A six-pack of notes on a Thursday evening:
### You would like to see two of Jeff Ireland’s pet projects and higher-than-warranted draft picks, Daniel Thomas and Michael Egnew, give a convincing reason for Miami to keep them to start the season.
They could still survive nevertheless because nobody on the roster has necessarily outplayed them for the No. 3 running back and tight end jobs, respectively.
Thomas, who has been limited recently by a hamstring injury, “was having a good camp,” Joe Philbin said today. “Hopefully, we can get him some game action here soon. He’s a good fit [for the zone-blocking scheme].”
Thomas returned to practice earlier this week but sat out Thursday's session, curiously, raising questions about his status for Saturday's Dallas game.
But Mike Gillislee remains out with a hamstring and Damien Williams (17 carries, 22 yards) hasn't made a convincing enough case for the No. 3 running back job. Nor has Orleans Darkwa, obviously. So Thomas might survive by default.
As for Egnew, “he missed a little bit of time [with a concussion], but he’s come back,” Philbin said. “He got a limited amount of playing time the other night. He’s had a good week of practice. So we’ll take a look at him again in the game on Saturday and see how well he performs.”
Charles Clay and Dion Sims will be on the team, and I suspect rookie Arthur Lynch probably will be too unless he’s surprisingly placed on injured reserve. That leaves Egnew competing with Kyle Miller, Brett Brackett, Harold Hoskins and every tight end who will be released over the next two weeks.
### Philbin is encouraged by how well Brandon Gibson has returned from last October’s major knee injury.
“When he got hurt in New England, third down, he was one of the leaders in the league in terms of percentage of conversions,” Philbin said. “I think he’s a quarterback-friendly guy. He’s got very good hands and he’s smart. He can read coverages, understands the leverage, when I turn out and turn in, when I should stay on the move, when I should sit down. So I think the quarterbacks, most of them, get comfortable with him pretty quick.”
### Remember those five UM players who left early after the 2011 season? Give Ireland credit for drafting the only two who have had successful careers to this point: Lamar Miller and Olivier Vernon.
We were reminded of this today when the Patriots released Marcus Forston, who played in three games for them last year. Of the other two, Tommy Streeter (Tampa Bay) and Brandon Washington (St. Louis) are trying to win roster spots.
### Of the seniors on UM’s team last year, the most prominent who’s not in an NFL camp is Curtis Porter, who wasn’t signed after tryouts with the Oakland Raiders and Montreal of the CFL.
### The Hurricanes basketball team swept all four games in its trip to Spain, and several new players delivered what UM hopes will be a harbinger. Sheldon McClellan, the Texas transfer who sat out last season, averaged 20 points per game, and high-end freshman combo guard Ja'Quan Newton averaged 13.5.
And junior power forward Ivan Cruz Uceda, a newcomer, averaged 11 rebounds per game.
### Former UM basketball player Erik Swoope has played 22 snaps in Indianapolis’ first two preseason games (no receptions) and is trying to make a case to be kept on the Colts' practice squad. (The 53-man roster is unlikely.)
“We’re still in the process of molding Swoope, but he has all the things that you can’t teach, and that’s amazing athleticism, phenomenal strength and balance and hand-eye coordination, and it’ll be fun to watch him grow and progress,” Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said.
### Fox people have told us how impressive former Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt was in his audition and predict he’s going to be very good as one of the network’s new college football studio analysts this year.... Fox is keeping Brady Quinn's job open for him in case the Dolphins cut him, which is where it seems this is headed.
Please check back tonight for lots of Dolphins and some Marlins, UM and Heat in the Friday buzz column.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz