Saturday morning featured the Miami Dolphins holding their annual scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. The event was highlighted by a sharp performance from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, as well as a Miami offense that seemed to finally seemed to be living up to the "uptempo" claim that has floated around the franchise for the past few seasons.
Tannehill threw two touchdowns on the day, first a nine-yard pass to Lamar Miller, then a seven-yarder to Dion Sims. He also connected with Sims on a two-point conversion. Unofficially, Tannehill threw for nearly 140-yards.
"The first few days, you're just trying to get back into rhythm," Tannehill explained after practice about his getting a better handle on the offense. "You're fighting through timing not being exactly right, not seeing things fast enough. It's not fun to go through those tough days, but you learn from it. You file those away and when the play comes up again you know exactly what to do. I'm finally getting to the point now where I know exactly what to do versus every coverage and we'll continue to fine tune that."
Tannehill's passing was not the only part of the offense that seemed to be clicking on Saturday, as Lamar Miller rushed the ball for an unofficial 6.0 yards per carry. Daniel Thomas was only able to gain 15 yards on five carries, but he was also asked to convert some short yardage situations, which did not help in his running average.
"You're always looking for a running back, you certainly want to create space for your backs, but you also need to have a back that can make some yards on his own and it seemed like he did that a little bit today," head coach Joe Philbin explained of Miller's performance in the scrimmage.
The Dolphins are also waiting to see how much of an impact Knowshon Moreno, signed in the offseason as a free agent, can have for the team's running attack when he is able to join practice. Moreno is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he rehabs from knee surgery.
The offense was not the only story on the day, however, as the defense also made some plays. The team saw sacks from Cameron Wake, Dannell Ellerbe, Terrence Fede, Derrick Shelby, and Dion Jordan (two), as well as interceptions from Cortland Finnegan and Jimmy Wilson. Linebacker Jordan Tripp stripped running back Damien Williams on a carry, then recovered the fumble and returned it 73-yards for a score.
Despite the six sacks allowed on the day, all of those were on the second or third offensive line. Miami's much maligned starting unit did not allow any defender to bring down Tannehill on the day, and were able to open up some decent running lanes. "I thought the guys did a good job," Tannehill said of the line's performance. "I can't think of one sack we gave up. So I felt good about it."
"Today was about getting them all ready to play and really giving them 25-35 reps on tape, as game-like as we could make it conditions, so we could get an honest evaluation of them," Philbin added when asked about the line. "So that was really the goal today. Ideally, as we move to next week and especially the week after, we'd like to kind of slim it down a little bit and really focus on seven or eight guys."
Tight end Charles Clay appears to be the only injury on the day, leaving the game early and having his knee wrapped and iced on the sideline. After the practice, he said it was nothing major and he expects to be ready to continue training camp this week.
Reserve quarterback Pat Devlin appeared to be limping after the practice, though no official word of an injury has been reported.
The Dolphins have Sunday off before returning to training camp practice on Monday. They play their first preseason contest, an away game against the Atlanta Falcons, on Friday.
Unofficial Scrimmage Stats
(via The Finsiders/Miami Dolphins)
Ryan Tannehill: 15/27, 139 yards , 2 TDs, a two point conversion, 0 INTs
Pat Devlin: 7/14, 71 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Seth Lobato: 6/17, 8 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Lamar Miller: 6 carries, 36 yards
Daniel Thomas: 5 carries, 15 yards
Mike Gillislee: 4 carries, 17 yards
Damien Williams: 9 carries, 39 yards, 1 fumble
Orleans Darkwa: 5 carries, 17 yards
Seth Lobato (QB): 3 carries, 2 yards
Jarvis Landry: 2 catches, 40 yards, 1 TD
Rishard Mattthews: 3 catches, 30 yards
Lamar Miller: 2 catches, 27 yards, 1 TD
Dion Sims: 4 catches, 27 yards, 1 TD, 2-point conversion
Mike Gillislee: 2 catches, 12 yards
Gator Hoskins: 1 catch, 16 yards
Kevin Cone: 1 catch, 16 yards
Daniel Thomas: 2 catches, 11 yards
Armon Binns: 2 catches, 11 yards
Damian Williams (WR): 1 catch, 9 yards
Brandon Gibson: 1 catch, 6 yards
Charles Clay: 1 catch, 5 yards
Damien Williams (RB): 1 catch, 5 yards
Ryan Spadola: 3 catches, 3 yards
Michael Egnew: 1 catch, 0 yards
Orleans Darkwa: 1 catch, 0 yards
Notable Defensive Stats
Cameron Wake: 1.0
Terrence Fede: 1.0
Derrick Shelby: 1.0
Dannell Ellerbe: 1.0
Dion Jordan*: 1.0
Cortland Finnegan (touchback)
Jimmy Wilson (44 yard return)
Jordan Tripp (73 yard fumble return for a touchdown)
*The Finsiders only recorded one sack for Jordan, though reports indicate he had two.