It was a skin-burning, mid-August day in Davie. I looked onto the field as the sweat from my eye lids slowly dripped onto my clipboard. The 100 or so fans in the stands were begging for that one small cloud to creep over the sun to give them a glimpse of shade, but it never came. Players looked to draw the attention away from the sun with their performance on the field, and sought out to make the last open practice, the best one yet. Let's take a look at how the Miami dolphins performed on August 17th, 2011.
(Henne and Moore both took reps with the 1st team D and 2nd Team D. O’Connell had the 2nd and 3rd Team D. Devlin played against the 3rd)
1 on 1:
As usual, practice started out with the "1 on 1" drill at the 30-yard line. Both Chad Henne and Matt Moore were constantly switching on the drill, as they both were looking for many reps.
Chad Henne: Henne immediately got the fans going with a 40-yard bomb for a touchdown to Brandon Marshall, who flew by Vontae Davis. Unfortunately, Henne would later go 1/6 on the drill with two incompletions being dropped (one by Brandon Marshall) and a 15-yard pass to Marlon Moore.
Kevin O’Connell: 0/1 with an incomplete pass to Lou Polite.
Brandon Marshall: Marshall caught a beautiful 40-yard TD pass from Henne, but later on dropped an easy pass. (One of many)
Marlon Moore: Caught a nice 15-yard pass from Henne on a cut-in.
Julius Pruitt: Pruitt had a nice drill with two catches for 26 yards total.
Phillip Livas: Had one catch for 15 yards.
11 on 11:
Today’s "11 on11" drill was quite different from the others. The drill was separated into 4 separate drills: Running (mostly), passing (mostly), passing (all), and passing & running (mostly running, with Kevin O’Connell and Pet Devlin under center). Yeah, it’s a little confusing, but I’ll break it down.
11 on 11 (mostly running)
Chad Henne: Henne went 1/1 with a 20-yard pass down the middle of the field to Anthony Fasano.
Matt Moore: Moore went 2/3 with 23 yards (one pass for 13 the other for 10)
Reggie Bush: Reggie had 3 carries, each picking up a solid 6/8-yard gain. Bush was able to pound it inside or use his speed on a pitch throughout the whole day.
Daniel Thomas: Like Bush, Thomas also had respectable, solid runs up the gut.
Kory Sheets: Sheets had one carry at the end of the drill for a 7-yard gain.
Anthony Fasano: Fasano received a 20-yard strike from Henne down the fied.
John Mathews: Mathews, who wore Brooks Foster’s old number (#87), received a pass from Moore, which picked up 15 yards.
Brandon Marshall: Marshall caught an in-and-out route pass from Matt Moore for a respectable 8-yards, but also had two drops on the drill.
11 on 11 (mostly passing)
Chad Henne: Henne went 4/7 on the drill with 39 yards. His two big-gainers were to Anthony Fasano (15 yards) and Charles Clay (10 yards).
Matt Moore: Moore started off the drill badly, throwing an interception to Nolan Carroll. (Ball was tipped) However, Moore was able to bounce back going 4/5 for 66 yards, which included a 45yard pass to Roberto Wallace down the left sideline.
Charles Clay: Clay’s first and only reception of the day came from Chad Henne for a pickup of 10 yards.
Anthony Fasano: Fasano continued to make big-gain catches, this time for 15 yards down the middle.
Brian Hartline: Hartline received a 4-yard pass towards the sideline from Matt Moore and an 8-yard pass from Chad Henne over the middle.
Brandon Marshall: Marshall did not receive any passes on this drill. The one pass thrown at him was dropped.
Roberto Wallace: Wallace received a 45-yard bomb from Matt Moore down the right sideline.
Lex Hilliard: Hilliard had two bone crushing runs up the middle (both for 4 yards) against the 1st Team D.
Mar Colombo: Colombo easily made wholes for the running backs to run in today. Colombo had a good practice.
Karlos Dansby: Dansby was all over the field getting big tackles on would-be big-gainers.
Kendall Langford: Langford came quickly off the ball and forced Henne and Moore to throw it away a couple of times.
Cameron Wake: Wake was able to sneak away from the O-Line and bulrush Henne who was force to throw it away. Murtha didn’t pick him up.
11 on 11 (all passing)
Chad Henne: Henne had his best drill of the day going a perfect 4/4 for 55 yards, including a good 7-yard scramble. Henne spread the ball out to four different receivers: Brian Hartline, Brandon Marshall, Roberto Wallace, and Clyde Gates. Henne was the only QB to participate in the drill.
Clyde Gates:Gates caught a nice 15-yard pass from Henne on a slant route that would have probably gone for more.
Brian Hartline: Like Gates, Hartline also received a 15-yard pass from Henne on a slant route.
Brandon Marshall: Marshall semi-recovered from those drops with a 10-yard grab, which he had to fight for with Yeremiah Bell.
Roberto Wallace: Caught an 8-yard pass from Henne on a post-out.
RED ZONE DRILL:
The 11 on 11 drill was temporarily delayed by the "red zone drill" where the ball was placed on the 20-yard line and the offense had to score with either running the ball or throwing it.
Chad Henne: Henne expected to start off the drill just like he started the "1 on 1" drill, with a deep pass. This time in the corner of the end zone to Reggie Bush, who might have felt the pressure coming and let the ball slip off his fingertips. Bush was disappointed in himself immediately after the play. Henne continued the drill going ½ with a 7-yard completion to Clyde Gates.
Matt Moore: Moore went 1/2 on the drill with a 5-yard TD pass to Phillip Livas.
Kevin O’Connell: O’Conell threw one pass on the drill, which was completed, to Nic Grigsby for 13 yards.
Clyde Gates: Gates caught Henne’s only completion of the drill for a 7-yard gain.
Phillip Livas: Livas didn’t see much playing time at receiver today, but did have a 5-yard TD catch from Matt Moore.
Reggie Bush: Bush had a drop pass in the end zone that would have been a 22-yard completion from Henne. He later ran the ball to the outside for a pickup of 7 yards.
Nic Grigsby: Grigsby caught a pass from Kevin O’Connell on a well-executed screen that went for 13 yards.
Daniel Thomas: Thomas had two carries, both picking up 7 yards on the ground.
Kory Sheets: Sheets had the best drill of the running backs, with two handoffs; one for 15 yards and the other for 5 yards and a TD.
A.J. Edds: Edds was able to play tight coverage towards the middle of the field, and also deflected a pass from Matt Moore by extending his whole body to reach for the ball.
11 on 11 (passing and running)
Right after O’Connell’s first play on the "red zone" drill, Tony Sparano yelled at the whole team to "move it back 30 yards!"
Kevin O’Connell: O’Connell went 2/2 on the drill with a 7-yard completion to Charles Clay and 17-yard completion to Patrick Carter.
Pat Devlin: Devlin switched off with O’Connell and also went 2/2 with a 5-yard pass to Phillip Livas and a 15-yard completion to Roberto Wallace
Charles Clay: Caught a dump-off pass from Kevin O’Connell for a pickup of 7 yards.
Patrick Carter: Carter was able to get free off his man and received a 17-yard bullet from O’Connell.
Phillip Livas: Livas caught a check down pass from Devlin fro 5 yards.
Roberto Wallace: Wallace was once again able to separate himself from coverage and caught a 15-yard pass from Pat Devlin.
Nic Gribsy: Grigsby showed his play making ability by picking up multiple 8-yard gains on inside handoffs.
Lex Hilliard: Hilliard got the crowd excited by busting through a hole (opened up by Lyndon Murtha) and picking up 10-yard gain on the carry.
Nate Garner: Garner had a bad practice today (getting beat on the run and pass) topping it off with two fumbled snaps, including one that flew over the head of Kevin O’Connell.
GOAL LINE DRILL:
Players lined up at the 5-yard line and had to punch it in for the TD.
Chad Henne: Henne’s only pass on the drill was incompleted.
Matt Moore: Moore’s only pass on the drill was completed to Brett Brackett for a 5-yard TD.
Daniel Thomas: Thomas finished off his long, but productive day at practice with a 5-yard TD.
Nic Grigsby: Grigsby was able to punch it in for a 5-yard TD.
Kory Sheets: Sheets was stopped halfway to the end zone by Paul Soliai.
PLAYER OF THE DAY:
Roberto Wallace: After starting off with a "holding" penalty on the second "11 on11" drill, Wallace was able to quickly bounce back with the play of the day. Wallace was paired up with Jimmy Wilson, and was positioned to the right of Matt Moore. After a bad snap from Nate Garner, Moore was able to pickup the football and shoot the ball in the sky only for Roberto Wallace to sprint down the left sideline and reel in the 45-yard pass which had the crowd in cheers, the players in astonishment, and Roberto Wallace in celebration in front of a tired Jimmy Wilson (who played good coverage). Wallace followed the extraordinary catch with three other completions, racking up 80 yards for the day.
Nolan Carroll: Like Wallace, Carroll was also able to bounce back from a penalty with an interception off Matt Moore.
Daniel Thomas: Thomas had the defense tired all day as he pounded the ball for 5-6 yards a carry.
Chad Henne: Although Henne didn’t have many TD’s today; he was able to go 14/24 for 183 yards (three passes were simple drops that would have gone for big gains).
Well there it is, the last of my practice reports. It’s been quite an experience going to camp, jogging down notes, and sharing it with everyone. All of you guys have been awesome to me with the good comments, all the recs, and even a Front Page by Mosul. Although I’m sad to see the Dolphins finishing up the open-practices, it’s been amazing watching them play live for so many days, just a couple of yards away from me. However, all this means is that football is just around the corner, so get your Aqua and Orange ready, break out your lucky clothes, and get ready for a journey we all hope lasts until February.
Nolan Carroll looks at the ball as it latter lands in his hands for the pick:
A.J. Edds extends his whole body to deflect a pass intended for Marlon Moore:
Kevin O'Connell watches the ball fly over him after a bad snap by Nate Garner: