The Dolphins hosted their "Monday Night Back to Football" event at Sun Life Stadium last night, and more than 10,000 fans were on hand to watch the practice. Overall, the practice seemed more like a chance for the fans to come out and support the team, the team to show some love to the fans, and the first chance for the players to put on the pads and get back to hitting.
But, it's the black eye the fans caused that is getting the most media coverage. As Ken LaVicka, ESPN 760's Dolphins beat writer, wrote on his Twitter feed (@KLV760), "4th practice of camp, with a whole new playbook many of the guys saw for the first time 5 days ago. A little perspective..." But, Dolfans in attendance weren't having any of it.
It started as boos. Every time Chad Henne missed a pass, the crowd would boo. To make matters worse, the fans were booing even on incompletions that weren't the beleaguered quarterback's fault. Several passes were dropped, but the tide has swung to the point that everything that is wrong is Henne's fault.
Apparently, we have moved to the level of trashing our own players, in a very public manner, during the fourth practice of training camp. Yesterday, I tweeted that the return of linebacker/defensive end Jason Taylor from a year with the Jets meant that the C and the L had left New York. Apparently, however, JT hasn't given our own fans the letters necessary to complete CLASS.
As for on the field activity, there were a few highlight moments on Monday night, such as, backup quarterback Tom Brandstater connected with wide receiver Julius Pruitt, who beat his coverage and ran 40-yards for a touchdown.
But, again, the star of training camp continues to be defensive tackle Paul Soliai. Soliai continues to dominate the front line, proving to be unblockable thus far. In fact, Soliai welcomed rookie running back Daniel Thomas to the NFL with a tackle of a loss on the first play of rushing drills.
It wasn't all teal roses out on the all-grass Sun Life Stadium floor, however. Rookie quarterback Pat Devlin struggled throughout most of practice, getting sacked repeatedly, before fumbling the ball away. He did respond near the end of the night, hitting Brian Hartline on a 50-yard pass play.
The Dolphins have Tuesday off, their first rest day of training camp. They return to the practice field on Wednesday at 11am, back the Nova Southeastern University.
And, as Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post tweeted during Monday's practice, "Seems a bit early to boo Henne. Team hasn't practiced in 7 months, and half the offense isn't allowed to practice yet. But what do I know?"
Maybe we should wait until the team has a chance to shake off the rust before we fully condemn the team for which we all root..
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