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48 posts from August 2013

August 06, 2013

Bad day for consistent Dolphins offense

I'll say this for the Dolphins offense: They're being consistent lately.

Problem is they're consistently not very good.

Today was simply one of those days in that Mike Sherman's unit looked bad. They kind of resembled the same unit that didn't do much against the Dallas No. 2 defense on Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game.

Mike Wallace, who is getting closer to practicing but isn't quite there yet, did not work in full drills again today. On the bright side, John Jerry, who has missed two weeks and is about to start his third week away, seems to be inching toward getting back on the field. He was on the side early in practice rehabbing his knee. He will not play Friday against Jacksonville, however.

As for the people on the field, think Ryan Tannehill bad and Chad Bumphis increasingly good.

Tannehill threw three interceptions to defensive backs (two to Will Davis and one to Brent Grimes) and then had another ball tipped at the line of scrimmage, which Kheeston Randall intercepted and then fumbled away. So four interceptions on the day for Tannehill.

"Frustrated by today," Tannehill said. "It wasn't a very good day. It was frustrating. But I'm definitely moving in the right direction if you take out today. Frustrated with the day but we'll go back and make the corrections and go forward." 

Although he recognizes Tannehill is assigned all the interceptions, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said they're not all his fault.

"Offensively as a group we didn't have a good practice today," Sherman said. "I wouldn't put, even though they all go under his name, I wouldn't put them all on him. We had some young receivers out there. We had a lot of pressure today. But he'll have better days and today wasn't one of his best days; it wasn't one of our best offensive days."

Despite the offensive struggles, Bumphis is thriving. He caught no less than six passes in team and seven-on-seven drills. The kid led the team in receiving in the scrimmage and the Hall of Fame game and he's continuing the trend to the point he was working with the second unit today rather than the third string he was on last week.

Bumphis has obviously caught the coaching staff's collective attention.

"When Chad was in college, he played the inside slot receiver," Sherman said. "People's observation of him is he's not the fastest guy in the world. He's not the biggest guy in the world and so that's why he ended up an undrafted free agent. I do think he understands how to play that slot receiver. You have to be nifty and crafty and he appears to be that.

"He's done some good things. He has some things he needs to correct. He was on the back end of the interception for a touchdown when he kind of floated into a route instead of defined it a little more but that's part of being a rookie. We definitely can fix that. He's shown some out here and has a ways to go but he's a good guy to work with."

(By the way, I thought Jeff Fuller also had a very productive practice. He had four receptions that I saw. He was today's next most impressive of the receivers vying for the No. 4 and No. 5 jobs at WR.)

Asked if there were any other first-year players that caught his eye in the HOF game, Sherman said there weren't any. Yikes! The OC did volunteer that Josh Samuda, who played both guard and center in the game, distinguished himself with good work.

Ironically, even though Samuda played well, the Dolphins used Lance Louis with the first team offensive line during a couple of practice periods today. Samuda was in and out, suggesting he was nursing some physical issue.

Speaking of physical issues, running back Lamar Miller limped off the field toward the end of practice and didn't return. A trainer was looking at his lower right leg. He did say afterward he was fine.

The Dolphins got only limited work from backup Pat Devlin today but he is not seriously hurt to the point the club is about to sign another QB at this point. Randy Starks (knee) continues to miss practice while Jared Odrick (groin) was back on the practice field today.

Coach Joe Philbin, talking for the first time since he studied the game tape following the HOF game, said he was not pleased by either the offensive or defensive line in the game.

"I was a little disappointed in both offensive line play and defensive line play," Philbin said. "You don't play defense and average 5 yards a carry for an opponent. That's not good run defense. Were there some good flashes of play? Sure, there were good flashes. There were some signs but we have a lot of work to do."

It has been abundantly clear that Jonathan Martin is among the offensive linemen needing to improve. Well, for the second consecutive practice he did not give up a sack today. And Sherman seems upbeat about the team's prospective left tackle.

"Any left tackle in this league in his second year is a work in progress and Jonathan Martin is as well," Sherman said. "It's a premier position and I don't know any left tackle outside the Jonathan Ogdens of the world and Richmond Webbs of the world can walk in and effectively do the job play after play.

"I'm pleased with his progress. Does he have a ways to go? Yeah. But I expected that going in. He's working to get better and he'll be a fine left tackle in this league if not a really good one."

On the defensive side of the ball, Will Davis had two interceptions today, as mentioned above. But he has to do some work on his tackling technique before he makes Philbin happy.

Philbin is quite pleased with the work of Derrick Shelby but as to the team,  the coach said, "There's nothing we don't need work on. It's not uncommon this time of year."

The Dolphins today announced the extension for Reshad Jones, who seemed relieved the negotiation is over.

"It feels good to put it behind me and do what I do," Jones said. "They said they were going to do it and it just proves how much these guys trust and believe in me on and off the field."

August 05, 2013

Reshad Jones gets rewarded with new deal

Five months ago Reshad Jones was stressing a little bit about his contract situation. The Dolphins had promised to get him a new deal before the start of the 2013 season but he was seeing precious little movement in that direction.

So his agent Joel Segal called the Dolphins to see what was up. And a day passed with no response. And another day passed with no response.

And so the Jones camp decided to send a clear message that they felt wronged. Jones didn't show up to offseason workouts one day.

And that got all sorts of activity going. Assistant coaches lit up Jones' phone wanting to know where he was. General Manager Jeff Ireland called the agent.

And eventually, the team promised if Jones went about his usual business, reporting to offseason workouts and camps and allowing the process to play out, they would open talks on a new deal in July. Well, two weeks ago the Dolphins started talking with Jones and Segal.

And today the club and their starting safety have agreed to and signed a four-year extension worth $30 million that includes guaranteed money of $15 million.

This deal comes in just ahead of the four-year, $29.323 million extension safety Kam Chancellor signed with Seattle in April. It falls just below the deals done for Eric Weddle (5 years, $40 million) and Antrel Rolle (five years, $37 million) signed in the last few years.

So what's the message?

It's a good one.

Jones sent the message that he's a professional. He sent the message he was going to go about his business in a statesmanlike manner and work quietly with the team as long as the team was willing to work with him. Yes, there was that day of anxiety -- to the point the Dolphins were so vexed by information leaking that they asked Jones family members not to speak to me.

(The Dolphins make a habit of telling agents and others not to speak to the media about contracts or injuries or anything, really, despite the so-called transparent approach owner Stephen Ross ordered last year).

But I digress.

After Jones met with coaches and his agent explained their stance, the team made a promise, Jones made a promise and both sides kept that promise.

Now compare that to the issue the Buffalo Bills are having with safety Jairus Byrd who is sitting out of camp. Not good.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, have sent a message into the locker room that if you are a good player with a good future and your career arc is headed up, they will try to keep you and be fair in doing so. That, believe it or not, will make the rounds in the locker room.

The Dolphins, you see, have a couple of other young players they may eventually try to extend -- Mike Pouncey, perhaps Paul Soliai, maybe Dustin Keller if he stays healthy and plays well -- and this extension before the season suggests the club is open to keeping a core of players it values.

So today was a win-win for everyone involved.


The post-mortem from preseason opening loss

After Sunday night's 24-20 loss to the Cowboys, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin did his postgame press conference out on the field, by the end zone. As a group of reporters surrounded him for his four-minute talk, a nearby fan yelled over at the top of his lungs:

"Breaking news," the fan yelled, "the Dolphins still suck."

I wouldn't go that far nor would I make assumptions on a season or even a preaseason based on this preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

But on this night the Dolphins definitely didn't present much of a counter-argument against that heckler.

They didn't just lose this one 24-20, but lost it ugly. They played poorly, they played sloopy, and they got beat. Not a good recipe for turning the thing around in time to start the season fast.

"I told the team I thought we would play better," coach Joe Philbin said. "That's obviously not the way you want to start any football game, I don't care if it's preseason, Game 1, the Super Bowl or any game in between."

The start was ugly. Lamar Miller fumbled on the first offensive play.

The Cowboys recovered inside the Dolphins 10 yard line and scored.

The galling thing?

The defense that started for Dallas was missing every defensive starter in the lineup save one. Yes, coach Jason Garrett sat practically everyone and still won.

"I told our team we've talked a lot about taking the ball away. We've talked a lot about ball security. We spent a lot of practice time but it didn't show up on the field today. We have to go back to work and get that corrected. That's the reason we lost the game and that's what's going to turn this program around more than anything else is us doing a much, much better job in that category."

Yes, it was a bad start for Miller, who is trying to replace Reggie Bush, but he recovered a little bit. He finished with two carries for 21 yards.

"I had to make up for it and look forward to the next play," Miller said. "I was trying to move the chains and help the football team."

Miller added the team, "can only get better."

Obviously. The Dolphins lost the turnover margin, 2-0. One of those was a 75-yard interception return TD by reserve linebacker Devonte Holloman, who picked off Matt Moore. The pick goes on Moore's stat sheet, but the problem was that rookie receiver Chad Bumphis sat down in the zone when Moore was expecting him to run through.

"It was a bad read on my part," Bumphis said. "That one's on me. But I'm going to learn from that and that miscommunication won't happen again."

Bumphis wasn't bad otherwise. He caught five passes for 85 yards to lead the team. Michael Egnew had four catches for 52 yards but had a drop. Keenan Davis had three catches for 48 yards and a TD.

"Keenan Davis made a couple of plays," Philbin said. "Bumphis has caught the ball in practice ... The kid gets open and he catches the ball."

Moore finished the game with 19 completions on 29 attempts for 238 yards. He played most of the second quarter but was forced back in the game in the fourth quarter when third-stringer Pat Devlin "got nicked," according to Philbin.

Dolphins05 rmattsacked jwrI'm sure Moore loved the idea of coming back in the game. He was sacked once (which you see courtesy a photo by Joe Rimkus) and hit hard on multiple occasions as the second-team line -- particularly reserve left tackle Dallas Thomas -- seemed to struggle. Frankly, I'm wondering if Thomas has the quickness to play left tackle. If he does, he didn't show it tonight.

It looked like Devlin took a shot that had him a little glassy-eyed in the locker room afterward.

Speaking of quarterbacks, starter Ryan Tannehill completed two of five passes for 1 yards. His 47.9 QB rating was the lowest of the Miami QBs. His inability to connect on a couple of simple slant throws to WRs showed either his lack or work with those receivers, or a twinge of inaccuracy or both.

Afterward, Tannehill conceded the Dolphins looked ugly.

"It wasn't our cleanest game, wasn't our best game," he said. "I'm glad we can get that one out of the way early. We have four more preseason games before we get into the regular season. So hopefully this was our sloppy game."

The leading rusher on the night for Miami was Jonas Gray. He rushed for 41 yards on seven carries. Gray missed all of last season as he rehabilitated a knee injury from his Notre Dame days. 

"This was a reassurance that my knee is 100 percent," he said.

August 04, 2013

Live blog of Dolphins vs. Cowboys here

CANTON, OHIO -- Welcome to the 2013 season. Well, welcome to the preseason.

The Dolphins take on the Dallas Cowboys tonight and everyone is on the edge of their seat waiting to see if Ryan Tannehill and his new toys -- receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, tight end Dustin Keller, and running back Lamar Miller -- are on the same page.

Well, Wallace will not play. Neither will Brian Hartline, as you know. And Tannehill is only expected to go a quarter at most and most likely much less than that.

[Update: Philbin told the NFL Network, Tannehill would play 10-15 plays.]

Some things to watch tonight:

Josh Samuda: He's starting at right guard tonight. If he plays well, suddenly the concern about the John Jerry injury and the mixing and matching that has been going on for a week is addressed. Suddenly it won't be so urgent for Jerry to get healthy quickly and be in shape. If he doesn't play well? The search for a RG alternative continues.

The back end receivers: Yes, the Dolphins have a solid plan for their No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 wide receivers. There are jobs open at No. 4 and No. 5. Marvin McNutt is obviously everyone's choice at the moment. I like Chad Bumphis and Jeff Fuller. We'll see if Kenny Stafford, Brian Tyms and Julius Pruitt will also get a chance.

The first round pick -- Dion Jordan: Is he going to get off to a fast start? Is he going to take some time to warm up before we see something exciting? The bottom line, folks, is Jordan needs a lot of work and he's expected to get plenty of that tonight.

The other CB competition: Veterans Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall are the presumed candidates fighting for the starting job. We'll see. Personally, the future of the position is either Jamar Taylor or Will Davis, or both. And so I'm watching them. And I know they're going to get a lot of snaps.

By the way, as always, we are live on this blog during a Dolphins event. Except that starting tonight, the way we do it will be different. The Herald is employing a cover-it-live application going forward. I don't know if you'll like it more or less. We'll cross that bridge later. But that's how it will be.

So join me in the live blog by posting on the application.

August 03, 2013

The status of four injured starters

CLEVELAND -- Although Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said quarterback Ryan Tannehill will play with the starting unit in Sunday evening's Hall of Fame game, the status of at least four starters is highly questionable to the point you shouldn't expect to see them.

Defensive tackle Jared Odrick (groin), defensive tackle Randy Starks (knee), receiver Mike Wallace (groin) and receiver Brian Hartline (calf) are not likely to play.

None are expected to miss significant time going forward, but because all missed practice the past few days and are still trying to reach 100 percent health, it seems to make little sense to play any of them.

Hartline, who is the closest to health in the group, wants to play because the game is in his native Ohio. But a source close to Hartline said it nonetheless makes little sense to risk an aggravation of the calf muscle in exchange for a couple of series of action in an otherwise meaningless preseason game.

Of the four, it is certain neither Odrick nor Starks will play. Although they are in the midst of a competition for a starting defensive end job and both have much to prove this season -- Starks because he'll be unsigned for 2014 and Odrick because he's being moved from DE to DT -- the competition was derailed temporarily this week when Starks first and then Odrick got hurt.

Odrick is day to day with the groin. Starks may be out a bit longer but a club source confirmed his injury is not considered worrisome.

August 02, 2013

Here's what's new at Dolphins camp

The Dolphins today worked out a couple of free agent defensive tackles as both Randy Starks and Jared Odrick missed practice with unknown injuries that the team will not report until prior to Sunday's Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. 

Starks, who missed practice Thursday but was present on the sidelines, was not even on the field today. He appeared to be nursing a leg injury of some sort Thursday. Odrick, who was healthy at the beginning of practice Thursday but had an issue midway though, worked with trainers on the side today. He similarly appears to have a leg injury of some sort.

It's obvious neither Starks nor Odrick will play Sunday against Dallas in the HOF game.

Receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline were the other starters to miss today's practice due to injuries. Wallace (groin) and Hartline (calf) are making steady improvement with their issues. Wallace said as much today and Hartline was no longer wearing the compression sleeve on his calf that he wore for protection on Thursday.

Although coach Joe Philbin said he has not made up his mind whether the injured players will play or not, it seems unlikley the club will risk either aggravating their minor injuries in the first of five preseason games. Both Wallace and Hartline want to play, however, with Hartline going back to his home state and Wallace potentially making his Dolphins debut.

The Dolphins will take a tour of the Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio Saturday. And on Sunday when they play the Cowboys, they'll be using a rudimenary game plan coaches cooked up and installed on Friday.

"Play speed is really the thing we've been talking to our guys about," Philbin said. "It's not really about Xs and Os although we have a good sound plan in. I'm sure our opponent has a good plan in as well, but it's more about our guys playing ball the right way. The things we've been practicing every single day have to show up on tape."

If the Dolphins are hoping to play "the right way" Friday's practice didn't offer an example of that.

"A lot of dropped passes and maybe some sloppiness on kickoff returns," Philbin said. "You saw the same things I did."

This is what I saw:

First, Jonathan Martin did not give up a sack today. That bears prominent mention because he's been singled out every time he loses pass-rush battles against Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan. Today there was none of that.

And it merits mention that Martin looks very good in run-blocking drills and has looked good for several days in that department.

The well-chronicled offensive line mixing and matching was not an issue today. Josh Samuda played at right guard with the staring offensive line and that's how the unit stayed throughout practice -- although Samuda also got work as a center with the second team.

Expect the starting OL Sunday to be LT Martin, LG Richie Incognito, C Mike Pouncey, RG Samuda, RT Tyson Clabo.

Dallas Thomas, a left guard part of last week, was back at left tackle with the second unit throughout practice. Nate Garner, who has played guard and tackle in games for the Dolphins in the past, worked at center today. He had one high snap and also short-hopped a shotgun snap.

On the special teams sloppiness:

It began with a kickoff walk-thru in the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble (NSMB). Special teams coach Darren Rizzi told undrafted free agent rookie David Hinds he had to shift over on one repetition and Hinds failed to do it.

And Rizzi lit him up.

"I just got done telling you to shift 10 seconds ago," the coach yelled. "We went over it in meetings and I just told you 10 seconds ago to do it so why aren't you doing it?"

Hinds did have a nice practice moment later when he batted down a potential TD pass in the end zone in 7 on 7 drills.

Rizzi's special teams had other issues. Reserve kickoff return man De'Andre Presley flubbed a kickoff return. Then starter Marcus Thigpen let another kickoff bounce in front of him. The ball then bounced away from Thigpen and was free for the kickoff team to scramble for. Then Presley followed by allowing the same exact thing to happen to him.

The Dolphins got a very good practice out of wide receiver Keenan Davis. Davis had the catch of the day when he rose above two defenders who were bracketting him 30 yards downfield and caught a pass from Pat Devlin. Davis paid the price as the safety playing behind hit him high and the one in front hit him low. The blow was so hard it caused the crowd watching practice to groan in unison.

General Manager Jeff Ireland, standing only feet from the play on the sideline, clapped excitedly as Davis ended up at his feet.

Everyone else had their difficult moments. Those dropping passes today included Dustin Keller, Michael Egnew, and Kenny Stafford. Julius Pruitt caught one pass and then fumbled it. Kelcie McCray, who had an interception in Monday's scrimmage, dropped an interception. Rookie Jamar Taylor also dropped a certain interception.

The kicking competition continued today with rookie Caleb Sturgis connecting on all his kicks, from 42, 47 and 52 yards out.

August 01, 2013

Wallace deals with groin while Dolphins get work

Mike Wallace confirmed today he is battling a groin injury and that's the reason he led a handful of players being held out of practice today. Wallace also said he would like to play in Sunday's Hall of Fame game but obviously that's a decision for the coaching staff.

"It feels pretty good," Wallace said. "I feel like it's getting there."

Brian Hartline also sat out most of the drills with a calf strain. I'm certain if there had been a game today or a regular season game this weekend, both Hartline and Wallace would be playing. So there's that.Hartlineleg

Randy Starks sat out practice and had a compression sleeve on his right leg. That gave Jared Odrick, who is competing with Starks for a starting DT job, all of the first-team work at the position until he simply stopped working midway through practice. It seems Odrick had some sort of minor health issue although it's not clear what.

On the bright side of the injury department, today was the first day rookie cornerbackJamar Taylor got in both individual and team drills after missing practically two weeks with issues related to his offseason hernia surgery.

"I'm definitely happy to be back on the field," Taylor said. "Being hurt shows your character and the person you are so when you come out here you have to let everything go and play. I'm definitely not full strength, but we got great trainers that are going to keep working on me so I'm going to get there."

Coach Joe Philbin said he'll finalize play-time for Sunday's game on Saturday but it's obvious he already knows how he's going to proceed. Philbin announced that the installation phase of training camp is now over with the end of today's practice. He estimated that 95 percent of the playbook is in for the offense, defense and special teams.

The focus today was two-minute situations, two-point plays, fourth-down plays, last plays of the half, and last plays of the game when there's only five seconds left on the clock.

"We've covered every situation that we possibly can so our guys should be ready to play a good football game Sunday night in Canton," Philbin said.

Today's action was actually fun to watch. There were plays being made on both sides of the ball, which is much more interesting than when one unit dominates.

On defense, it was an impressive day for rookie Will Davis, DE Olivier Vernon (again), and CB Richard Marshall. On offense, Matt Moore seemed to have a good day as did TE Kyle Miller.

After practice Philbin told the team "some guys had exceptional practices, some guys didn't.  Davis, Philbin noted, got his hand on six to eight passes for passes defensed so "I thought he had a good practice. I'm sure there are technique things he has to work on, but I was pleased with him today."

That's great news for Davis who started quite slowly but had an interception in the end zone during the scrimmage Monday and believes there's a reason he's starting to shine. 

"When the game slows down for you, you are able to make more plays," he said. "That's happening for me now."

The game has seemingly slowed down for Olivier Vernon in his second season -- at least when he is matched opposite left tackle Jonathan Martin. Vernon has owned Martin since the opening of camp and today was no different.

Vernon had three sacks against Martin during team periods. It's great news for the defensive end. For the Dolphins starting left tackle, it is looking problematic at this point.

"I think it's been going pretty well," Martin said. "You have some good days and some bad days out there. My goal is to try to be consistent against a talented D-line ... It's been challenging but I like it. I like going against the best."

Martin said his biggest focus is improving his hand placement and balance. On the bright side for Martin, a day after rookie Dion Jordan beat him twice for sacks, Martin got the better of the rookie Thursday. Jordan did not collect a sack against Martin.

One thing of note about Jordan. I saw him rush the passer out of a three-point stance, a two-point stance (standing up) and drop into coverage today.

JoshsamudaThe offensive line did not do much mixing and matching today. Martin was at LT, Richie Incognito was at LG, Mike Pouncey was at C, Josh Samuda was at RG and Tyson Clabo was a RT. There also was no moving of Incognito, Pouncey and Samuda around to other positions.

While the LT spot looks like a weak link so far, I'd say the RT spot will be solid based on what we've seen in practice so far.

Understand that Tyson Clabo was let go by the Falcons in the offseason because of cap and other considerations. Understand that he faces Cameron Wake every down. And yet, Clabo has not been beaten nearly as often as Martin. Indeed, he's scored pretty much a stalemate with Wake on most day. And Wake is a premier pass rusher in the NFL the past couple of years.

 Back to practice ...

Miller, one of five tight ends in camp, had a 30 yard touchdown grab off the arm of Pat Devlin for the day's longest scoring play. Miller also had a couple of other catches. Also getting TDs off short throws were Julius Pruitt (who also dropped a pass), Kenny Staford and Chad Bumphis.

Charles Clay, who had a TD in Monday's scrimmage, was almost invisible today except for a dropped pass.

Concerns about Lance Louis, Jonathan Martin

Ryan Tannehill is an optimistic guy. He thinks everything is going to work out with his running backs, his wide receivers, his tight ends, and his offensive line.

That's a good attitude to have because a football season is a roller coaster ride and players rise and fall, so keeping a bright outlook is good. But right now the offensive line is at a low point rather than a high point so the starting quarterback seems to be stretching credibility when he says the guys charged with protecting him are doing fine.

"I think they’re doing a great job, like I said there’s a couple guys banged up," Tannehill said. "There shifting around, a couple new faces bumping in while John’s (Jerry) out, moving Mike (Pouncey) over to guard a little bit, put (Josh) Samuda in at guard as well. They’ve done a good job at handling adversity, handling the change and just preparing for whatever is going to happen, you never know what’s going to happen."

Well, unless the line gets its act together what's going to happen is that Tannehill is going to get hit this year. A lot.

To wit:

On Wednesday, the offensive line added a new twist to the guard search with Nate Garner getting first-team snaps at right guard.

Suddenly, the experiment with Josh Samuda at guard (he's also worked at center) was pushed to a back burner. And the experiment of moving Mike Pouncey from center to guard (which I dislike) was delayed. And the experiment of moving Richie Incognito from left guard to right guard was similarly delayed.

The interesting thing in all this?

The Dolphins signed Lance Louis this offseason to compete with John Jerry for the starting job. The man is in his fifth season. He has satarted 28 career games including 24 the past two years.

So why hasn't he been at least an option to replace the injured Jerry?

The problem isn't that he wasn't the first option. The problem is the Dolphins have gone through four other options -- Incognito, Pouncey, Samuda and now Garner -- and Louis still hasn't budged from the second unit.

I know the thought might be he's still getting back from his 2012 knee surgery. Well, then how is it he's on second team? How is it he's taking all his reps and hasn't seemed limited physically in any way?

The Dolphins have moved four guys from different positions, including center and tackle to right guard but the right guard signed to be the backup to John Jerry hasn't been able to step in and fill that role.


And, by the way, it's not good for Louis if he's not one of the options because that shows limited value to the team. The Dolphins only spent $100,000 in guaranteed money on Louis this offseason so he has to show strong and become a starting option when injuries arise because he'll be very easy to cut at the end of this month otherwise.

So there's that.

And then this:

The questioin throughout training camp has been whether Olivier Vernon has suddenly blossomed to the point he was often beating left tackle Jonathan Martin for sacks. Or ... was Martin simply struggling?

Well, during Wednesday's practice, rookie Dion Jordan got a shot at matching up against Martin. And he had two sacks.

That's great news for Jordan as it was previously for Vernon. But that's a poor reflection on Martin, the team's starting LT.

If a second-year player and a rookie are looking exceedingly good against him in training camp, how's he going to survive the regular season?

Tannehill seems optimistic about all this. We'll see if he can remain that way.