe Philbin's favorite players.

I'm not saying Devlin is challenging Moore for the backup role. Moore's experienced, his ability to enter a game and win it (against the Jets last year) and his salary preclude such a sudden shift to Devlin. But it was interesting to see. Moore, by the way, had a good day of practice and was probably the best QB on the field today.

Yes, it is available

The read option is in the playbook. All I'm saying on that. 

Talking RBs

Although Lamar Miller is the presumed starting running back, I was told today to assume nothing about that. Yes, Miller is getting the first-team snaps. But Daniel Thomas is also getting some of those. And as a club source told me, the team believes Thomas is ready for a big season if he can stay healthy. Yes, big if, I know. Just sharing what I'm told.

Tannehill-Wallace update

My column in today's newspaper examined the need for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace to get in synch so that Miami's popgun offense of a year ago might show more explosiveness. Check the column to see what the players said about their work on Day One.

Today, I hate to report, we're still looking for the long TD bomb from the QB to the deep threat receiver. Has yet to happen. Tannehill and Wallace did connect on three sideline out routes. There was even a slant pass completed. But the bomb?

Not yet.

Kicking competition

Today was Caleb Sturgis day as the Dolphins apparently are alternating kicking days between he and Dan Carpenter. Today, Sturgis got only three attempts. He made two but missed on a 47-yarder.

[NOTE: The Dolphins do not allow updates to the blog during the major parts of practice thus I update on a real-time basis on twitter. So if you're looking for the latest on what is happening at practice, follow me on twitter @ArmandoSalguero].

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Wow not a word about how RT looked....not a good sign.

Tom,

Local Sports Final last saidn that RT was about the best or an opening day of Camp as we've seen in sometime in Miami with Clabo running smooth as silk over there given his familiarity with the zone sceme. He's also the most athletic RT we've had that I can remember we've had in a long timee.

Darkoak,

Looks like Vernon got the better of Martin today I was refering to yesterdays practice which I watched video of in depth on Sports Final last night.


From last blog!

I would expect to see more Soliai on rushing downs and Odrick on passing downs.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | July 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Of course it's more of a done deal this Yr. and we all know Solia is the space eater and will come off the field on obvious passing downs with the transition of Odrick inside something we've all been waiting for since his rookie Yr. My point is in Vernon getting the starting reps given he was suspect on run plays last Yr. at RDE and Odrick exclusively so far the swingman at DT.

Right now there tinkering with what they have early after all remember we signed a swing DT in V.Martin. The fact Jordan won't see the practice field till sometime before or after our 2nd Pre-Season game this Yr. hurts the concept of what Koyle did on day One. Add the fact the team never carries more than 8 DL on the 53 man roster with a sort of question mark in what we really have in our 3rd overall pick and you see were my thinking is here. odrick by default may need to go back to RDE on run plays unless Vernon proves he can hold it down and if that's the case do you keep developing Shelby or keep V.Martin (4 DT's) on your active roster. It will be interesting t watch during the course of the Pre-Season/

Posted by: fin4life | July 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM


DC....

I hope you got your answer...in regards to Leach...

Looks like Mando already answered my question regarding the depth chart at RB and WR were the FB Pos. gets the ax.

F4L,

That Is A Great Reason To Not Keep A FB. And Keep 4 RBs. We Have To Many RBs. Our 5Th Rd Pick Might Not Even Make It Out Of Camp. We Are That Stacked.

Another Reason To Keep Thigpen Is That He Can Play The Slot. And Return Kicks.

Gray Might Be A Better RB, But Thigpen's Position On The Team Is Safer.

D.Thomas To Me Is A Player To Watch. This Is His 2nd Year In The System. He Needs To be More Decisive. Also The Fumbling. L.Miller Doesn't Fumble. He Will Get More Snaps If D.Thomas Starts Fumbling. But As A #2 I Think D.Thomas Will Be Fine. He Won't Be The Ronnie To L.Miller's Ricky. But He Has Done Better Than Other 2nd Rd Pick RBs The Dolphins Have Had. JJJohnson. And D.Thomas Is Still The 2nd Or 3rd Best RB From His Draft. Rather Have M.Pounce And D.Thomas, Than M.Ingram And Some Other Center From That Draft.

That Will Be Another Argument From XYGenius That We Can Put To Rest.

Posted by: Dashi | July 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Great Post Mando.

The problem with the TE's playing FB is none of them are very good blockers. I expect our passing game to progress this year but have concerns about the running game. Same on defense, I think our pass defence will be improved but I think our run defense is weaker this year. If Jordan ever gets on the field our run D will be a concern.

Errr... I read from another reporter that was watching that it was Devlin who threaded that pass to Egnew.

I was the one that pointed out last week that if a FB is on the field then only 2 WRs can be at the same time.
There never was a need for Leach.
The whole thing was a fraud.
I EXPOSED IT LAST WEEK

D.Sims Will Be Our Best FB. No? 6'5" 260+lbs.

Or Egnew? 6'5" 250+lbs.

Just Off Size Alone. You Are Asking Them To Block LBs, Not DEs.

FBs Are Usually Guys That Are To Fat To Play RB.

Clay Is A More Complete Player Than Even V.Leach. Not Just J.Lane And E.Rod

The FB Needs To Do More Than Run Block In This Offense.

Fin4life,

All great points! I just hope we don't plan on playing a vanilla 4-3 with all the versatility we have. Truthfully, I'd prefer we play a 3-4 with Odrick, Solia, and Starks up front; lineup Wheeler, Ellerbe at ILB and rotate Wake,Jordan and Vernon at OLB. To me, this should be our 1st and 10 package.

I have a feeling that Gibson will be cut by mid season. Just don't see him working out for us.

TFK

Tannehill just needs to hit multiple receivers underneath, and RB's out of the back field. Once that gets rolling things will open up for Wallace.

Fortunately, all these questions will be answered soon. I read somewhere that the pads are going on tomorrow.

J. Martin better get with it fast or I'll look stupid saying bye-bye to J. Long.

Exposing the Fraud....

I dont remeber the specifics...but you did make a post saying we DIDN'T need Leach...

Kudos to you...you deserve that much...

1 RB And 4 Pass Catchers.

That Is A Nice Way To Put It.

Go No Huddle.

1st Down I-Form. Clay At FB. Or 2 TEs.

2nd Down Put Clay Or Keller In The Slot. Or Go Spread Option. T-Hill, C.Clay And L.Miller In The Shotgun. You Can Fake It To Either One. Or Hand It Off. And Teams Will Have To Respect The Pass.

3rd Down, Bring In 2 More WRs. Or Just Stretch Clay And Keller Both Wide. You Can Still Run The Option And Run Draws With L.Miller. Or Go Back To A Power Formation. If It Is A Short Play.

Dashi,

I remember the then quasi-normal Dying Breed making the argument for M.Ingram in that draft were he said his 40 time meant noting given the RB's most important run-time was the 10 Yard shuttle. Glad the team didn't see it that way! That was the Yr. we put up our Mock drafts with Dunphy keeping score on everybody's picks. I had Demarco Murray in trade back to RD-2 for us and while he's looked good seems very injury prone going only half a Season so far during Pro career. By the way I also had Hernandez in my mock that Yr. so I guess I was off in that draft.

By the way you had to bring up JJ Johnson, ARRGG! In that 99 draft (Yr. Ditka went nuts for Ricky) JJ wanted to trade up desperately to grab the Edge but felt the bounty was to high (Our 2000 #1,2) plus our 99 2nd rounders (we picked up an additional 2 giving up our 99 #1 in trade to grab P.Surtain in 98) plus our 3rd pick in that draft which ended up being JJ JOhnson, Rob Conrad and Grey Rugermier.Seems now in hindsight given 2000 brought us Todd Wade that maybe JJ should have made the trade for Edgerin James.

Pat Devlin Is Better Than Moore.


Fin4life,

All great points! I just hope we don't plan on playing a vanilla 4-3 with all the versatility we have. Truthfully, I'd prefer we play a 3-4 with Odrick, Solia, and Starks up front; lineup Wheeler, Ellerbe at ILB and rotate Wake,Jordan and Vernon at OLB. To me, this should be our 1st and 10 package.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | July 22, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I got to agree with you here 100% it just makes to much sense when analyzing the stengths of our personnel. I think the D Coaches maybe playing possum here not tiping they're hand before the Reg. Season.

rt is just fine with clabo.
lol

Anyone see Barry Jackson's column on Tannehill's performance in play action versus no play action?

This guy needs a running game.

I wish I knew all these formations. But I agree with Armando that probably we are going to go with a one-back look at least early on and an occasional I-backs look. But, of those 2 RBs when they are there, one of them should be able to swing to another position or angle.

Every QB needs a running Game to Win, son(see Marino). Broder!

sooooooooooooo,
they inked wallace to take bess' spot in the slot 'cuz that's the only place tannehenne can hit him.
lol


Posted by: Dashi | July 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Posted by: Dashi | July 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I do this as well and thought it was my computer were you have to copy the post before it publishes given the amount of posts I try to put up that don't publish which frustrates the hell out of me!

Miller is the presumed starting running back, I was told today to assume nothing about that. Yes, Miller is getting the first-team snaps. But Daniel Thomas is also getting some of those - Mando

I told you guys that Miller had not been promoted to starter ahead of Thomas.

I EXPOSED THAT FRAUD 2 WEEKS AGO

I read on another feed that Martin held his own against Vernon and even pancaked him one play. Really enjoyed the update today Mando.

I think that Lane will be gone and the team will just go with Clay or another TE as a fb/hb.

Behave now.


I EXPOSED THAT FRAUD 2 WEEKS AGO

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | July 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Miller so far is 1A till Thomas proves he can hold on to the ball (as Dashi posted) keep himself healthy (reliable) and get the tough Yd when needed. I don't think there is as person here who doesn't want Thomas to make him eat there words but he's done nothing but tease with potential thus far.

All good fins4life!

gaetting worried about the LT situation; then again Vernon is going to be awesome, so hard to say. thanks for the info.

Mando:
My column in today's newspaper examined the need for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace to get in synch so that Miami's popgun offense of a year ago might show more explosiveness.

Dave Hyde
Sun Sentinel Columnist
1:02 p.m. EDT, July 21, 2013

DAVIE — Seven months after he had no one running deep, after his pop-gun offense couldn't create a quick touchdown, Ryan Tannehill stood in the first huddle of the new year and called the play this offseason was meant to solve.

Great minds think alike.

If Miller earns the starting job good for him.

The key word is 'earns'. But Miller finished last season behind Thomas on the depth chart for a reason and nothing happened in the offseason for that to change.

Has anyone considered that perhaps Tanne cannot throw the long ball?
Maybe that is why Sherman had him at WR as a Jr and not at QB.
Remember that Sherman was fired at Texas A&M after the season that Tanne QB'b there.

Its funny Armandos take on the LT battle between Martin and Vernon..
One post states the same that Vernon did have a good inside move however Armando doesnt report on the fact that Martin pancaked Vernon as well.. biased reporting

I like the fact of "Read Option" being in the play book.
3 WR's,Keller and Miller out of the back field on passing plays. Opposing defenses would have to bring in their nickle/dime packages and that gives Tannehill an opportunity to show what he can do with his legs.

I said it from the day that Miami resigned Matt Moore.. Moore is trade bait.. someone will need him sooner than later..

ETF,
he also brought in redshirt freshman heisman winner Jonny Manziel.. ever think of that?

We haven't seen the long ball yet out of Tannehill, but that may be because the Defense is usually ahead of the Offense at the start of training camp, or because it just hasn't been called by the coaches yet.
I think it's going to be a back-and-forth training camp for Vernon & Martin. One play Martin pancakes him and the next, he gets an inside move on Martin who had his feet all tangled up. That competition should be good for both players, but especially good for Martin.
So far it seems that Carpenter is holding off the rookie, but I don't expect that to last long. You don't draft a kicker then cut him and the money will definitely be a factor.
I'm hearing that Tannehill looked much better today than yesterday and that the Offence overall played much better.
I expect that our rookie TE will probably take up a lot of the FB duties this year since he did a lot of blocking in college. Keller is more of a receiving tight end. Egnew needs to really step up his game to keep a spot on this roster.
Gray seems to be impressing so it may be Miller, Thomas, Thigpen, and Gray. Which would put Gillislee on the practice squad for a year. We're heavy at RB, which is a good thing.
There's no telling how the WR corps will shake out. Lots if talent, so little room.
It's going to be a great year...for a change!

This is not about who looks good today or who looks good tomorrow. It's all about "CONSISTENCY".

Marvin McNutt was yesterday's start. Yet today he was Mr. Hoodini. This is what separates starters from backups and who makes the team or does not make the team. The light can not occasionally be bright, it has to continuously shine throughout the night.

Because of the consistency rule, it will be at least two weeks before positions begin to get settled and roles begin to become defined. Consistency is the real key.

I saw a few months ago that Vernon will have a better season stastically than Jordan. I'll stick with that prediction. I also predicted that as the season goes on people on here will be calling Jordan a bust, as the third overall pick in the draft. I'll say BS to that. This is a learning/transitional year for Jordan. The same guys who write him off, will be the same guys who jump back on the bandwagon when he's performing. This is a marathon, not a sprint as far as Jordan's career goes. Take note of the naysayers and watch them flip.

Also, I was trying to inform the resident genius, and they know who they are. Vernon could be primed for a breakout season this year. So far he's done nothing to disappoint.

Thus far he's running with the first team. He spent much time under the tutelage of Cam Wake. It appears it will now begin to pay huge dividends.

Still not sure I totally get not signing Leach, unless it's posturing. Leach is better than both Lane and Hernandez. Now I get it the Dolphins aren't going to use a FBI much, if at all. And I get the idea of keeping extra TEs on the roster. I actually like the stable of TEs on the roster. It will be interesting to see what the contributions are from all involved.

CraigM,

As I can remember you were hell bent on drafting a pass rusher this season. You refuted my posts to you basically saying what about wake. Now you claim stastiscally Vernon will be better than Jordan this season.

You cant have it both ways son. LOL...

Correction: Vernon

If Vernon comes out of the gates in beast mode, forget about Jordan coming in for him on passing downs.

If this happens, Jordan could possibly be relegated to olb, on rotational basis at first. However, I can see Jordan taking over the DE position from Wake 3-4yrs down the line when Wake's career is done. Wake turned 32, January of this year.

Actually, it would be fantastic if Vernon comes out in beast mode. It means we're getting contant pressure and sacks from the front 4 and flooding the passing lanes with 7 defenders in coverage.

This leaves much smaller throwing windows for qb's, and far fewer holes for opposing recievers to exploit.
Blitzing always leaves your defense compromised at some level.

Who knows? From what I read, Vernon does a great job on pass coverage so it will probably be he that swingman DE/OLB you guys are talking about. Why is he playing DE now? Because DJ is not ready. If Ireland didn't fukkk up in drafting a damaged Player, I envision DJ as a permanent DE and Vernon as swinging between OLB and DE. There could be other possibilities(the reverse among the 2 Players) as time goes on. Uff...

"The Dolphins do not allow updates to the blog during the major parts of practice thus"
====================================================

This needs some explaining I think. You telling us the Dolphins dictate what you write on your blog? Because you can tweet --140 characters-- but not update the blog?

I don't get it UNLESS Mando is bought and paid for by Ross.

Look for Dion Jordan to be placed on injured reserve sometime in the near future

Armando,

On the Tannehill on Wallace deep disconnect, you failed to inform s on who(cb) was covering him and how much separation Wallace had. I think that these factors have some importance too.

Say if Wallace was being covered by Grimes, Tannehill would wan to be far more cautious in here he puts the ball. He probably would want to fling it as far as possible and hope Wallace can catch up to it.

Against a lesser cb, Tannehill would probably be less concerned about trying to get the ball a little closer to Wallace. Having a little less fear of throwing a pick.

YG,

First of all I'm not your son (and thank God for that), so cut the condescending bullshyte. Second of all, the two points aren't related. What I've argued from day one is that Jordan is a top end talent, an athletic freak if you will. I've argued that he's exactly what this defence needs and that they shouldn't rely on Wake as much. My point is that I don't think it's going to happen for Jordan right away. I hope I'm wrong. I've argued that under the circumstances I think Vernon will have the better year.

I'm sure you won't get any of what I'm saying.


I saw a few months ago that Vernon will have a better season stastically than Jordan. I'll stick with that prediction. I also predicted that as the season goes on people on here will be calling Jordan a bust, as the third overall pick in the draft. I'll say BS to that. This is a learning/transitional year for Jordan. The same guys who write him off, will be the same guys who jump back on the bandwagon when he's performing. This is a marathon, not a sprint as far as Jordan's career goes. Take note of the naysayers and watch them flip.

Posted by: Craig M | July 22, 2013 at 01:34 PM

You've flipped more than anyone here. Funny how you don't mention those.

We don't have to take notice of what other people say. You have that covered & have for years.

You're the only 1 keeping track of useless information like that.

Oscar,

Even if totally healthy, I believe because he's a little light he may have a little trouble setting the edge against the run.

I also don't expect him to be a phenom pass rusher his first season. I expect he struggles a little at first against the mammoth nfl OT's. He wasn't asked to rush the qb a whole lot in college, so, he may still be a work in progress now being asked to be great at that going against the nfl's best pass protect olinemen.

I just want to put it in perspective for myself, and remember we're into Dion Jordan for the long haul. Being careful not to expect 1 minute instant grits.

I think he's sort of a work in progress, until he gets another full offseason to add a little more weight, muscle and girth.


Armando,

On the Tannehill on Wallace deep disconnect, you failed to inform s on who(cb) was covering him and how much separation Wallace had. I think that these factors have some importance too.

Say if Wallace was being covered by Grimes, Tannehill would wan to be far more cautious in here he puts the ball. He probably would want to fling it as far as possible and hope Wallace can catch up to it.

Against a lesser cb, Tannehill would probably be less concerned about trying to get the ball a little closer to Wallace. Having a little less fear of throwing a pick.

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | July 22, 2013 at 02:02 PM

Well try reading the practice reports from yesterday. Tanny overthrew Wallace after he blew by Grimes.

Wallace was wide open & the ball didn't get there.

Before posting more drivel, read p on the topic you're about to post about. Would spare the blog of having to read half your posts.

The Blog,

First of all, be a man and post under one name. If you're keeping track of my posts through the years then you're a regular. Try being a man and not a mouse and top hiding behind made up bullshyte names.

I've flipped more than anyone here? Care to explain or are you just making Shyte up?

Posted by: Craig M | July 22, 2013 at 02:07 PM

I also told you when you were clamoring for a pass rusher, I highly doubted any of the pass rushers in this year's draft will come in and be in beast mode right off the bat. This still has yet to seen. But that's what I told you.

Now, you're saying the same thing I told you, but at the time of those discussions, it bounced right off of your wooden splintered brain, SON!

ROTFLMAO, you want to have it both ways now, SON!

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