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Rookie Camp Thoughts

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Today marked the completion of the team's rookie camp.  Here are some thoughts on what went on, courtesy of Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post:

-Cameron also said he's excited about the progress of contract talks for first-round pick Ted Ginn. He said the two sides "are getting close," but didn't know for sure if Ginn's deal would be completed before players report Friday.

-Miami seems it will have some much-needed depth at defensive tackle, with Rodrique Wright and rookie Paul Soliai.

Wright, who sat out last season with a shoulder injury, looks like a steal. He was a seventh-round pick because of the injury, which was more important to NFL clubs than Wright's All-America career at Texas.

During rookie camp, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Wright exploded off the ball time after time to get into the backfield. It will be interesting to see if he can do the same thing against the team's veteran linemen.

Soliai barely was blocked for three days, showing surprising nimbleness and quickness for a 344-pound player.

-On the negative side, LT Anthony Alabi, a third-year player, looked out shape and immobile as he continues to recover from ankle surgery. He enters camp in a fight for his job.

As I come across more practice reports, I'll be sure to post them.  And remember, tomorrow at 1pm marks the official beginning of 2007's training camp with a full team meeting.  Then they hit the practice field on Saturday.  In the meantime, hopefully they can get Ted Ginn signed and into camp.  I guess we shall see...

**UPDATE**: This report comes courtesy of Kevin Clark:

-The first part of the practice focused on the run game. Full-squad plays featured running backs Lorenzo Booker and Ray Perkins running on every play. Perkins showed good cut-back ability up the middle, while Booker showed good speed on the outside, catching the corners on a number of plays.

-Rookie quarterback John Beck looked very good in drills. He was hitting the corners of the end zone with good accuracy and ended his day hitting David Sutton in traffic in the back of the end zone.

-Players raved about the Oklahoma drill, which ended practice. Beck and Gibran Hamdan handed off to the stable of running backs and full backs while the linemen battled in the trenches. Linebacker Kelvin Smith looked fast and agile in his attempts. Beck was really getting into it, slapping players on the head and getting fired up. He talked later about his love for both sides of football and his need to hit somebody, something his position is not conducive to.
Center Samson Satele said he hasn't done an Oklahoma drill since high school and loved the idea of doing it in practice. Coach Cameron said he plans to start the first practice with pads, Sunday night, with the Oklahoma drill.

It seems that the young players really like the way coach Cameron runs his practices. It'll be interesting to see if the veterans feel the same way when they report.

**UPDATE**: A few final observations of rookie camp courtesy of Harvey Fialkov:

Ginn's absence as well as Kelly Campbell's exodus and the silly loss of Wes Welker, could open up a spot for one of these undrafted rookie receivers. Kerry Reed, who grew up in Miami, and had a pretty good year for Michigan State last year, has caught everything in sight and even scored on a reverse yesterday. David Sutton, a 6-6 leaper, has impressed coaches with his strength and hands. Michael Malone has had his moments but has also dropped a few. The funny thing is although Malone is the son of NBA legend Moses Malone, it's Sutton with the dunking skills!

The old Oklahoma middle line drill which pitted defensive lineman and linebackers against offensive linemen while trying to tackle the running back starred DT Paul Soliai, who is an absolute beast and DE/DT Rodrique Wright, who looks lightning quick, so that bodes well to the depth behind 38-year-old DT Keith Traylor.

RB Ray Perkins showed plenty of shake and bake moves in the line drill and 7-on-7s. The kid played for Cameron in San Diego for the past two years and could stick as a third back and special teams ace.