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Wednesday practice wrapup and more (free)

On the day I wrote a column making the point that all the uncertainty the Miami Dolphins offensive line is no laughing matter, more focus was put on that unit.

Dallas Thomas, vying for the starting left guard job, did not practice today due to a shoulder injury. Jamil Douglas, also competing for the starting job, took the vast majority of first-team snaps at left guard but not all of them, according to coach Joe Philbin.

Meanwhile, the level at which Ndamukong Suh plays defensive tackle (over the right guard) shows him to be a more obvious mismatch versus first-team right guard Billy Turner with each passing day. Suh today blew up a couple of running plays to the point he was in the backfield as Ryan Tannehill was handing the ball off.

Suh also dominated on pass plays.

And neither side is really going full bore quite yet.

"We haven't done anything totally live yet," defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. "But we're on point with what we're trying to do."

On the other side of the football the explanations for why so many plays get blown up are interesting.

Said Joe Philbin of the competition: "No one's earned anything yet."

Me: "We know."

"I feel safe," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "Everyone is competing. I'm not sure who is going to be in that [guard] spot but guys are competing and guys are facing one of the best, if not the best D-tackles in the league. It's not always going to be pretty no matter who is up there. I don't expect those guys to lock Suh down every single play."

That is fair. Will he expect them to lock down Kyle Williams? Muhammad Wilkerson? Jabaal Sheard? Sheldon Richardson, assuming he ever gets back on the field?

The point is the three other AFC East teams also have good talent on their defensive front. Oh, and Buffalo coach Rex Ryan and New York coach Todd Bowles are known for bringing a blitz or 15 every game. Also, New England's Bill Belichick is a solid defensive coach.

So it does not promise to get way easier for the Miami line.


Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle spoke to the media today for the first time since training camp opened.

On what a player has to do to win the CB competition between Brice McCain and Jamar Taylor: "Be one of the top two corners. That's what he needs to do. Jamar is playing, I think, his best football since he's been here in camp. He's in a hotly contested battle with Brice McCain. Will Davis, we're pleased with the way he's coming."

Well, Davis had a couple of significant bad moments in practice today. Michael Preston beat him on a deep TD throw from Matt Moore. And Matt Hazel also beat him for a TD.

LB Koa Misi left practice midway through, escorted by trainers. The unknown reason for him walking off is not believed serious.

When Misi left, Chris McCain played strongside linebacker, Kelvin Sheppard played middle linebacker and Jelani Jenkins took the weakside linebacker spot with the first-team defense.

With Misi's durability a question coming off last season, the depth at linebacker is a question mark. But not to Coyle.

"I think it's still early to tell if there are any holes," he said. "I've been really impressed in our linebacking corps. I think we have a lot of depth in that group to be honest with you. Not a lot of flashy names but we have guys who have proven they're going to quality players."


Some highlights from practice:

***DL Terrence Fede is having a great camp against the backup offensive line. He had one sack and was close another couple of times.

***Rookie Tony Lippett had his first interception of training camp.

***The competition between receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Brice McCain continues to be the most heated in camp where both players are playing well and neither is dominating -- although some days Landry gets the better of the deal considering there is no pressure on the QB in 7 on 7 drills and one on one drills.

Landry caught a 60-yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill today but he did not beat McCain. He beat Louis Delmas deep.

***Special teams coach Darren Rizzi said Caleb Sturgis, hurt at times last season, is "getting back to the guy I saw two years ago."

"He missed all training camp last year," Rizzi said. "I'm not sure he ever got back to his full self -- 100 percent. He obviously had a setback this year in OTAs. But I'm finally feeling he's getting back ..."

***The Dolphins are trying to develop a pool of potential returners -- Bobby McCain, Kenny Stills, Brent Grimes, others -- but Rizzi said Landry remains the frontrunner for both jobs.

"Right now you have to say he's the best at both," Rizzi said.