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Dolphins Training Camp, Day 16: Team gets back to work after sloppy preseason opener

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MIAMI - AUGUST 14:  Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins lines up against  the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the preseason game at Sun Life Stadium on August 14 2010 in Miami Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
MIAMI - AUGUST 14: Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins lines up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the preseason game at Sun Life Stadium on August 14 2010 in Miami Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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The Dolphins got back on the practice fields (the newly configured practice fields, that is) for the first time since their disappointing yet victorious - as if that matters - preseason opener against the Bucs on Saturday night. Some fans were probably happy to know the Dolphins practiced in the rain for about 20 minutes on Monday. Unfortunately for Dan Henning's offense, though, the team seemed to pick up where they left off on Saturday.

Offense struggles during Monday's practice
There was a lot made by some after the first team offense failed to move the ball effectively at all during Saturday's game against Tampa. I wasn't one of them because I wasn't worried.

I'm still not too worried. But you have to at least wonder what's wrong right now with this offense. They struggled a week ago during the team scrimmage. They struggled in their first preseason game. And today in practice, the starting offense again sputtered against the starting defense.

The Miami Herald has the blow-by-blow of the team period of practice from Monday. Here's the bottom line. Chad Henne was 0 for 3. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined for 10 yards on 5 carries. So that's 8 plays for 10 yards for the first-team offense against the starting defense. Ugh!

The highlight - or lowlight - of the day came after Brandon Marshall dropped a would-be touchdown from Henne during the team drills mentioned above - one of three drops by Marshall on the day. Brandon then picked up the ball and punted it over the fence and out of the practice area. Afterward, Marshall spent the rest of practice standing alone on the sidelines.

Frustration is setting in.

I'm sure Tony Sparano will be asked about this right away tomorrow in between their two practices. Marshall is scheduled to speak on Wednesday. It'll be interesting to see the fall-out from this. It's really not a big deal. But because of Brandon's history, it's going to create a mini firestorm for now. If you're like me, though, you aren't too worried. I know Brandon is going to be fine once the games actually count. He didn't suddenly forget how to catch. And enough already with this #19 curse. It's just a number, people - just a number.

As for the offensive problems as a whole, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned at all. But I'm willing to give this team more time before I press that red panic button - which is available at Staples, by the way, right next to the "easy" button for those who just can't help but press it relentlessly from now until the regular season.

Camp Quick Hits

  • It's nice to hear that Chad Henne is taking on the leadership role in the huddle that many were expecting him to. Tyler Thigpen details how Henne went up to Marshall in the huddle after his second drop on Saturday night and told him not to worry about it. Of course, you know Henne was probably thinking something a little different.
  • The first-team offensive line remained the same on Monday, with Richie Incognito, Joe Berger, and John Jerry working along the interior positions from left to right. Is Tony Sparano settling in on a starting unit?
  • Vontae Davis knocked away two passes from Marshall on Monday. Good news for Vontae. Not so good for Brandon.
  • NFLPA records indicate that Ike Alama-Francis received a one-year contract extension. This probably means IAF is a lock for the 53 man roster. After all, he did replace Koa Misi with the first team defense during the second defensive series on Saturday night.
  • Nolan Carroll worked again on Monday as the first-team nickel. If Will Allen can't go week one, it's looking more and more like Carroll, the rookie, will join second-year players Sean Smith, Vontae Davis, and Chris Clemons in the secondary as the nickelback. Talk about a young defense - a good thing but also a bad thing.
  • Tony Sparano raved about Paul Soliai's performance from Saturday night. But he did point out that Paul needs to show consistency. That'll be one of the key story lines for Saturday's game against Jacksonville.