It's a good thing the Dolphins had scheduled today's practice to be in the bubble because it's been raining all day. With the great crowds the Fins have been drawing for practice, it'd be a shame if they got turned away with nothing, due to crappy weather.
Here are my observations from today's practice:
Vontae Davis' arms/shoulders are HUGE. Strikes me as the kind of guy who won't be the victim of many broken tackles.
During interception drills, Jason Allen dropped two balls (to his defense, they had to be caught 1-handed), and after the 2nd drop he had to return to the end of the line and go again. That time, he caught the ball.
I love how Sean Smith goes after balls. Even during simple catch drills, he'll elevate towards the ball with his legs and reach out with his arms, instead of letting the ball fall to him.
It's awesome watching the Chad's throw side by side. More times then not, the throws are right on the money. It's just a pleasure to see how much our QB situation has improved over the past year+, especially from where it used to be (Lemon/Beck 08)
Also...Chad Henne has a loud, booming ‘Marino-like' voice that echo's throughout the bubble. Not sure if that matters for anything...just throwing it out there.
Again, Jason Taylor is the first guy in his group of DB's and LB's to get to their drill stations. For the 2nd straight day (for me, anyway) I noticed Jason and Joey Porter walking and sitting together on sidelines.
The team did a lot of work on game situations, with Pat White getting the majority of the snaps at QB. They started out with some situational 3rd down plays. Here are some highlights from those drills.
3rd and 2- Pennington hits Cobbs for 6 yards on an underneath crossing route.
3rd and 4- Pennington hits Ronnie in the flat, would've been 1st down.
3rd and 7- Pennington hits Brandon London for a 1st down. Great route by London.
3rd and 9- Best pass of the drill for Pennington. Hit Camarillo for a 20-yard completion on a great crossing route.
3rd and 3- Henne to Joel Kowalewski underneath for a 1st down.
3rd and 5- Ricky runs right up the gut through a huge hole against nickel D, definitely would've been a 1st down.
3rd and 4- Henne hits Anthony Kimble underneath for a 1st down.
3rd and 6- Ronnie stopped for no gain trying to run up the middle.
That's the only snap the 3rd team got doing that drill, as Coach Sparano quickly shut it down after White's poor pass.
Later during 10x10's the offense turned some heads. Chad Pennington connected on a couple of touchdowns; a 23-yarder to Davone Bess, who made yet another nice catch while tumbling into the end zone, and a 10-yarder to Joey Haynos.
Then out came Pat White, who looked for James Robinson in the back of the end zone, but instead was picked off by Courtney Bryan. Then Coach Sparano brought out the 1st team D and used White to run some scout team plays. He didn't look that bad, and despite constant pressure was able to complete several passes, including a short TD to Ernest Wilford. Unfortunately he didn't finish on a positive note. After almost throwing a pick to Chris Clemons, he was picked by in the end zone again by Courtney Bryan on a play that very well may have been a pick 6.
That would wrap up a segment in which White took 26 snaps in 2 periods. Overall, Wild-Pat looks better. Still holds the ball too long at times, but this coaching staff will break him of that habit. His throws are growing to be more accurate as well.
Unfortunately I had to leave at this point. The practice had originally been scheduled for 3pm but was pushed back to 3:30, so I had to leave before the 2-minute drills. Tomorrow they have a walk-through scheduled but that's just for the team. It's going to be fun on Monday watch these guys work in a game and see who can set themselves apart.