The Miami Dolphins opened the doors for the first day of rookie minicamp today, welcoming over 60 players to the team facility as they begin preparing for the 2014 season. Included in that group were the team's eight NFL Draft choices, their signed undrafted free agents, and 36 players on a tryout.
One person missing from the workout was Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, who was away handling a family situation. He is expected to be back at practice on Saturday.
The team was on the field for about 90-minutes today, the eighth day of practice for the rookies. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, players can participate in on the field "prefect drill" practices within their positions during this portion of the offseason. These workouts are voluntary, but highly attended, and has given the rookies a chance to work with the veterans and begin building the chemistry needed to succeed during the season.
With just one practice viewed by the media, it's hard to make conclusions about anything happening with the Dolphins. Multiple reporters commented during the day that there was clearly some elements of the Philadelphia Eagles' offense making an appearance in the Dolphins' workout, with new offensive coordinator, and former Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor, building his playbook.
Some of the players who were noticed during the day included Jordan Tripp, who worked as a middle linebacker for much of the practice, and Billy Turner, who is starting to transition from offensive tackle to guard. Second round draft choice, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, also made an impact on the day, showing his soft hands. The team, however, held most of the draft picks out of team drills throughout the day, working them on individual drills while allowing the UDFAs and tryouts to take the majority of the main drills.
One injury note was rookie defensive back Walt Aikens, who was forced to leave practice with the trainers. The media in attendance at the game is not allowed to speculate on possible injuries, due to team rules. It was, however, a hot day in Miami, and the Liberty DB could just be trying to acclimate to the South Florida weather.
The team used lot of passes to the running backs, according to reports from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly and Chris Perkins. One of the largest sources of frustration for Dolphins fans last year was the lack of designed plays to get the ball to the running backs in space. Hopefully today's first appearances indicate a change to that frustration this year.
The Dolphins will again be on the field tomorrow, with more reports sure to come during and after the workout.