Sunday’s training camp practice for the Miami Dolphins began on a beautiful sunny day.
Some players that were held out from practicing today were linebacker Mike Hull (knee), center Jake Brendel (calf), defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (shoulder), and wide receiver Kenny Stills (ankle).
With Kenny Stills sitting out, it opened up opportunities for receivers Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson. Although neither had much impact on the field today.
Sunday’s practice was very rusty for the offense. Other than the occasional pop of run or two (Frank Gore had a 35-yard touchdown run up the gut), there weren’t many exciting highlights from the offense through the air.
Cornerback Xavien Howard was doing his thing in blanketing DeVante Parker, defensive end Charles Harris had a sack on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, defensive end Cameron Malveaux burst through the line and deflected a screen pass by David Fales, Safety Trae Elston intercepted a Brock Osweiler pass deep, Cam Wake had a sack on Tannehill, and DT Vincent Taylor blew up center Mike Matthews for a loss in the backfield.
Center Daniel Kilgore told me one of the toughest things about going against this defense is their philosophy of rotating lineman. The rotation keeps the DT’s with fresh legs as opposed to the offensive line who cannot sub-out because they need to keep continuity and chemistry.
Kilgore also said he felt the offense came out flat today and did not have enough explosive plays. He felt the offense had some, but not as much as they were hoping for after getting together after the preseason game against the Buccaneers.
Yeah… tough day for the offense.
Perhaps defensive coordinator Matt Burke’s stunts were a cause for the offensive woes today.
Burke was running a lot of different groupings of personnel. One of the most interesting things was seeing slot-corner Bobby McCain playing on the boundary with the 1st-team. Cornerbacks Torry McTyer, Tony Lippett, and Tankersley who have been competing for the starting boundary spot opposite of Xavien Howard were not included in their typical level of involvement today. McCain stayed on the boundary for most of the practice.
But there were some highlights from kicker Jason Sanders who is currently competing for the position against Greg Joseph.
Sanders went 8 for 8 on his kicks today. He started with some 33-yarders and eventually graduated to nailing a 42-yarder as the Dolphins continued to distance the kicks. Later on in practice, the Dolphins went into some game-type situations which left Sanders staring down a 61-yard attempt.
Sanders followed through with the kick and it just barely made it’s way over the crossbar.
Okay… he made one. Anyone can do it once, right?
Well, the same attempt was staring him down again. And the ball found it’s way over the crossbar in the same fashion.
Fellow kicker Greg Joseph didn’t have a chance to match. The Dolphins apparently have changed to only using 1 kicker per day. This is different from the last 2 weeks of camp when both kickers were rotating.
But as of now, Sanders has had an edge over Joseph, and it seems he’s just distanced himself.