The Dolphins hit the practice field on Friday to kick off training camp and begin their preparations for the 2010 season. Needless to say, there's a lot to get to. So let's not waste any time.
B-Marsh stars in his debut on a Dolphins practice field
The Dolphins went out and gave up two second-round picks to acquire Brandon Marshall this offseason and then signed Marshall to the very rich contract extension he's been looking for. On Friday, Marshall showed fans and teammates alike first-hand why the Dolphins spent so much on him.
Brandon was the unanimous star of day one - making two big plays against cornerback Sean Smith. Andy Kent of MiamiDolphins.com describes the first touchdown best, writing that "Marshall hauled in a 55-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chad Henne during 11-on-11 drills, beating second-year cornerback Sean Smith with a stop-and-go move that faked Smith right out of his shoes."
The second big completion came when Marshall caught a nice fade pass from Henne over Smith. Sean thought he had good position on the second big completion but slipped with the ball in the air.
Smith said on Twitter before the day's practice that it was time to enter "beastmode." But after practice, the young corner seemed much more humble, saying of Marshall:
"Brandon Marshall’s good. He’s a very good athlete and a very good player. I can see why we brought him down here because he’s capable of making a play anytime. At the same time I think it’s a good thing for me. It’s definitely going to make me better going against him and his body frame, and the way he works out, I think it’s going to be a plus for this team and for this secondary."
Sean makes an excellent point. We know Marshall is going to help the offense. His arrival in Miami will help open up the running game, as Ronnie Brown said on Friday. Brandon will help Henne develop, as Omar Kelly pointed out on Twitter - saying Henne looked "good thanks to Brandon Marshall" and noting that Henne "clearly likes his new toy."
But Brandon is going to help Miami's two young corners just as much. Going up against a talent like Marshall every day is only going to make Sean Smith and Vontae Davis better. It was one day but Brandon is already educating his new teammates. Said Smith:
"He showed me something new that I’ve never seen before. He’s a vet, he’s been around and he showed me some new tricks out there, but I’m definitely looking forward to Round 2."
Other camp notes
- After spending most of the offseason working as a left guard, rookie John Jerry was working as the starting RG - with Richie Incognito as his backup. On the left side, Cory Procter was working as the starter with Donald Thomas. Meanwhile, Nate Garner would exclusively at right tackle when many (myself included) thought he'd be getting work at guard. But it's early and they could just be rotating the line for now.
- Lots of first-time starters on day one. Brian Hartline worked as the starter opposite B-Marsh. Rookie Jared Odrick worked as the starting right defensive end, with Marques Douglas working as his backup. Fellow rookie Koa Misi worked with the starters at OLB, with Cameron Wake working as the starter on the weak side.
- The players were given t-shirts that read, "I'm Hungry, Feed the Wolf" on them. Karlos Dansby told the media after practice that, "We’re starving for success, so you gotta feed the wolf. We got a lot of hungry young guys on this team."
Quote of the Day
"Nobody’s carrying my pads. I’ll carry my own." - Chad Henne, when asked about rookie hazing.
Saturday will be the Dolphins' first two-a-day of training camp. First practice is at 9 am and the second is 5 pm. Both are open to the public. But get there early - it's "Family Day."