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Monday update: Eighteen notes and observations from Dolphins camp

### Ryan Tannehill’s second day of training camp was pretty good, but not quite as good as his first. After completing more than 40 passes in 53 attempts Sunday, Tannehill struggled at times with the blitz Monday.

He did make some sharp throws, including a long TD throw to Roberto Wallace, a dart to Jeff Fuller for a long gain and a beautiful 40-yard throw to Marlon Moore during drills involving only the quarterback, receiver and defensive back.

Tannehill worked almost exclusively with backups, while David Garrard got the majority of snaps with the first team.

Joe Philbin’s assessment of his rookie QB? “He threw the ball well yesterday,” Philbin said. “Today, we missed a couple plays early. We had a couple opportunities for big plays we didn’t convert on. For a rookie quarterback, he’s doing very well.”

###  Garrard, as usual, was solid Monday, including two touchdown throws to Davone Bess in red zone drills. Matt Moore had some good moments, and the play of the two veterans was comparable. Still, Garrard has had the overall edge through four days. Garrard took the majority of first team snaps on Monday, as he did on Saturday. Moore has gotten the majority of first-team work on Friday and Sunday.

### The Dolphins have found some measure of stability on the right side of the offensive line, a big question mark coming into camp. Rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin and veteran right guard Artis Hicks worked with the first team for a fourth consecutive day.

The Dolphins clearly want Martin to play immediately. Hicks has maintained a comfortable lead over disappointing John Jerry but eventually will face competition from Eric Steinbach, who worked as a backup right guard Monday but has never played on the right side in an NFL game.

Martin, who played left tackle at Stanford, “has made a good transition to right tackle,” coach Joe Philbin said. “He’s very intelligent. He’s a work in progress. That’s probably not going to change for a while.

“When you have a rookie, when you’re [watching] the tape in the coach’s meetings, a lot of times their name pops up, and sometimes that’s not a good thing. It’s, ‘Smith did this, Jones did that, or my God, he doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ His name doesn’t come up a lot. Did he get beat a couple times by Cam Wake? Sure he has. But that’s practice. That’s what we’re correcting, and minimizing those.”

Martin said Wake “whipped my butt a bit” Sunday, “but that’s good. I got a little faster today. I haven’t had a problem with the mental part of the game. I’m showing them they made the right decision to let me start out as the starting right tackle.” Martin has had some false starts but hasn't seemed overwhelmed, which is encouraging.

### As for Hicks, “I like Artis a lot,” Philbin said. “I like what he’s done since the day he’s got here. A real pro.” Hicks, has started 71 NFL games in 10 seasons, including three last year for Cleveland.

### The Dolphins experimented with Ray Feinga at backup left tackle on Monday, a day after using Nate Garner there, but that went about as well as the Marlins’ season has.

### With Brian Hartline still sidelined by a calf injury, Legedu Naanee continues to work with the first team, opposite Chad Johnson and Davone Bess in three-receiver sets. On Monday, he caught a 20-yard touchdown from Garrard.

“We thought Naanee had a productive spring and earned an opportunity to get a bunch of reps,” Philbin said. “We’re a little bit of a right-handed team so he hasn’t had a ton of activity. He would probably like to see the ball a little more often.”

### Jeff Fuller looked very good at times Monday – his second impressive day through four days of camp. He should make the practice squad, but it’s tough to see him sticking on the 53-man.

### Sixth-rounder B.J. Cunningham caught several balls from Ryan Tannehill and Pat Devlin, but also had a ball stripped by Vincent Agnew. In May and June workouts, Cunningham had too many drops for a player whose strength is considered his hands, not speed. His chances of making the final roster? Not good.

### Jamaal Westerman has excelled in the first two days in pads, producing at least four sacks. Jets coach Rex Ryan said New York liked him  – he had 3.5 sacks last season  – but clearly not enough to tender him at $1.6 million this past offseason.

“He’s been impressive,” Philbin said. “He seems to be a good, instinctive player. Good special teams player. You might be able to move him around a little bit.”

Backup tackle Tony McDaniel also was disruptive Monday, sacking Matt Moore and batting away a pass from Tannehill.

### Defensive backs couldn’t handle several potential interceptions Sunday. On Sunday, Vontae Davis dropped one from Matt Moore and had another ball bounce off his helmet; Sean Smith had a chance to leap to grab a pass from Moore but couldn’t haul it in; and Tyrone Culver dropped a pass from David Garrard. On Monday, Tyrell Johnson couldn’t haul in a poorly thrown pass from Pat Devlin.

“We’ve got to get more interceptions,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle lamented Monday. “We left a couple out there today. We’re constantly trying to work on the strip aspect of things.”

### Coyle strongly disputed the observation of another local reporter who told him that only one starting job on his side of the ball is open (the safety spot opposite Chris Clemons).

“We have competition at safety, corner, at the linebacker position,” Coyle said. “You may have 13, 14, 15 guys [considered] starters” depending on the formation.

Realistically, though, it would be surprising if there are any changes to the starting front seven or at cornerback (Vontae Davis, Sean Smith), though Richard Marshall took some of Davis’ snaps each of the past two days.

### Even though Chris Clemons returned from a knee injury after missing two days, Jimmy Wilson remained with the first team a third day in a row. He hasn’t done anything terribly wrong, but didn’t make any memorable plays, either. Tyrone Culver also got some snaps.

### With Clyde Gates sidelined by a hamstring injury, Lamar Miller, Steve Slaton, Rishard Matthews, Quinten Lawrence, and Marcus Thigpen got work as kickoff returners. Miller showed the best burst and seems the most serious competition to Gates for that role.   

### The Dolphins and Marlins are both the subjects of reality shows this summer, and NFL Films’ cameras have been more noticeable with the Dolphins than Showtime’s have been with the Marlins.

When Tannehill arrived at team headquarters late Saturday night to sign his contract, he had forgotten about the ever-present cameras of HBO and NFL Films, which are taping hundreds of hours in preparation for the Aug. 7 season debut of Hard Knocks.

“I get to the building and I guess I kind of dipped them because they were out at a different entrance and I came in the front,” he said. “But I get in the locker-room and turn around and there was like eight guys with cameras, and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ It’s definitely different, but I’m going to make the best of it.”

### Besides Tannehill, two other players who played for offensive coordinator Mike Sherman at Texas A&M also are in camp: receiver Fuller and fullback Jovorskie Lane, who scored 49 touchdowns in 49 games before graduating in 2009.

“Jorvorskie was a tailback in college, gained a bunch of weight, got his weight down,” Sherman said. “He had some pretty good blocks [Sunday]. He’s hungry, has got three kids. He needs a job. We’re going to see a lot of good things out of him, I hope.”

### Plays of the day Monday? Two especially violent hits on defense, both resulting in losses: Paul Soliai blew up Daniel Thomas on one play, and Ryan Baker knocked Jerome Messam into Palm Beach County on the other. Also notable: Jared Odrick’s sack of Moore, resulting in a fumble, and Garrard’s 20-yd TD pass to Naanee.

###  Dolphins players have taken a liking to Coyle, who sometimes runs sprints with them after practice.

“He keeps it light,” Philbin said. “You can’t sit in a room as a coordinator any more and put up a power point picture of a play and act like you know every answer and sit up there and talk for 50 minutes. Those guys will be asleep in two seconds. He engages the room, does an outstanding job of that.” 

### The final word from Philbin, on his offensive line: “Do we have a lot of cohesiveness yet? I would say no. Not yet.”

         

 

       

         

Comments

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Penguin

I know that this is irrelevant to the game, but some of these guys have very hard to pronounce names. Could they Ocho Cinco their names for us, or could we just call all of them Bob?

olineman

Get Steinbach in there!

Crocodile

Biden must also think you’re suffering from Alzheimer’s. Republicans are responsible for outsourcing? Doesn’t anybody remember Bill Clinton shoving NAFTA down the throats of the American people? I guess Democrats can’t see Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership sitting out there in plain sight.
More than ever, the false left-right paradigm, the same old Democrat-vs-Republican crapola is being used by the political class to pull the wool over the eyes of the masses as the Grand Game of Musical Chairs we call a national presidential election approaches. When the music stops, the same old gaggle of insiders and professional teleprompter readers will grab a chair. The rest of us will be out here in the bleacher stands watching, that is if we can stand to watch.
Like the late George Carlin said: It’s a club – and you ain’t in it.

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