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Ten Miami Dolphins OTA observations

Ten quickie observations from Monday's OTA session for the Miami Dolphins:

1. Kicker Caleb Sturgis was not present and will miss the rest of the spring with a leg injury, per coach Joe Philbin. This is not a crisis situation for the Dolphins. But it is a bad look for Sturgis, who has struggled with injuries on and off during his first two years with the team.

Rookie Andrew Franks took all the kicks today and didn't exactly shine. He made kicks from 36, 44 and 44 but missed from 44 and 49 yards.

Yeah, um, it is time for the personnel department to be on the lookout for a veteran kicker -- someone who can 1. stay healthy and, 2. make kicks consistently.

That is something no Dolphins kicker has been able to do for a couple of years.

2. It was an outstanding day for rookie cornerback (college receiver) Tony Lippett. He had one, two, three interceptions -- two against Matt Moore, one of Josh Freeman -- on a day the team was working in the red zone.

I asked coach Joe Philbin afterward if this was indicative of what Lippett has been doing since being drafted and the sense I got is that this was something of a coming out party for Lippett.

3. The Dolphins did indeed work red zone drills because, as I've told you in the past, they want to finish this year. Finish the season. Finish games. And, of course, finish drives.

To that end on offense, tight end Jordan Cameron is a weapon. He caught two TD passes in the red zone. Dion Sims likewise had two red zone TDs.

On defense, this is a bid deal. The D must improve in the red zone. Kelvin Sheppard had a pass defensed to stop a TD bid. About the linebackers: It is assumed by some that the Dolphins are set with Koa Misi in the middle and Chris McCain and Jelani Jenkins on the outside. I believe the competition is that combo versus Sheppard in the middle, Misi and Jenkins on the outside.

The question is can Sheppard show more instincts in the middle than Misi while Misi is more stout against the run than McCain on the outside. Or perhaps McCain is simply so athletic and such a playmaker (as he showed in the 2014 opener) that he has to be on the field.

4. DeVante Parker, a star in the previous OTA open to the media, was more quiet on Monday. He had a TD catch on a slant in 11 on 11s. He also made a one-handed catch for a TD versus air. That was about it for him this day.

5. It was not a stellar day for backup QBs. Matt Moore threw two interceptions and almost a third that safety Shamiel Gary dropped in the end zone. Josh Freeman continues to struggle with accuracy. The Dolphins need Ryan Tannehill to stay healthy, folks.

6. Speaking of Ryan Tannehill's health, there was no grand moment of embarrassment for the offensive line -- particularly the guards -- today. Dallas Thomas was fine. Billy Turner was fine. For Thomas, that was an improvement over last Monday's open OTA. Rookie Jamil Douglas did take some first-team snaps over Thomas. Veteran Sam Brenner did get a handful of first-team snaps over Turner. Coaches are just mixing and matching at this point.

Jason Fox was the starting left tackle as Branden Albert continues to rehab his knee. The starting line RT to LT: Jason Fox, Dallas Thomas, Mike Pouncey, Billy Turner, Ja'Wuan James.

7. Unlike last week, safety Louis Delmas (knee) and cornerback Will Davis (knee) did not work at all. Delmas was on the field observing. Davis was not on the field.

Michael Thomas, he of the Tom Brady last-second interception in the 2014 opener, worked with the first-team defense in place of Delmas at safety.

8. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle on what he felt when his 2014 defense gave up last-minute leads to Detroit, Denver and Green Bay last year: "It gives me major headaches," he deadpanned. I'm writing about Coyle for tomorrow.

"I'm as optimistic as I've ever been going into this season," Coyle said today.

More from him in my column. 

9. Jarvis Landry is a known quantity as the slot. The Dolphins are giving him some reps on the outside to see what happens. Let me suggest he is a very good slot receiver. And that is probably where he's best suited.

10. Not so bold prediction by me: Reshad Jones, around the football all the time in practice, is going to have an outstanding year in 2015. He was outstanding when he came back from suspension last year. He is looking like he's ready to pick up where he left off. Pro Bowl year for him.