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A look at the Dolphins first '14 padded practice

Today was the Dolphins first day in pads in 2014. The Dolphins will have only 11 of these practices before the start of the regular season. The rest will be in shells, or just helmets or walkthru work. So this is a big deal.

This is how and when a football team is most likely to come together -- playing and practicing the closest thing to football that is not a scrimmage or preseason game.

And today was interesting.

It was actually a pretty solid day for the running game. Despite the worries of a totally brand new offensive line and the fact the Dolphins have a solid defensive line, the run game moved the football.

No, there wasn't full speed tackling but one could see if the offensive line was actually moving the defense off the ball or not. One could see whether and where cutback lanes developed.

In that regard, it was a nice day for Lamar Miller. He had one run that would have been a 60-yard touchdown run in a real game situation. It was a stretch play to the right that boasted a lane through which Miller simply thundered into and through.

Nice work.

The desire to get the ball deep to Mike Wallace is still mostly that ... a desire. Quarterback Matt Moore tried a couple of times in team drills. Both times he overthrew the open receiver.

Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill did connect on a 20-yard gain to Wallace on a route coming diagonally across the field.

Some other highlights today:

Cameron Wake continues his streak of practice days with a sack against rookie right tackle Ja'Wuan James. The streak, expected when a Pro Bowl player faces a rookie for the first time, is at three practices. The Dolphins have practiced three days.

“I love it because I’m a competitor," James said of his matchup against Wake. "He’s a great player and he’s going to get me better, as long as I keep going as hard as I can against him, these constant reps we have, it’s going to get me ready for what I’m going to see in the season."

James said Wake is a good teammate. After practice the vet who schools the rookie on the field explains why the lesson was so hard.

“After practice he’ll be like, ‘Hey, I’ve got your hands up here, you need to do this here.’ Or I’ll ask him something," James said. "But he does a good job of schooling me, trying to teach me the right thing, but when it’s in between the lines we’re going at it." 

Dion Jordan had a fine interception. He leaped into the passing lane and snagged a Tannehill throw and returned it for what would have been a TD.

The Dolphins worked the blitz several times today. I saw four blitzes. I saw no sacks out of those but there were two incomplete passes, one short completion and one no throw by the QB.

Dannell Ellerbe, who took over at MLB after Koa Misi left practice with some medical issue, was very active today. He blitzed multiple times. He blew up one running play by Miller behind the line of scrimmage.

Daniel Thomas had a 13-yard run  in one team drill. But had a handful of other runs and none went more than four yards. He tripped once for a three-yard loss.

The read option was again a staple of practice. Both Tannehill and Moore had plays in which they kept the ball.

Mike Gillislee had a 12-yard gain against the second team defense while working with the starters. He had a handful of other team drill carries before he left the field.

The Dolphins are getting a lot of mileage from throws in the flat. And after two days of watching the team throw end-arounds in the mix, today there was a reverse.

One thing that I noticed as I watch Ryan Tannehill throw today: The focus this year is to have him better decisions in that he goes to the right place but also goes there quickly. I am not seeing the quickly party.

My concern is that it will be difficult for him to make a quick decision, particularly early, as he gets comfortable in a new offense. Think about it. Tannehill was in Mike Sherman's offensive for five years. He knew it better than anyone.

This offense is about six months old to him.

So how do you expect the QB to make quicker decisions when the offense is newer?

“It’s a good question," coach Joe Philbin said. "One of the things I think Bill (Lazor) and Kevin (Coyle) have done a great job of is, for example, we have certain pass concepts. So what happens is Bill scripts everything. They don’t script together, but we noticed on two or three of our different pass concepts after the spring, we had only seen them against let’s say quarter’s coverage. What the quarterback needs to see is he needs to see a pass concept versus man-to-man coverage, three-deep zones, quarters, cloud coverage.

"So there is a little bit and there is some trick to it. So Bill and Kevin have gotten together really before camp started and really done a good job of working together and Bill saying to Kevin, ‘Hey Kevin, this is the same play. I’m running play four in period 12. Can you give me one high man? Can you give me a fire zone so that we can expose the quarterback?’ Not that the concepts are totally brand new. There is a lot of carryover in the pass game. It’s a valid point. It’s helpful to speed up the decision-making process if they get reps against a multitude of coverages."

The Dolphins obviously hope it works because, as I share in my column today, the team is hoping for more and better things out of Mike Wallace this year.  And Wallace can't have a better year unless Tannehill gets him the football.


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Does one day go by without a Tannehll INT?

This will be a fun year and watch this team come together.


Decision making has and still is Tannehill's biggest problem and I believe directly affects his accuracy. Just a guess but could it be all that constant 'whatever you do, don't throw an interception' drilled into him by Sherman?
Just grip it and rip it man! Every QB throws INTs, leran to accept it.

Hey if the QBs weren't throwing INTs the media would be down on our defense for not creating takeaways. One or two INTs all day isn't bad.

"The desire to get the ball deep to Mike Wallace is still mostly that ... a desire. Quarterback Matt Moore tried a couple of times in team drills. Both times he overthrew the open receiver."

I'm guessing Tanny will see more action THIS preseason to get him up to speed...hopefully. We all know what Matt Moore can and can't do. This summer should be Tanny and whomever are battling for the #3 spot.
Mando (or whomever): Is Tanny getting enough "arc" on his down the field deep throws to Wallace? From what I remember last year, Tanny waited too long, then threw it "flatter" than say Rothlisburger. He needs to trust the play, and get it out of there with some loft, so Wallace can run under it full speed.

It's truly funny how most of you make suggestions that you think the coaching staff hasn't thought about. You can't see they are all light years ahead of you in experience and knowledge. All of you combined don't know enough to even be a ball boy, at least not on the field.

All of you combined don't know enough to even be a ball boy, at least not on the field.

Posted by: Kyle | July 27, 2014 at 02:23 PM

It's not that they haven't thought about it Kyle, it's that they haven't acted upon it for whatever reason. There is a difference.

Also this blog is full of opinions, you have an opinion on all the people that post here just like all the other opinions.

You have no idea what they acted upon, what their scheme is, what they have tried or didn't try, or what the assignments are. None. Nor do you have any idea how they evaluate the matchups for each game. None again.

I'd assume they all know Football 101 after decades of coaching in college and pro ranks.

Opinions are fine, but at least give the coaches credit and not just assume they are as clueless as the coach potato fan.

Posted by: Kyle | July 27, 2014 at 02:36 PM

Now you are just being belligerent. If they acted upon something someone noticed they didn't do you would see it being done, and therefore would not comment on them not doing it. Lol!

Can you believe there are still such silly people still using lol? Guaranteed to make any comment trite and boring.

Posted by: Kyle | July 27, 2014 at 02:43 PM

Your obsession with attacking the posters is trite and boring. Get it out of your system now so we don't have to read your bitter diatribes all season.

You can't see they are all light years ahead of you in experience and knowledge.

Posted by: Kyle | July 27, 2014 at 02:23 PM

Too true.

But, speaking on "light years ahead of you in experience" how about the last season's go go-go?.


And a sugesstion is just that.

Lets look at the long ball issue. Wallace streaks down the field three ot four times a game. The defense knows they have to account for him. They will use a corner and roll a safety over. Its defense 101. Once in a while the safety may be late because a good play action or he is just late. So Tannehill may connect one one of those every couple of weeks. The point is what the offense does when Wallace does set this up. My two cents worth, you start hitting him on underneath medium routes where he can catch the ball in stride and turn on the speed. You all are football fans and have seen this 100 times over and over. Think Jerry Rice, Andre Reed, Hines Ward, and others who made a living of going long from time to time, but there 10k plus yards and TDs came when they caught intermediate passes and turn up field. Even slower wideouts have made this happen intodays pass happy league. See Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Pierre Garcon, and others. They are not camping under 50 yard passes. They are catching 12-15 yard passes and turning up field. So what does this mean...oline work, RBs picking up the blitz, TE putting a shoulder into the DE and running their drags and button hooks. Its time the Fins and hopefully with Lazor putting WRa in motion play this type of offense. Right...west coast offense which Philbin was supposed to know but allowed Sherman to run a 1970s run first fiasco for two years. In this day and age its not go long young man, its get open 12-15 yards upfield and run like hell.

Also a qucik note. I had posted earlier, yesterday that hopefully we wont see another oline shuffle changing everyone up. I stated since Smith was signed to play guard then play hime at guard and let Brenner and Gardner play center. I will stick by those words. This oline is right now to fragile and inexperienced to start swtiching up positions. Put them in place and let them learn to play together first at there natural positions where they have the most experience. Experiment later!

Nobody says you have to read my thoughtful, expressive posts. Learn to accept that some have literacy above a comic book level.

Posted by: Kyle | July 27, 2014 at 02:51 PM

There there let it all out. Sooner or later you'll make a comment that isn't intended to insult people.

Let's not confuse facts with insults. By the state department own statistics, high school drop outs are among an all time high and growing. As well, they have determined the majority of our high school graduates can't even be considered literate. That part is all too obvious.

In terms of math and science among high school grads, the good old USA is now ranked 17th worldwide, and dropping.

We used to be first.

Kyle...so harsh, so early in the season. We usually don't start insulting each other till after the first bye week. That gives us all a week off to sharpen our insults at both the head coach and each other. We a get a nice break to read up on Plato, Augustine, Kant, DeCartes, and Locke followed by intelligent discourse on Plato's forms, natural law, and mathematical theroms. It is only after the bye week when we revert to the comic book level of literacy and articulation so thought out prior to posting on Mando's flawed blog. Enjoy for now. Spit venom later. :)

There is a saying - Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. With that in mind, more Americans should study the fall of the Roman Empire.

Not sure what practice Mando was watching. I saw tweets from Omar and others practically gaga over Landry and tweets about the good passes that Tanny did make - including LONG strikes to Matthews and Landry.

I'm kind of done with Mr Salguero's personal axe to grind with whoever our QB, coach, GM and owner are.

No more wasted time on this semi-worthless blog.

outa here.

Hmmm, some of you may need some anti-sensitivity medication. Are so many of you brain-washed with the propaganda about being Politically Correct? What could be more anti-First Amendment?

Kyle...you are starting to come around. If history has taught us anything it is that if the Fins coaching don't get this team ready, history will repeat itself and we will see another 7-9 or 8-8 season. Talk about history repeating.

Oh, that doesn't really apply to something as trite as a sports team. There are just too many variables involved with building a winning organization - timing and luck have more to do with it than skill and knowledge. There really is no formula for it. Otherwise there wouldn't be the following questions:

Why has no coach ever won a SB with more than one team?
Why was Belichek a flop in Cleveland and a star in NE?
Why was Pioli a star GM in NE and a flop in KC?
How many high profile FA's flop on their new team?
Why couldn't Gibbs make the Redskins a winner the second time around?
Why couldn't JJ bring a ring here?
The revered Ozzie Newsome, everyone's favorite GM, has only one single ring in his 14 years as a GM.

So you see, luck and timing are the biggest factors. Whose available in the draft, what FA's fit your needs, what players do or don't get hurt, the list goes on and on.

And by the way the qoute is, Those who fail to learn...repeat it. It's not "study." Just saying.

If our front office has been so bad, well what about the other 70% of the teams that haven't sniffed a trophy in decades, if ever? So you see, the majority of teams fail, and even with the exception of NE, most dynasties fall apart quickly and the team reverts back to the cellar. See 49'rs Packers, Cowboys, Fins.

Good for you, you nailed me on a quote. It was the gist of the idea that was important, getting it exact was not necessary to make my point.

And what is so trite as building an empire? What variables were in play? Who decided that or determined that roads made from stone were more efficent than dirt? Or who thought the aquaduct system would provide potable water for a city? And let us not forget the one who mixed the first batch of concrete which gave rise to the Colisium which still stands today. Football is trite when compared to these historical accomplishments. That said, the season starts in month. Enjoy!

The media wants you to believe in coaching guru's and wizard GM's. It adds to the hype of the game. The fact is, football is not rocket science. All these coaches and GM's know pretty much the same thing. They will all tell you the draft is a crap shoot. History proves it, since every draft several high first round picks do not live up to their pre-draft hype.

Now, are some coaches and GM's better than others? Sure. But none have a magic formula for building and maintaining a winning team. Just look at how many SB winners fail to make the playoffs the following year.

Ok, I'm done! You can all celebrate now!

Until the next time.


How can you have a QB that's not accurate? LOL

Maybe the Fins need to think outside the box?...enjoy!


Does Miami have the wrong QB Tanne to best exploit WR Mike Wallace's ability to get open deep?

Wiki on the guy :

Tanney broke nearly every record during his time at Monmouth. His career began in 2007 when he threw for 2,678 yards and 24 TDs. In his sophomore season in 2008, Tanney broke the Monmouth record of single season TD passes with 50. For his junior campaign, Tanney threw for 3,856 yards and 44 TDs which led him to be named the Melberger Award winner as D-III's top player. After redshirting the 2010 season with an injury, he came back in 2011 and threw for a career high 3,867 yards along with 38 TDs. He won three Midwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year Awards in his college career along with numerous All-American Awards.

In 2011 a quarterback trick shot video highlighting Tanney's talent went viral. Subsequently in July 2011, History Channel’s “Stan Lee’s Superhumans” filmed an episode featuring Tanney. The episode featured Tanney's "super-human" throwing accuracy.[2]

On October 29, 2011, in a game against Carroll University, Tanney set the NCAA record for all-time all-division career touchdown passes with 150, surpassing Jimmy Terwilliger's record of 148. Tanney finished his collegiate career with 157 touchdown passes and also holds the D-III record for most passing yards in a career with 14,249.

Professional career[edit]
Kansas City Chiefs[edit]
After going undrafted he received rookie mini-camp invites from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills, Tanney signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on June 5, 2012.[3] He made his NFL debut on August 30, 2012 in the final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Tanney was sacked on his first snap, but then threw a 39-yard pass before it was called back due to a holding penalty. Tanney was placed on the Injured Reserve with a finger injury on August 31, 2012, removing him from the roster for the remainder of the season.[4] Tanney was released on May 2, 2013.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]
On July 21, 2013, the Cowboys signed Tanney to their roster.[5] On August 4, 2013, Tanney played the entire second half of the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. In five 2013 preseason games (including the Aug. 29 finale against the Houston Texans, in which he played all but one series) Tanney completed 40 of 73 passes for 423 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions. Tanney was released by the Cowboys August 30, 2013.[6] After clearing waivers, Tanney was assigned to the Cowboys' eight-player practice squad.[7]

Cleveland Browns[edit]
On November 26, 2013, the Cleveland Browns signed Tanney off of the Cowboys' practice squad.[8] On May 12, 2014, the Browns released Tanney.[9]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]
Tanney was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on May 20th, 2014. [10]

You be the judge...



Joe Philbin was seen at Office Depot buying cue cards!!!

Rob, that's way too long bro

A Regular...

How do you condense that much info?

It's not like I'm going to get people confused by trying to make multiple posts.

I always wonder why people just simply don't read the longer posts if they don't like them. Depending on the content, they can be the best ones.



;) Cheers,

Mando is baaaaack. Football is back. Life is good...fer now.

It will be interesting to see DJ in preseason get work prior to his suspension...he needs to play like his new muscle bound hair is on fire.

Pouncey going down was/is a HUGE blow as it deosn't seem enough time has gone by to get that OL rebuilt properly.

It is my hope that this corp of coaches/front office stays together at least one more year. Continuity is big in the NFL and we won't get ahead constantly changing. That said...Philbin needs to have his troops ready to play, competitive week in and week out. None of this collapse vs teams you are suppose to beat BS.

If the OL can get the 58 sack number into the low 30's and the running game can do just OK (up from super crappy) then the Fins should be good enough on OFF.

I have a feeling that the DEF's success will be tied to the pass rush. If that can be predictably ferocious then it will mask shortcomings on the back end. Lack of pressure and it won't be good.

While it looks like Hickey has some competency I still believe he REALLY blew the 1st round pick with OL J. James. He could have slid back a few spots and picked up a 3rd (exactly what the Cardinals did moving to 27) . NO team would take a pure RT in the first and he was not head and shoulders above other RT's. Hickey left players like my personal fav RB Charles Simms, RB/KR Dri Archer, RB Tre Mason, ILB Chris Borland, or his choice of a litany of other OL...C Marcus Martin, C Travis Swanson, OG Brandon Thomas, OG Gabe Jackson, OG Trai Turner, OG Chris Watt, OT Michael Schofield on the table in the 3rd round.

That is what proper value vs desperation and drafting strictly for need is all about. With that many quality prospects in the 3rd round there should not be a panic to land a RT in the 1st round that could be chosen later.


4 teams in 2 years says it all.

True dat Elf.... It's more of a whimsical post than anything. The fact that their last names are so close and they seem to be on opposote ends of the deep ball spectrum.


Posted by: Kyle | July 27, 2014 at 03:16 PM

Answers for Clueless Kyle:

Winning a Super Bowl is hard and FA and the draft promote parody.

Belechick did not fail, Cleveland is a bad sports town and no one wants to play there unless they were born there.

KC was good last season, perhaps Pioli had something
to do with that...

FA is not the best way to build a good team in the NFL

Joe Gibbs was away from the game to long. NFL winners are not built on reputation.

JJ just like Parcells and Saban took Huizenga's money and ran, Huizenga is an owner that everyone wants to work for because he pays well and leaves the hired NFL czar alone.

Ozzie has built a winner and no one wins the SB every year, it's hard to do....

Luck and Timing make a difference and Kyle you must be Sherlock Holmes....

The long postes are usually good reading.
Just space it out so its easier to read.

I dont read the really long posts but just scrolling past them numerous times is a pain.

I mean ....when the comment is as long as the article its ridiclous. Comments should be kept short, concise, and to the point to keep readers attention. Remember you are commenting.... not writing books.

Sometimes a simple question and illicit a long, profound debate. I don't think we need to set restrictions on how much or how little someone should say. The main idea is to keep the forum interesting, not repetitive and not a bunch of nonsense.

The challenge should be to improve the content, not control the length of a comment.

Juwan James is not the only person that has trouble with Cam Wake you mental midgets.Let him beat his a double s every day then he will be ready for the season.My only concerns is Lb play. If, Turnick is on the field as a starter at any point we are screwed!I do feel we actually got a couple good LB Coach's that will for sure helps us.
Lets face it if Koi Misi is our best LB we got concerns there.So,Why the heck didn't we flood that area with undrafted free agents?I know what you will say there wasn't none to really get that isn't a project.So what's they answer?Hope jelani jenkins turns into Brian Cox and jason Tripp turns into Zack Thomas.

I know Wallace is looking to do more on offense but I don't think he has the skill set. Beside the occasional reverse I don't see it. Hitches, quick screens etc won't work unless well blocked which anyone can run. He is fast but doesn't have the wiggle to make people miss plus his catch radius is limited. You can't throw it up to him cause he doesn't have vertical nor the ability to use his body like a rebounder to catch the ball at the highest point while warding off the DB.

Let's hope the OL is better than last season even though it has five new bodies. If they give Tannehill more time to throw the ball and allow him to get comfortable that should negate his biggest issue.

The issue being ill-timed INTs every week. The offense starts going and then pick six or a pick mid-field. This could be the result of getting hit and sacked too many times last season. If the ground game moves the ball as Armando mentioned then we should have a much improved team where we are finally in the postseason.


Agree with your analysis of Wallace.

I do, however, think he can do more than he did last year with a better attitude towards wanting to make more plays. The offense scheming him open more often and in more ways as well as even 20%-30% better accuracy on throws downfield to him from Tannehill.

Wallace's game is basically get open vertically beating people deep. When he has seperation his concentration and confidence seems to rise.

You nailed it though, contested balls are not his forte ` and never will be. Hopefully Tannehill getting better some, Hartline and Landry getting open and gashing underneath will spring Wallace free on some plays other than just Go routes...or Go,Go routes in Tannehills case.


Brandon Hartline and Landry should create enough havoc underneath to get Wallace more freedom then ever, or if they stick to Wallace, we are going to be moving the chains underneath,

Tannehill just doesnt have the accuracy to be a pro QB. How come it takes the Dolphins 3 years to realize it? Just like Henne.

Don't know about the rest of you, but my take is Tannehill may not have the accuracy to be a starter in the NFL.

The best way to improve the deep ball with wallace and T-hill is to throw the 40 yard go route everyday before practice and after without any defenders present. The problem is they have not mastered the "lay it up" speed to distance run..In other words "timing" yes but Tanneyhill does not know when to let the ball go so Wallace can run in stride to the ball, he is afraid he will over throw him because he has poor judgement of the speed. With Hartline as soon as Tanneyhill sees him breaking free he knows to let it go so that he runs right into it. By running the same go route (40yards) ou will know when to lob or cut it loose . Peyton manning is so good at knowing where to throw the ball and when to lob it or let it rip.. Marino was a master at letting it rip at the last second.. Why was they so accurate ? they practiced the routes everyday all day til the could gauge all of there receivers speed/distance. Tanneyhill has been slowed by holding the ball too long and by fear of overthrowing.. Not enough practice time one/one.

SWANN, doubtful that tidbit of information would enlighten anyone on the staff.

Yeah, I remember Raymond Berry used to drag Johnny Unitas on their off days to the field to practice their routes. Not so much dedication now.

Hey Mando, how about some info on how the rookie RB Damien Williams is looking, Heard from other sources he is pushing the guys ahead of him very well. I think the guy should be our #2 back and get rid of the out of shape. injury prone and unproductive backs we have, you know who they are.

I think the guy should be our #2 back

Posted by: Kent "bad axe" Baxter | July 27, 2014 at 08:02 PM

Nice, make decisions based on second hand opinionated hearsay and after only two days of practice. It's good you are not in politics.

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