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Dolphins Training Camp, Day 6: The defensive youth movement

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The Dolphins hit the practice field twice at the team's facility in Davie on Wednesday. But much to many fans' dismay, the evening session - which was scheduled for 8 pm - had to be moved inside the bubble due to rain.

Of course, the Dolphins still have another evening session planned for those hoping to attend - scheduled for Monday August 9 at Sun Life Stadium. That practice begins at 7:15 pm.

Back to today, let's talk about some of the events from today's two practices.

Young guys holding it down on defense
The Dolphins are now nine practices in to their 2010 campaign. Through those nine practices, there's been an obvious trend on defense - the youth movement is in full effect. It's still early, of course. But we've seen the same eleven players working as the first team defense in each of the nine practices.

If the current line-up holds true into the regular season - which would mean rookies Jared Odrick and Koa Misi win the starting jobs, among other things - the Dolphins would be starting six players who are 25 years old or younger. Eight of the eleven would be 26 or older. And only one player - Yeremiah Bell - would be over 30. The average age of Miami's starting defense would be an incredibly young 25.3 years of age.

This infusion of youth doesn't seem to be bothering head coach Tony Sparano. In fact, he's excited. Said Sparano on Wednesday when asked about the youth movement:

"Well I hope it’s exciting. I think that I’m not afraid of it. I certainly am not. I think that when you get to where you want to be the JV grows up and they become varsity players and right now we’re looking at a lot of those kinds of players out there.

"...I’m excited about those possibilities right now. Never mind the young guys that we have running around here like Odrick and those type of people who we think are going to obviously be contributors. So, I’m pretty excited about it I like (it). The one thing with this group right now, is they go out here and they’re young enough and bold enough to go out here and challenge this weather in every practice and all these types of things and not bat an eye at it. So, I kind of like that part of their young enthusiasm."

Individually, all of these reps are helping these young players get better. Jared Odrick said on Wednesday that he's "had more sacks the past couple days than at Penn State in a long time. My run defense is getting better every day."

Cameron Wake has also been coming alive. ESPN had a nice little piece on Wake's performance rushing the passer this week. Omar Kelly tweeted that Wake "roasted Vernon Carey on a sack" during the evening practice. And Sparano said on Wednesday that Wake has made very few mental errors when he's had to drop back in coverage and has reportedly looked more stout against the run - though that will be really hard to gauge until the bullets are live.

Still, youth is clearly "in" in Miami.

Roster Move Roundup
The big news of the day, of course, was that running back Kory Sheets suffered an injury to his Achilles' tendon that will sideline him for the season (likely a torn Achilles', though the team hasn't confirmed that). The Dolphins have since placed Sheets on the waived/injured list - meaning he'll have to clear waivers before the Dolphins can place him on injured reserve. But if the does make it through and is returned to the Dolphins, the Dolphins can get back some of his 2010 base salary.

The Dolphins also placed A.J. Edds on Injured Reserve. This means Edds is not exposed to waivers, is property of the Dolphins, will count against their 80 man training camp roster, and will be paid his full 2010 base salary. This tells you all you need to know about Edds - the Dolphins like him a lot.

Quick Hits

  • It was pointed out on Twitter that Chad Henne was 1 for 7 during the morning session's 11-on-11, with three sacks. But he seemed to bounce back nicely in the evening, considering the reports around the 'net about how well Miami's receivers did in the bubble last night.
  • But Omar Kelly tweeted that Henne has looked like a "solid NFL starter" so far in camp. So let's all relax for now and see what happens when the games actually mean something.
  • Patrick Turner continuing his strong camp. He made two catches that made headlines on Wednesday. One was on a slant against rookie Nolan Carroll while the other was a diving catch on a slant against Vontae Davis.
  • Brandon Marshall also had a "sick catch" on a fade in the endzone against Vontae. And this was after Marshall gave everyone a scare last night by twisting his ankle and falling to the ground while making a cut on a route. Clearly, though, he's fine. Just ask Davis.
  • The first team offensive line remained the same on Wednesday, with Donald Thomas, Jake Grove, and John Jerry lining up left to right on the inside. Meanwhile, Richie Incognito got into yet another fight with a teammate. If he keeps this up, could the Dolphins really keep this nutcase on the team?
  • With Sheets out now, the kickoff job will likely come down to Patrick Cobbs, Nolan Carroll, Brian Hartline, and a couple guys who are on the outside looking in at the roster (Tristan Davis and Taurus Johnson).
  • Worried about Sean Smith's slow start to camp? Omar Kelly doesn't think you should be, tweeting that "you'd start slow too vs. Brandon Marshall." He even said he still likes Smith over Vontae, though he thinks "both will be good."

Tweets of the Day
"The jumpball in the corner of the endzone to Brandon Marshall is just about unstoppable. He scored a couple of times on it today." - Omar Kelly

"I'm not a guy who gets excited about offense, but the more you watch Brandon Marshall work the more impressed you are. Clearly a dominant WR." - Omar Kelly

Up Next
The Dolphins have just one practice tomorrow, scheduled for 3 pm and open to the public.