« OTA open to the media today so it's open to you | Main | Clearing things up for the world to understand »

Update (4) from Thursday Dolphins OTA

The Dolphins are off the field and here is what we know so far:

[Update: Former Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel, who coached for years under Bill Parcells and then Bill Belichick, is at camp today. Just ran into him in the lobby. He watched practice today with Parcells on a golf cart. Do not know if the Dolphins are trying to hire him or add him to the staff in any form. Will ask coach Tony Sparano when he talks to the media in a few minutes.]

[Update 2: Sparano said Crennel is just visiting. He talked about how both he and Bill Parcells are friends with Crennel and his wife is friends with Crennel's wife.]

The Dolphins offense worked on the empty backfield set today, which means a lot of dump passes and a lot of passes to tight ends.

[Update 4: Ronnie Brown looked great in practice today and is looking in great shape overall. I'm writing a column about him for tomorrow's Miami Herald, which you can read now. He says some interesting things such as he believes he belongs in the same conversation with Adrian Peterson as an elite back .]

Read the column and let me know if you agree with Brown.

[Update 3: I asked Sparano what kind of shape Brown is in and he answered, "outstanding."]

Chad Pennington was his typical self, completing most of his passes, particularly the short ones. He did throw an interception when Eric Green broke nicely on a Ted Ginn Jr. comeback route and picked the ball off. That throw requires more velocity.

Chad Henne clearly throws with more velocity but a couple of his passes sailed, particularly the routes up the sidelines. 

Joey Haynos had a good practice today while rookie John Nalbone had one drop. Rookie receiver Patrick Turner also had a solid day, catching a handful of passes including a couple in front of fellow rookie Sean Smith in the two-minute drill.

One receiver that did flash a couple of times was Anthony Armstrong who caught a couple of medium range throws down the sideline. [Update 2: "We've seen some pleasant things from Anthony Armstrong the last several practices," Sparano said.]  The guy's speed shows up in these camps. The challenge is to have that speed translate when the pads go on.

[Update 3: Rookie Brian Hartline took part in his first OTA practice. "He's behind from an intall standpoint," Sparano said. Hartline was unable to participate in this kind of work until Ohio State held it's graduation, an NFL rule.]

Brandon Frye continues to work with the first team at right guard and I talked to him after practice. I will tell you what he said in the next update or so. [Update 2: Sparano said the team is platooning players into the right guard spot throughout the OTA days. Shawn Murphy and Ikechuku Ndukwe have also shared the first-team work during practices not open to the media.]

On defense, the Dolphins were working in their nickel package and Jason Taylor jumped offside once and also had a sack. The defense did get good pressure on the quarterbacks today overall. JT continues to work with the second team on the base defense but is a starter in passing situations.

Cameron Wake is running third team in passing situations but had a good moment when he made LT Jake Long look bad on one play. Long had less-than-stellar technique on that play but was otherwise solid as usual.

Another defensive highlight happened when rookie running back Anthony Kimble caught a pass in the flat but fumbled when LB William Kershaw slapped the ball out of his hands. Kershaw picked the fumble up and headed for what would have been a touchdown were this practice a real game.

One defender you should continue to keep in mind is safety Tyrone Culver. He was a midseason roster addition in 2008 and by the end of the season was working in the nickel and dime packages. He continues this work and I can tell you the Dolphins like his combination of coverage ability and versatility in that he can play safety and still can cover slot guys.

[Update 3: Second-year defensive end Phillip Merling is working with the first-team but he shouldn't assume the job is his. Sparano mentioned there will be a competition at the spot that will include Randy Starks and Tony McDaniel.]

Starks, arrested over the Memorial Day weekend for assault (with his truck) on a police officer, was at practice. He didn't talk to reporters.

[Update 2: Sparano said the team is still gathering information on the Starks matter. "I'm disappointed," the coach said, "but there are still facts that have to be gathered." The Dolphins took the "proper steps," on the reporting of the Starks matter to the league. I am told Starks was not considered to have broken the league personal conduct code for a previous (2002) arrest for domestic violence, so this is his first offense answerable to the code and policy. Sparano said the matter is in the league's hands and the club will "let the process take care of itself" for now.]

Andy Alleman was not out at practice most of the day so Murphy was running with the second team at left guard. Ndukwe was second-team right guard. Joe Berger is working as the second-string center. Undrafted free agent SirVincent Rogers is playing left tackle and is also running with the second team.

TE David Martin and guard G Donald Thomas are still out. WR Greg Camarillo, recovering from knee surgery, seemed to be doing more today he was last week. He was actually taking part in some team drills.

[Update 3: Sparano confirmed what I previously wrote, saying trainers added an extra period of work for Camarillo in today's workout for the first time since his surgery.]