The Dolphins finished their final OTA work of the offseason. They were scheduled to work Friday but Tony Sparano gave the guys the day off as a reward for their hard work.
In the next few weeks, rookies will be encouraged to show up and learn, and get bigger and stronger. But the vets are done until late July's start of training camp.
Today, Jason Ferguson, Jason Taylor and Joey Thomas were absent from the voluntary work. Ferguson was excused in that he told Sparano where he'd be. Thomas was held out for medical issues. Taylor was ... never mind.
Interestingly, Bill Parcells, a sideline fixture at all the other workouts, was not at this one.
Running back Ronnie Brown, still recovering from knee surgery, took most of the first-team snaps in practice. That is the first time this offseason Brown does that as the team was bringing him along slowly.
Brown looked good in team drills but I did notice when he caught a pass and was tackled/fell down, he got back up by putting all the pressure on his left knee (the good one) while putting no weight on his right one (the surgically repaired one). It was an instinct thing that tells me Brown still isn't 100 percent certain about that surgically repaired knee. But that should eventually resolve itself with contact -- at least that is the hope.
ILB Channing Crowder, also held out of some team drills, got more work this week as he was eased back into the mix.
A couple of practice play notes:
Ricky Williams continues to impress and that includes with his pass-catching. Shuttling into first-team work in the two-minute drill, Williams caught a pass from first-team QB John Beck in the flat and turned it into a 5-yard TD.
The second-team offense, behind Josh McCown, also got in the end zone when MCown threw a 60-yard pass to tight end David Martin. The pass came against the first team secondary and LB corps. Martin's longest reception last year was 28 yards.
The third team offense did not score in the two-minute drill.
OT Julius Wilson spent a couple of moments on the turf when he bumped knees with another Olineman but seemed none the worse for wear afterward.
After practice Sparano threw some lesser-known players a bone when he said he was impressed with the work of WR Davone Bess, CB Scorpio Babers and NT Anthony Toribio during the weeks long OTA workouts.
By the way, former Redskins and Texans GM Charley Casserly was at practice today. He is doing work for CBS and the NFL Network and got the royal treatment he deserves from the Dolphins as GM Jeff Ireland spent much of practice with him while Sparano talked to him privately afterward.
And then I talked with him.
He told me he was impressed with the organization and pace of practice. He also told me the team definitely has an issue with the guard position opposite wherever Justin Smiley lines up -- either LG or RG. It is a void that is clear to any trained observer.
And that leads me to this: The Browns terminated the contract of LeCharles Bentley on Tuesday. He is 28 years old and a former Pro Bowl player who can play both center and GUARD. I realize he has a terrible injury history of late. But perhaps Miami's need, so obvious to everybody, will still cause Ireland/Parcells to take a look.
MORE TO COME. CHECK BACK SOON.