Nuggets from the Dolphins' final training camp practice:
### Mike Pouncey, making good progress in his recovery from June hip surgery, said Thursday he prefers not to begin the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list because that would eliminate any chance of playing before the seventh game of the season.
Pouncey said there’s “no question” that playing at some point in the first six games is realistic, though he declined to give a target date.
“We had a couple discussions about it,” he said of the PUP possibility. “I’m just letting them make the decision. I hope I’m not on PUP, but it’s not up to me. I want to play.”
Pouncey said his recovery has gone as well as can be expected. Privately, Dolphins officials also are encouraged by his progress.
“I’m going to keep doing my rehab and letting it get stronger each week and just waiting for the coaches to tell me when to play,” he said.
### The Dolphins have been pleased by the development of rookie Walt Aikens, who has consistently been getting second-team snaps at free safety, often alongside Michael Thomas, and ahead of Don Jones and Jordan Kovacs.
Aikens, 6-1, played cornerback at Liberty last season but was a safety when he started his career at Illinois. He said the Dolphins are still giving him some snaps at cornerback.
“I am loving the transition,” he said. “The fact I can cover as a corner and transition into safety makes it a little bit easier. I am covering tight ends that are not as fast as No. 1 receivers. It’s great. I can read the whole offense now and see it from a different perspective. [Defensive coordinator Kevin] Coyle stays on me. He’s correcting the mental errors I have.”
### Coach Joe Philbin said Knowshon Moreno, back from knee surgery, “is starting to look like kind of his old self” in the running game but stopped short of saying he would play Saturday in Tampa. “I don’t know about the passing game quite yet…. He’s looking better.”
### Though the Dolphins don’t seem too worried at this point, Philbin was non-committal when asked whether Charles Clay’s knee injury could put him at risk of missing the start of the season. “He’s day to day,” Philbin said. “The longer you’re out, the more of a period of getting acclimated back into football. I’d love to have him out here as soon as possible.”
### Rishard Matthews, who displeased coaches at times in the past, said he expects to make the team in a crowded receiver competition. “It’s about being mature and growing up. I believe I’ve done that. It’s about consistency. Sometimes, I make good plays. The next day, I would be [subpar]. I knew I had to show the coaches I can get better. I think I’m doing that.”
### Before his 48-yard punt return against Atlanta, Jarvis Landry said he hadn’t returned a punt since his sophomore year at LSU. And he said he had never returned a kickoff before last Friday.
“It’s fun because you know you’re going to get the ball,” said Landry, who’s competing with Marcus Thigpen, among others, for the job.
### Notable from the final practice that will be open to the public this year (and the last one open to the media beyond the first 30 minutes): Caleb Sturgis, back from a groin injury, hit a 44-yard field goal while Danny Hrapman missed from 47 and from 42 yards… In 11 on 11 drills, Brent Grimes broke up Ryan Tannehill’s slightly underthrown deep ball to Mike Wallace. But Tannehill delivered a beautiful strike to Wallace on a deep ball, against Grimes, in 1 on 1 drills….
Linebacker Jordan Tripp got a bit of work with the starters in place of Dannell Ellerbe… Brady Quinn’s accuracy remained erratic in his second Dolphins practice. Matt Moore threw the ball well… Damien Williams, the undrafted Oklahoma running back, continues to impress in the passing game. He made a long gain today with a nifty over-the-shoulder catch…. In assessing his tight ends, Philbin withheld praise for Michael Egnew, who has been largely invisible since returning from a concussion this week. The next two games are big for Egnew’s roster chances.
Three notable broadcasting personnel moves today:
### Hall of Famer Denis Potvin, surprisingly dropped as the Florida Panthers' TV analyst after 16 years, has been re-hired in the same role, alongside Steve Goldstein. Potvin, who spent the past four years with the Ottawa Senators, replaces Bill Lindsay, who was shifted to a studio and behind-the-bench role. Potvin never deserved to be fired four years ago.
### Courtney Fallon, the No. 2 sportscaster at NBC 6, said she’s leaving to take a job at CBS Sports Network, where she will be a college football sideline reporter this fall. Her last day is Aug. 31.
She said she couldn't do both jobs partly because "travel demands this fall are too high."
She will primarily report on Army games, with some other assignments as well.
NBC-6 will look for a new No. 2 sportscaster to back up Joe Rose, who also hosts a radio show on WQAM-560 and works Dolphins games on WINZ-940.
### Showtime made dramatic changes to the cast of Inside the NFL and announced the program will air at 9 p.m. Tuesdays, a day earlier than past years.
Bears receiver Brandon Marshall will become the first active NFL player to appear as a regular studio analyst on a network show, which will require him to fly from Chicago to New York for Tuesday tapings.
Phil Simms, Ed Reed and Boomer Esiason will be the other analysts besides Marshall. Cris Collinsworth left the program to cut down on his travel.
Greg Gumbel is replacing James Brown as host, with Brown relinquishing the job because he’s adding CBS/NFL Network Thursday studio duties to his Sunday studio gig.