The Miami Dolphins returned to the practice field yesterday, opening the 2012 rookie minicamp. Included in the camp are the entire Miami 2012 rookie class, to inclue draftees and undrafted free agent signings, as well as players who have one year of service in the NFL, but were not on the active/inactive roster or injured reserve for more than three games last year, and any players the Dolphins have invited to camp on a non-contract try-out.
The team invited the following players to the minicamp, giving them a try-out and a chance to join the team for training camp: Jacory Harris (Miami), AJ Guyton (UCF), Albert Evans (Purdue), Elton Ford (Arkansas), Rick Volcin (Norfolk State), Mike Williams (Miami), Joel Figueroa (Miami), Nick Mandich (South Connecticut State - wearing his father's #88), Ryan Lewis (Bethune-Cookman).
The obvious star of the day was first round draft pick, quarterback Ryan Tannehill. After practice, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald described parts of Tannehill's performance with this tweet:
Practice is over... Ryan Tannehill throws a BEAUTIFUL out pass. GREAT comeback, too.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 4, 2012
As for the practice itself, Tannehill was reportedly "smooth" in his hand offs to start practice, before they moved into an 11-on-11, non-contact drill. Izzy Gould, from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, describes Tannehill's first pass as a Dolphin:
"That's when Tannehill stepped back, fired and watched helplessly as the football ricocheted off the hands of former Michigan State wide receiver B.J. Cunningham."Proving miscues are magnified in the NFL, Dolphins cornerback Vincent Agnew swiped the loose ball out of the air, and turned up field for what could have been a touchdown."
Tannehill responded from the interception, throwing several deep balls, and demonstrating his ability to throw on the run. Head coach Joe Philbin described Tannehill's performance during his post practice press conference:
"He threw a couple double moves, he threw a couple deep balls," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "He threw those relatively well. It looked like he threw the ball on the move well. In general ... our play speed at that position is something we're going to need to work on.
"I am sure, as opposed to some of the other rookie quarterbacks that are practicing today, he probably feels a little more comfortable when he puts his head on the pillow at night," Philbin said, referencing Tannehill's familiarity with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman's playbook. Sherman was Tannehill's head coach at Texas A&M. "But the bottom line is the productivity once you get on the field, so we will see how that goes."
Another notable member of the rookie minicamp was former University of Miami quarterback Jacory Harris, who was a non-contract invitee to the camp. Harris did not have a stellar day, fumbling just his second snap of the day, as well as having difficulty handing the ball off to fellow Hurricanes alumnus Lamar Miller, resulting in another fumble.
Outside of the quarterbacks, another member of the rookie class getting a lot of attention is second round pick Jonathan Martin, who is making the switch from left tackle at Stanford to right tackle for the Dolphins. Of the move, Martin called it "a little strange," but said he's "getting it."
The coaching staff, themselves new to Miami this year, received compliments as well, following the first day of the rookie minicamp. Tight end Michael Egnew spoke about the coaches to Salguero:
Michael Egnew digging the coaching: "You listen to those guys, you gett better in one day."— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 4, 2012
And, in case you are interested, here are the numbers the players wore yesterday for the rookie minicamp. Drafted and free agent signed players are wearing their assigned numbers, while try-out players are wearing borrowed numbers from veterans:
- B.J. Cunningham - 16
- Ryan Tannehill - 17
- Kelcie McCray - 37
- Lamar Miller - 44
- Cameron Collins - 45
- Jonas Gray - 46
- Trenton Huges - 47
- Shelly Lyons - 48
- Olivier Vernon - 50
- Josh Kaddu - 57
- Terence Brown - 60
- Derek Dennis - 63
- Josh Samuda - 64
- Chas Alecxih - 66
- Jarrell Root - 70
- Jonathan Martin - 71
- Jeff Fuller - 83
- Michael Egnew - 84
- Rishar Matthews - 85
- Derek Moye - 86
"It's awesome, it's the moment you've been waiting for," Tannehill said after practice, describing the feeling he, and all the rookies, had as they hit the field today. "You dream about it from the time you're a little kid watching games on Sunday night. You want to be there. You want to be playing in the NFL. I finally stepped out on that field to have my first practice, and I thought it was great."