The Miami Dolphins just finished their first practice following their first preseason game and by the looks of things today, nothing's changed.
The Dolphins have not significantly altered anything that I can see relative to their depth chart. Yes, this is the first practice of the week. Yes, things can change five minutes after I hit that publish button on this post.
But to this second, all is the same.
That means my suggestion that the offensive line approach, in particular, needs to change is falling on deaf ears. The Dolphins went through another practice today mixing and matching and evaluating players.
Sometimes Dallas Thomas was first-team left guard.
Sometimes Laremy Tunsil was first-team left guard.
Sometimes Billy Turner was first-team right guard. Sometimes he played right tackle.
And so the game that Thomas had -- where he had one terrible play out of perhaps seven total plays -- had no ill effects on his status. And coach Adam Gase defended that approach.
"I know everybody is itching to fire everybody and bench everybody," Gase said. "And I understand some people are concerned about every single little thing. When certain people have history, guys who have been here in the past, I know you form opinions. But I said this right from the start: Everybody has a fresh start with this crew.
"Our job is to evaluate what we see. Anything that happened in the past, it doesn't matter to me. It doesn't matter. So everybody is going to get a true evaluation. We'll make our final decision the first game of the season. That's what we're going to do. This is a process that we go to go through."
Gase said his evaluation of rookie Laremy Tunsil is that the rookie is not close to arriving yet.
"He's got a lot to learn," Gase said. "... That inside is a different angle. He's learning. The good thing about him is he works hard."
And as to Thomas, the coach hasn't talked to the player or worried that the player is worried because, well, there's nothing to worry about.
"I feel like it hasn't been necessary for me to sit down and try to explain anything," Gase said. "Because he hasn't put anything toward me like he's concerned. He's been working hard. I feel like he's focused on himself and not worrying about anybody else. That's what I've appreciated about him. He's not worried about what anybody else says. He's worried about what his position coach says, what his coordinator says and what his head coach says. That's all that matters to him. He's going out there and trying to do everything he can and he's working to get better."
Thomas truly is in head-down mode.
After practice today he started a little bit of a firestorm by telling reporters that some people on social media basically stink.
"It's pointless," Thomas said. "Social media gives people, what's a good way to say it, it gives them balls. It gives them balls that they wouldn't say it to your face."
Thomas is on social media. But he says he stays off.
"I outgrew it," he said. "Social media is overrated."
That first quote from Thomas is going to make the rounds. But, my opinion, it is the next opinion that boggles the mind:
Despite playing poorly at times last year (not all the time but a lot of the times) Thomas has kept his confidence because he sees a different evaluation on himself.
"Never wavered," Thomas said of his confidence. "Shoot, I started all the games last year and I did real well. I just want to keep building from that and carry it over to this year."
As to the game Friday night against the Giants, Thomas thinks it was good.
"I feel like I did good," Thomas said. "I had that one bad play but besides that I was fine."
Thomas has been replaced (my opinion) and he doesn't even know it yet. The Dolphins eventually will replace him with first-round pick Laremy Tunsil. There is practically no chance a healthy Tunsil will not pass him.
But give Thomas credit for fighting the good fight even if it is uphill. He's not yielding anything to Tunsil, the Dolphins first-round draft pick and No. 13 overall, in this competition for the starting left guard job.
"No, because he has to come out here and work. I have to come out here and work," Thomas said. "Its the way this game goes. You just can't say, 13, alright, I can't count myself out.