Notes, quotes, musings from Saturday’s Dolphins practice:
### Good to see Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace finally connect on a deep ball for a touchdown today, albeit in 1 on 1 drills matching up Wallace and Brent Grimes. That individual battle between two of the Dolphins' best players has been among the highlights of camp, and Wallace got the better of it on this play, catching a bomb down the sideline for a 65 yard scoring play.
The crowd, predictably, erupted.
“I’m excited how things are going with Mike,” Tannehill said.
But if Wallace’s deep ball was the highlight Saturday, Grimes’ incredibly athletic play on another Tannehill pass to Wallace wasn’t far off. Grimes lunged to poke the ball away at the last second. Wallace said he’s enjoying the battle with Grimes and has ultimate respect for him. Wallace said receivers talk in their meetings about what a good player Grimes is.
### We saw the best and worst of Daniel Thomas in a 20-minute stretch. The best: Several hard runs in which Thomas chugged for yards after initial contact. Joe Philbin praised him for being “decisive” and for keeping his pad level low.
On the flip side, Thomas had a fumble, which he said was forced by Reshad Jones. Thomas was shaking his head about that miscue, noting it was his first one of training camp. Thomas also credited Reggie Bush, now with Detroit, for having “laid the foundation for us.”
### Thomas isn’t conceding anything, but Lamar Miller has done nothing to lose his firm grasp on the starter’s job. He had two impressive runs of 20-plus yards on Saturday – including one where he turned the corner – and also caught a wheel route from Tannehill for a 15-yard gain.
### Also good to see Mike Gillislee with a couple of good runs. Philbin likes that he “hasn’t been tentative.” The offensive line blocking on run plays was the best in camp to date, Philbin noted.
### Was told that John Jerry – who was not on the field or sidelines the past two days – was spotted on crutches in the last couple of days. Jerry had his knee wrapped, but the covering was more like a bandage than a brace.
The timetable for his return remains uncertain, but the Dolphins continued to experiment Saturday – again using Dallas Thomas at left guard and Richie Incognito at right guard – and then doing something that raised eyebrows: Moving center Mike Pouncey to right guard and using Josh Samuda at center.
Pouncey said those were his first practice reps at guard since before the 2009 Sugar Bowl. He conceded it felt “weird” but will do whatever he’s asked.
Thomas, by the way, had a couple of good blocks on running plays.
### Kicker Caleb Sturgis remained sidelined by a groin injury but hopes to return in several days, depending on how quickly it heals. Dan Carpenter didn’t attempt a field goal during Saturday’s practice, either.
### Jared Odrick continues his exceptional work at defensive tackle. No need to move him back to end if Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan play up to the staff’s expectations. Jordan, by the way, participated in individual drills but not in 11 on 11 team drills as he continues to work his way back from shoulder surgery.
### Cornerback Dimitri Patterson was rewarded for his outstanding camp but getting some reps with the first team, opposite Brent Grimes. Philbin raved about Patterson afterward: “He’s playing fast. He has cat like quickness.”
Richard Marshall, who entered camp as the starter opposite Grimes, played over the slot receiver in nickel situations for portions of Saturday’s practice. Marshall has been OK in camp, nothing spectacular.
### Marvin McNutt made a couple of nice catches – including a long TD pass from Tannehill in 1-on-1 drills against Julian Posey. He has emerged as the biggest threat to Rishard Matthews for the No. 5 receiver job. Brian Tyms and Jeff Fuller haven’t seized the opportunity; both had drops Saturday.
### Tannehill threw a beautiful sideline pattern for Binns for 30 yards. He had another pass knocked away by Philip Wheeler, who couldn’t corral what would have been an exceptional interception.
### Michael Egnew and Kyle Miller continue to do damage catching passes in the middle of the field.
### Tannehill began 11 on 11 drills with a pass to Dustin Keller, something we’ve seen several times previously. I won’t be surprised to see some games open with that connection. Keller beat Dannell Ellerbe in coverage on at least one reception Saturday.
### Fullback Evan Rodriguez, trying to unseat Jorvorskie Lane, got more work Saturday and looked decent. It’s questionable whether a fullback even makes the team.
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