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Midnight update: Satele machinations; more QB changes; 20 Dolphins notes from scrimmage

Chatter on a couple of Dolphins developments tonight:

### The Dolphins actually tried to sign Samson Satele the day before camp started, according to a league source, but Satele wasn't interested in what the Dolphins were offering. He was seeking a deal similar to what Daryn Colledge got ($2 million), as opposed to the minimum $855,000.

The Dolphins raised their offer to meet his wishes, and Satele agreed to terms today on a one-year contract.

Satele, drafted 60th overall by Miami in 2007, started his first two NFL seasons for the Dolphins before being traded to Oakland in March 2009 for a sixth-rounder and an exchange of fourth-round picks.
The Dolphins parted ways with Satele after signing free agent center Jake Grove, a regrettable move in retrospect.


Satele, 29, then started three seasons for the Raiders, before moving on to Indianapolis, where he started 11 games in 2012 and 13 in 2013. Pro Football Focus rated Satele 31st among 35 qualifying centers last season ---- 18th as a pass blocker but last as a run blocker. He allowed one sack.

If Satele starts at center and Shelley Smith at right guard, then the four favorites for the backup jobs would be Nate Garner, Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and Jason Fox, though Fox isn't automatic if the Dolphins are comfortable with Garner and Thomas as their backup tackles. Sam Brenner would be cheaper than Fox. 

### The Dolphins tonight summoned Brock Jensen back to team headquarters to re-sign him, four days after cutting him.

The reason: Both Matt Moore (sore shoulder) and Pat Devlin (lower body) are injured.

Seth Lobato, who replaced Jensen on the roster, also is sticking around.

That will give Miami three quarterbacks for Friday's preseason opener against Atlanta (Ryan Tannehill, Jensen and Lobato) in the event that Moore and Devlin are unable to play. It's unclear when Moore and Devlin will return, though Moore's shoulder isn't causing great concern internally.

TWENTY NOTES FROM SATURDAY SCRIMMAGE

## Even without throwing any deep balls, Saturday might have been Ryan Tannehill’s most impressive day of training camp for this reason:

During a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium, Tannehill ran the offense intelligently, didn’t throw a pick, made no glaring mistakes and did it without four players expected to be among Miami’s best players on offense (Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Mike Pouncey and Knowshon Moreno).

Operating mostly out of the shotgun on passing plays, he threw short and intermediate routes, completing 15 of 27 passes for 139 yards and two TD passes.

No, it wasn't scintillating. But he did what he was asked to do.

The caveat: A bit more than half the time, he was operating against the second-team defense.

But of his two touchdown passes, one came against the first-team defense (a well-thrown seven-yarder to Dion Sims). And that drive should have ended successfully two plays earlier, when Rishard Matthews dropped a perfect throw from Tannehill in the back of the end zone.

Earlier, Tannehill and Lamar Miller perfectly executed a 9-yard wheel route for a touchdown. And Tannehill was on target to Sims for a two-point conversion.

“Thought he had better ball location,” Joe Philbin said of Tannehill.

### Tannehill raised his completion percentage from 58.3 as a rookie to 60.4 last season, and Philbin said Saturday that “we would like to see that get up into the mid 60s, ideally. We still want more.”

### Tannehill, after Saturday’s scrimmage: “I feel myself becoming more in tune with the plays coming in, just having an idea exactly of what to do with the ball every play and that’s exciting for me. Our offense [is] all timing. You can’t be back there holding the ball for three, four seconds and expect to not give up a lot of sacks.”

### As for the No. 3 and No. 4 quarterbacks, the news wasn’t nearly as encouraging.

With Matt Moore sidelined by a shoulder injury, third-string quarterback Pat Devlin and undrafted Northern Colorado rookie Seth Lobato received additional work. Neither especially distinguished himself.

Jimmy Wilson, entrenched as a regular in the team’s nickel package, intercepted a high throw from Devlin, off a tip from Jarvis Landry, and returned it 44 yards.

Cornerback Cortland Finnegan had the only other interception of the scrimmage, also against Devlin, who badly overthrew Kevin Cone. Devlin wasn’t even close on two 5-to-10 yard throws to receivers near the sideline.

Devlin finished 7 of 14 for 71 yards, with a touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry.

Lobato, victimized by a few drops and shaky pass protection, threw for just eight yards on 6 for 17 accuracy.

### More good news, besides Tannehill: The first-team offensive line didn’t give up a sack (though the backups allowed six).

“Good overall, looked OK” Philbin said of his o-line. “We gained some yardage on first down, which sometimes hasn’t been a strength of ours.”

Nate Garner took the first-team snaps at center, suggesting the Shelley Smith center experiment is over, barring a change of heart. Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner split time at right guard with the starters.

### Smith, who was signed with the expectation he would be the starting right guard, was the backup left guard Saturday. But Philbin suggested not to read much into that.

“Just rolling guys around,” he said when asked about Smith. “We’ll probably continue that for a little bit.”

### Sam Brenner returned after missing three days with an ankle injury and took second-team snaps at center behind Nate Garner. The only botched center snaps Saturday involved David Arkin.

### The Dolphins are still trying to get a feel for what they have in this rookie class beyond starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James and highly-praised receiver Jarvis Landry.

During Saturday’s scrimmage, two of their lower-round picks --- linebacker Jordan Tripp and defensive end Terrence Fede --- made a case for roster spots.

Tripp, a fifth-round pick from Montana, stripped undrafted Oklahoma rookie running back Damien Williams and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown. Tripp has been playing mostly with the third team on defense, but one of the second-team linebackers (Jelani Jenkins) missed the scrimmage with a leg injury.

“Jordan Tripp is good at a lot of things,” linebackers coach Mark Duffner said a few days ago. “He’s a highly competitive guy. He’s got great desire to be a great player and the athletic skills to do it and pretty good awareness. I’m excited what I see so far.”

Fede, a seventh-round pick from Marist, had one sack (beating backup tackle Stephen Baker) and knocked down a Tannehill later in the scrimmage.

Fede has displayed impressive athleticism throughout training camp and his chances of making the 53-man roster are helped by Dion Jordan’s four-game suspension to start the season. Fede could begin the season as the Dolphins’ No. 4 defensive end until Jordan returns.

“He’s got a lot of natural talent,” Dolphins defensive lineman Jared Odrick said of Fede. “There are a lot of things he can do and the coaches know he can do without him even knowing he can do it.  He’s got to realize what he has and put it to use. He’s doing it pretty well in this camp. It’s like night and day from what he did in the spring to what he’s doing now. He’s a quick learner.”

### Jordan had two sacks, both against Jason Fox. He said he is “definitely” a better pass rusher than a year ago.

He hasn’t added any new pass rush moves but “am trying to use them a lot more effectively than last year. Just learning how to use my body and my length.” The added bulk – from 250 pounds in January to 265 now – has helped, especially in the run game.

### Tight end Charles Clay left the scrimmage with a leg injury that is not believed to be serious, and eight others sat out besides Mike Pouncey, who’s out long-term: running back Knowshon Moreno (knee), receiver Mike Wallace (hamstring), receiver Brian Hartline (had wrap on leg but nothing believed to be serious), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (leg), Moore, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (undisclosed), receiver Stephen Williams (undisclosed) and receiver Matt Hazel (concussion).

### Besides the two sacks from Jordan and one from Fede, Cameron Wake, Derrick Shelby and Dannell Ellerbe also had sacks. But none of the sacks were against the first-team offensive line.

### Marcus Thigpen, Jarvis Landry and former Tennessee Titans receiver Damian Williams all fielded punts. Landry made a couple of crafty moves for a 15-yard return. Thigpen also had a decent return.

### Philbin was pleased that Lamar Miller (6 carries, 36 yards) “broke some tackles. That’s one thing we would like him to do more.”

Miller was at his best on his first carry, when he faked out Jason Trusnik and Walt Aikens on a 14-yard gain.

### Damien Williams at times has been the most impressive of the running backs behind Miller and he led all backs Saturday with 39 yards on nine carries. But his day was tarnished by the fumble.

### Meanwhile, Daniel Thomas had five carries for 15 yards, Mike Gilislee 4 for 17 and Orleans Darkwa 5 for 17.

Thomas has essentially been the same guy for three years (3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 yards per carry). At some point, the Dolphins will move on, but they won’t yet if the three other options in camp aren’t better in preseason.

### Among receivers, Landry led the team in yardage (40, on two catches) but also had a drop.

Matthews had 30 yards on three receptions but dropped the touchdown pass.

Sims had the most receptions (four for 27 yards and a touchdown).

### Sims is holding down the No. 2 tight end job, and his development this summer has been impressive. Michael Egnew, third on the depth chart, had one reception for zero yards on Saturday.

### Other receiving numbers Saturday: Gillislee 2 for 12; Gator Hoskins 1 for 16; Thomas 2 for 11, Armon Binns 2 for 11; Damian Williams (the receiver) 1 for 9; Damien Williams (the running back) 1 for 5, Brandon Gibson 1 for 6, Charles Clay 1 for 5, Orleans Darkwa 1 for 10 and Ryan Spadola 3 for 3.

### The only starting defensive position that has changed during camp is defensive tackle. Jared Odrick and Randy Starks opened with the first team Saturday, but Earl Mitchell also played a lot.

### The Dolphins announced the four players who will be inducted into the team’s Walk of Fame on Sept. 21 against Kansas City: guard Ed Newman, running back Tony Nathan, cornerback Sam Madison and defensive end Jeff Cross.

“As a kid, I hated the Dolphins,” Cross said. “I don’t know if was Dan Marino’s Afro or Don Shula’s jaw.”

Comments

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Bob Griese 12

No serious injuries, get ready for Atlanta, and keep working hard.

Mike

like the satele move. can't be any worse than what they have.

Juan

Thought they would go 4-12. Now say 6-10.

joe r

good move getting satele, we are really sesperate when we get excited about this move but these are the times the dolphins are living in...fyi, hows that qb position looking


The caveat: A bit more than half the time, he was operating against the second-team defense.

thats all you need to know about the scrimmage and the optimism we saw yesterday on twitterverse. Listen, I dont care if this guy completes 100 deep balls the rest of the way...we wont know reality until 415 on September 7th and at the bye week we will know whether this guy is a keeper or not and if there is any question about whether he is then he isnt a keeper because this is season 3


The problem running him against second team defense is he isn't going to see anything in these waste of time pre season games and if he isn't seeing first team defense in practice then i guess they are going to wait until September 7th


Jordan

Joe R he ran red zone offense against First team D and the O looked pretty good so get a clue

holmie

Jeff Cross- We hate you too. Blabber mouth. Just stfu and do something during the season

joe r

thanks jordan...looking forward to a good season from tannehill

It's a new year...

I can't wait to see the team line up against the Falcons. In any case it's good for our offense to get some confidence and develop some rhythm. Let's not forget the offense was missing 4 starters...Hello?

Bob Griese is #1 All Time

Hey Holmie, you do realize Jeff Cross is a retired player and the only thing he needs to do this season is turn on the television set.

TK SWANN

F.. JEFF CROSS !! HE WAS OVER RATED ANYWAY AND PART OF A BUNCH OF NON PLAYING DEFENDER'S BACK THEN.. HAD THAT PLAYED ANY DEFENSE WITH MARINO THEY WOULD HAVE CONTROLLED THE AFC...F HIM.. NOW WE HATE YOU JEFF CROSS.

joe r

its a new year,

the problem is in these pre season games the offense is never on the field long enough to really get a good rhythm and like we saw last night you get a bunch of mismatches which prove nothing.

they really need to go with a 2 game pre-season and cut the nonsense

let see where the fins are after game 1 then at the bye week...even if they lose game 1 lets see if they can be competitive

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