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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].

Comments

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im out fellas, go finssssssssssss

Fresh made split pea soup is divine. It also has lots of fiber. If you eat pea soup three times a week, you will always have wonderful bowel movements and feel thinner and lighter.

dusty I'll bet every July you are predicting wonders for the fins. 4 straight losing seasons is not enough for me to to start praising them before they have done a thing.

Until the fins do something, they've done nothing for a long long time. Luck > Tannehill. Colts track record is about 900% better than the fins. Accept reality.

Posted by: Mark | July 22, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Luck was 4/10ths of a point higher in QB rating with twice the talent around him that Tannehill had surrounding. Do you remember Sparano's first year as HC? What about his 2nd year? I would expect the Colts to get 7-9 wins (they do play the Titans and JAX twice) with the more difficult schedule.

This difficult schedule talk is total nonsense. It is for young fans or fans with no memory. Every single seasons poor teams do much better than expected and 'good' teams do much worse than expected.

Last season is always history. There are no tough schedules if you are a good team.

'Tough schedule' is just a copout for weak teams. It just means they suck.

You can't profess to be a good team and at the same time whine the schedule is tough. If the schedule is tough then by default it is because you are not a good team.

Posted by: Mark | July 22, 2013 at 11:27 PM


I fully agree! Many fans of those so called tough teams on our schedule, have already marked the Dolphins as a victory. Its up to the Dolphins to prove that they can become the tough team on the other guy's schedule.

Mark,

Give the kids here a slight break. Loser team breeds loser fans.

'Tough schedule' is just a copout for weak teams. It just means they suck.

Posted by: Mark | July 22, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Exactly, it will be a cookout for the Colts this year. Tannehill had a QB rating of 123 against Jacksonville last year. How much higher would his overall rating have been if we got to play them twice a year? I bet more than 4/10ths of a point!

Fins need to win at least 11 games to prove that they are in the quotient of the nfl's "tough teams. Anything less, and they prove to be slightly better than also rans.

Cookout=copout . Damn autocorrect.

Yes that's it. The fans of other teams see us as the guaranteed victory on their schedule, just like we all are certain we will beat the half dozen 'supoposedly weaker' teams on our schedule.

You never can know what was a tough schedule or not until week 16.

Many of you either have very short term memories or you are young, inexperienced fans.

Out of 32 teams, every July the fans of 28 of them are thinking BIG. They are just thinking with the wrong organ!

Dolfans are apologetic at best, and severely demoralized at worst.

You see it in this blog every single day. Either apologizing for the teams shortcomings, attacking the team, and most often attacking each other.

Loser teams truly breed loser fans.

Mark,

I love your thought process tonight. You are dead on brother!


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

Posted by: Tom Hartman

----------------------------
What are you new? When you don't hear anything about an Olineman it's usually a good thing, to assume otherwise...

I understand fan enthusiasm and don't want to take the fun out of it. But many fans lose total objectivity and are hostile to those with views that are more objective, right or wrong, because we never really know.

Posted by: Mark | July 22, 2013 at 11:27 PM


I fully agree! Many fans of those so called tough teams on our schedule, have already marked the Dolphins as a victory. Its up to the Dolphins to prove that they can become the tough team on the other guy's schedule.

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | July 22, 2013 at 11:32 PM

I recall the 49ers claiming they saw us as one of the toughest test of the year before we played last year. The Fins are more highly respected by teams than you think.

Mark,

Everyone loves to blame blog content and each other for what's wrong with this blog. But, what's really wrong with this blog is the Dolphins have completely sucked for at least 10 of the last 15yrs.

Loser team breeds loser fans.

Woodshed, in the NFL, if you don't take your opponent seriously, you will lose. You see it every season, top teams falter to a bottom of the barrel team because they didn't prepare.

To say the fins are highly respected is poppycock. It has been two decades since we threatened anybody. We are on a 4 season consectutive losing streak. Results say more than hype.

In the world of sports, true respect is found in the results, not in the pregame banter.


I recall the 49ers claiming they saw us as one of the toughest test of the year before we played last year. The Fins are more highly respected by teams than you think.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | July 22, 2013 at 11:46 PM


Tha's the "company line" all teams tow. They probably "PUBLICALLY" said the same thing about the worst team on their schedule.

Good teams say this not to rile up the bad teams and make it a game tougher than need be. Don't let that company line fool you. The Niners came into that game seeing the Dolphins as another victory notch etched in to their bad teams holster.

High hopes lead to steep slopes when built merely on wishful thinking.

I believe things are going much better now. But I see 2013 as another tuning year. 2014, with Brady and Manning aging, might be our window if the team gels and the plan falls into place. Time will tell.

LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | July 22, 2013 at 11:53

Exactly. I mean who doesn't realize this by now?

Dear Armando,

I was really Happy you stopped by today. You looked like the vacation did you some good.

Thanks for the help with our "Little Problem Child". I don't know how much good it will do, but at least you tried. I just don't know what else to do with this Kid.

There's only so much I can do all by myself. You need to put your foot down and maybe take his computer privelages away for a week or two.

He's starting fights with everyone, curses like a Sailor and I hate to even say it Armando, but I found some empty baggies down in the basement next to his computer. Then, when I was picking up his dirty clothes from the floor, a wierd looking pipe fell out of the pocket.

You can run and hide Armando, but all of this started when you left us. Our Little Problem Child just hasn't been the same. His eyes are always bugged out and Red. Lately he mumbles CONSTANTLY about Haarpy Rays and Chem Trails.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE ALUMINUM FOIL HATS HE WEARS?

He almost NEVER comes out of that basement anymore. When he does, it's always the same thing, "you got Twenty bucks Mom?" He runs down to the corner and then right back to the basement. He never brings anything back from the store.

Armando, I'm really, REALLY worried about our Little Problem Child. I appreciate you stopping by and doing what you can. But you know Armando, stopping in every other week or so and pretending to be Super Dad doesn't help pay the rent or put food on the table. We've been through this and through this.

I don't want to be the reason a "Certain Someone" finds out about Me and Little Billy, but I'm starting to think that "Friend of the Court" might be the better option for us at this point. You keep making promises, BUT YOU NEVER KEEP THEM. I'm going CRAZY ARMANDO, we need you HERE.

I was thinking that if you, maybe, stopped over later, you know, maybe we could "Work Things Out"? You know, like we used too....xoxo ;)

Love You Snookie!!!!

Bad teams go into games against good teams expecting to lose. Just as good teams go into games against bad teams expecting to win.

Just because bad teams tell their fans that they want to win, doesn't mean they actually go into the games expecting it. Especially against an upper echelon team.

In those games, their greatest motivator is how soon will the game be over. They are planning their post game activities by halftime. The remainder of the game is simply just going thru the motions.

I agree to a certain extent. Every game is a tough win or loss in the NFL. Yes we have 4 straight losing seasons but I have a strong feeling Philbin is the guy to bring change. We have gotten younger and more athletic than any Dolphins team I can recall. We have plenty to feel good about as Dolfans.

We haven't seen it materialize so yes, we can't see ourselves as a good team yet but you said it "Every single seasons poor teams do much better than expected and 'good' teams do much worse than expected".

When has anybody truly respected a team that hasn't won a playoff game in decades?

Never.

That is the reaility of it.

Any given Sunday or Monday 17, who would have thought the terrible Fins team with AJ Feely would stun the Pats? Teams may look at a record and feel like they should win but I doubt most coaches would ever game plan like that or openly support that attitude. Then there's Rex Ryan so who knows, lol.

In most cases, teams that win the trophy are teams that have been knocking on the door for some time.. We haven't even gotten to the driveway for sometime.

The Ravens are a perfect exampel of that.

Ok, got to go now....looking forward to game 1....

odin still hung up in gossip central, no doubt a nerve was hit, tweaked, stretched and trampled on.

give it up and move on. why don't you do your nails to take your mind off things?

Posted by: Mark | July 22, 2013 at 11:57 PM


Yes, we definitely have some great young building pieces added. However, so much hinges on what Ryan Tannehill will we see this season.Optimism alone doesn't get us there.

Our very future greatly hinges upon the Ryan Tannehill we see this year. Personally, I need to see a great leap forward. He doesn't have time to be a mere 2nd yr qb, or worse, regress.

Armando's Good Thang | July 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM


yes, it is no othe than odin in one of his many many names. he just doesn't like it when others use a different name.

someday you odo fans will realize what he realiy is. i hope you have a barf bag ready.

ALL THE QB's ARE HAVING A GREAT CAMP THUS FAR!!!!!!

Wow! You are quick Einstein. What was it? The way I used "Problem Child" repeatedly in my earlier post?

Oooooo......or maybe my Trademark 4 exclamation points?

Love You Snookie!!!!

Posted by: Armando's Good Thang | July 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM
==================================================

Either way......You ARE "On The Case(Oh Brother)".

ROTFLMAO-SHEESH! Unfortunately for you, You're NO Sherlock Squirel Bait! **THE ONLY TIME** I used a Fake name, UNLIKE YOU, I made it OBVIOUS-Duh, and for **Humors Sake**. If you have no sense of humor, blame that wierd uncle you used to like so much ;)

Other than THAT.....and in General......BITE ME-LOL!

In most cases, teams that win the trophy are teams that have been knocking on the door for some time.. We haven't even gotten to the driveway for sometime.

Posted by: Mark | July 23, 2013 at 12:03 AM

The Ravens are a perfect exampel of that.

Posted by: Mark | July 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM

The Ravens, Giants and Steelers all got there with a base of solid defense followed by finding an efficient QB.

In all the cases above, they had the defense in place on mediocre teams and then found their QBs that got them over the hump. How did they get such highly rated QBs? By drafting early due to a bad record.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | July 23, 2013 at 12:32 AM

Yes, and all the mentioned teams have won "MULTIPLE" sb's in recent memory. Even though the Ravens hadn't won a sb since 2000.

If not for the 72-73 undefeated season, w would easily forget the last time we won a sb was the 73-74 season(40yrs ago).

As this stage of camp there is very little that can be learned about the team. The staff is much more invested in the fundamentals/learning stage with this young team than installing anything intricate at this juncture.

Mayonnaise varies in color but is often white, cream, or pale yellow. It may range in texture from that of light cream to thick. In countries influenced by French culture, mustard is also a common ingredient, but the addition of mustard turns the sauce into a remoulade with a different flavor and the mustard acts as an additional emulsifier.

Not concerned at all with peripheral nonsense like Tannehill and Wallace yet to gel as a combo. For Christ's sake, it's the second day of camp. They'll shake the rust off.

In Spain and Italy, olive oil is used as the oil and mustard is never included. Numerous other sauces can be created from it with addition of various herbs, spices, and finely chopped pickles.

If I were Philbin, I would take this opportunity to bump up the QB's.

With this X-Tra Hall Of Fame Game, I would give Tannehill 1 successful drive. That or 3 chances at the most. If he can't make something happen in 3 opportunities, I sit him down and have him concentrate on next weeks practices.

Ideally, he goes out and leads us to a TD on his First Possession.

Then, I give Devlin the Keys. If Tannehill scores quickly, I even give Devlin the starters for a drive or two. I don't want to expose anyone to too much, so if Tannehill uses all 3 of his chances, Devlin will have to tough it out with 2nd's.

Anyways, I know what I have in Moore. So I give Devlin the rest of the 1st quarter and the 2nd and 3rd as well.

Moore would get clean up duty and Corp or Cop, whatever, might as well not even make the trip.

Devlin is allegedly Philbin's pet. I think he should use this game to try an showcase his talents. No comparison's, but Brady would have never made it had he not gotten a chance. Different circumstances, but still, the principle is sound.

Other teams have a good idea about what Moore brings to the table already. So, I get Tannehill some early work. Hopefully some successful work. Then I try to showcase Devlin and find out what we really have, while showing the rest of the NFL at the same time.

Ultimately, if Devlin shows he can handle being the back up, we're sitting pretty good. If some team has a QB injury early in pre season or before the trade deadline, Moore could be a hot commodity.

Get Devlin some work with the 1's and 2's and lets see what we have!

Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine the departure of Czonka-Warfield-Kiick would mark a 40yr, and counting sb victory drought.

Yup Woodshed the Steelers had Maddox before Big Ben. The defense was solid but Ben helped make that team a winner.

Csonka

Steelers have also never lost a sb. 6-o!

If not for the 72-73 undefeated season, w would easily forget the last time we won a sb was the 73-74 season(40yrs ago).

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | July 23, 2013 at 12:43 AM

What about the Saints then? They weren't winners until Bree's came in. As I recall, he went 7-9 the year before they won.Nobody took the Rams for winners either until Warner shocked everyone. Point being, a solid QB changes the whole thing and there is no set time line on how long it takes.

Except for the Super Bowl they lost to Dallas (the porno Super Bowl, XXX)

Giants didn't win their 1st sb until 25yrs after our last sb win. Yet they have 4 sb victories, while we're perennially stuck at 2 sb victories.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | July 23, 2013 at 12:49 AM

Yeah and the Saints and Rams were perennial doormats last we won a sb. Even doormats have risen to win sb's since we last won one.

For God sakes, Tampa Bay has won a sb, they were once the most terrible team in nfl history.

Get Devlin some work with the 1's and 2's and lets see what we have!

Posted by: odinseye | July 23, 2013 at 12:46 AM

Well he was 2nd string today so you may get your wish. If nothing else, he could develop into nice trade bait for us.

Naw, I think that Matt Moore will be trade bait before Devlin. First Devlin would have to prove he's a legit #2 backup.

When all things are equal you hold on to the youth.

Joey Harrington
Cleo Lemon
Griese jr
Trent Dilfer
Rosenfelds
Culpepper
Henne
QB from the Jets that threw all those picks to Buffalo (1 guy)
Etc, Etc...

odinseye | July 23, 2013 at 12:46 AM

I doubt Tannehill goes more than 10 scripted plays in the HOF game. Usually in these Pre-Season openers the team has a handful of scripted plays for the starters to run and generally don't vary from it. If the QB goes over the maybe 10 to 12 plays in his initial drive then great but if not of the field the 1st tam comes with the only exception being a rookie projected starter needing the work like J.Martin last Season at RT.

A better comparison for Devlin who played in a small Conf. in Delware would be Kurt Warner. Signed as an UFA by G.B. before bouncing to the WFL and AFL before getting a chance to try out for Vermeil in St Louis coming out of tiny Northen Iowa.

Hey, the Seahawks are a well-run franchise with the wealthiest owner in pro sports (Paul Allen) and they have yet to win a Super Bowl in 37 years of existence.

The Eagles had a 10-year run of success under Reid with five NFC title game appearances, yet they've never won one.

The Titans were a factor in the AFC for years (and as the Oilers had some damn good teams as well). Super Bowl titles? Zero.

Atlanta? For all the 'Matty Ice' talk that franchise still awaits their first championship.

Vikings. Same thing.

Bills. Same thing.

Chargers. Same thing.

Panthers. Jags.

Browns. Well, ok. They're the Browns.

It's been too long for Miami, no question, but millions of fans in those other cities would still trade team histories right now.

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | July 23, 2013 at 12:53 AM

I agree with you there. It's been quite a drought for this team. No one knows why it has went so long. My thought is we have been trying to form an identity ever since Shula retired. We have changed coaches, philosophies and personnel way too much. Instead of forming our own identity we have tried to replicate what made other teams successful.

This team needs to form its own unique qualities if it wants to contend. We can't be the Cowboys or the Packers and I think this coach and GM realize that.

Well he was 2nd string today so you may get your wish. If nothing else, he could develop into nice trade bait for us.

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | July 23, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Or insurance, he's never played a down and nobody will trade for a player getting back up reps whose never seen Reg. action unless it's a throw away pick more of a chance on Moore netting you at least a low 4 for some desperate team with an injured stater and back up needing imediate help for a few weeks.

Devlin has been called a very smart QB with good ability whose just needs polish at the next level given his College exp. was against marginal talent.


Steelers have also never lost a sb. 6-o!

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | July 23, 2013 at 12:48 AM
==============================================

Wrong.

Yeah, the Steelers lost to the Cowboys when O'Donnell was their QB.

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