If you showed up to the Miami Dolphins first Day of Training Camp today in Davie, FL. You may have noticed the crowd was lesser than it’s usual self. Perhaps the fans are still jaded and unenthusiastic due to last year’s disappointing 2017 season when so many things seemed to go wrong.
But today was a day for hope. Hope that 2018 can make us all forget about the dysfunction of the previous year.
We all know what today was all about: Ryan Tannehill.
The returning signal-caller made it to training camp and through it’s first practice, but looked a little different today when caught wearing a knee brace.
Tannehill went through minicamp and OTA’s without a brace but it’s understandable the Dolphins don’t want to take any chances missing their quarterback for the 2nd straight season.
“I didn’t even notice it,” said Tannehill. “They have made 4 of 5 different braces for me to try out. I have backups to backups. The brace is there to prevent injury from a hit.”
The quarterback looked sharp, focused, and poised. Gase expects Tannehill to pick up where he left off and his believes his experience over the years as a starter, experience in the system, and chemistry with his skill-players will help him get back to form quickly.
Other than almost throwing an interception to cornerback Cordrea Tankersley on a comeback route to wide receiver Kenny Stills, Tannehill looked like he was back on track.
Disappointing: Brock Osweiler looked like Bad Osweiler. He missed some deep shots to open receivers, and threw multiple interceptions today. One interception was to returning cornerback Tony Lippett who suffered a season-ending achilles injury.
It looks like Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake are sharing the load as expected.
Gore was running hard and angry today when he took a handoff up the middle did a couple jukes and refused to be stopped finishing his run all the way to the endzone during a scrimmage session. Gase says Frank Gore is “ageless” and loves the way he cuts and hits the hole.
Although Drake got his handoffs too (He bounced a run to the left after the offensive line clogged up and gained about 20-yards), he seemed to be more involved in the receiving game than Gore.
Rookie 4th-round pick Kalen Ballage showed off his multi-purpose skills as well. Ballage played with the 2nd-team today, but caught his share of passes out of the backfield.
If you are expecting the Dolphins to be playing their 2018 rookie draftees with the 1st-team, think again.
Second-rounder Mike Gesicki and 4th-round selection Durham Smythe are on the 2nd-team, while tight ends A.J. Derby and MarQueis Gray are currently the starters… for now. Gase usually makes rookies earn their starting spots, so this could change as camp continues.
Playing with the 1st-team offense was DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills on the outside with Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson interchangeably featured in the slot.
As far as Amendola goes, Gase doesn’t believe the 32-year old veteran is any different of a player than his days on the New England Patriots. Gase isn’t concerned about Amendola’s age nor Frank Gore’s.
True to his word, Adam Gase has sprinkled in Jakeem Grant from time to time with the starters. Jakeem seems to be growing mentally as a receiver, but he needs to keep his hands as he had a couple drops today.
From Left to Right:
LT Laremy Tunsil, LG Josh Sitton, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Jesse Davis, RT JaWuan James
Nothing much to say except they pushed the Dolphins defensive line around on Day 1, which led to a few big runs up the middle. I guess that says more about the interior push from Sitton, Kilgore, and Davis. Kilgore, as expected, was presumed to make up for the former center Mike Pouncey’s lack of run-blocking last year.
As far as the tackles go, James and Tunsil had some adjusting to do. They won and lost their battles with the defensive ends. The Dolphins have a lot of speed on the edge with Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn, Charles Harris, and Andre Branch. But outside-protection is an area to keep an eye on as Tunsil has not lived up to his “elite” potential and James is currently playing on a 5th-year option and will be looking for an extension this season.
If you are curious to know where the Dolphins 1st-round selection is playing, today he was featured as the 2nd-team’s free safety. Like I said before, Gase likes rookies to earn their jobs.
Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald were the starting safety tandem today.