The Miami Dolphins held their third day of training camp practices on Saturday, which means it was the first day of pads for the club. The team got to work early in the morning, and it did not take long for defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to show off exactly why the Dolphins signed him as a free agent this offseason.
The defense as a whole seemed to win the day, with multiple players making an impact (including three interceptions, one by Cedric Thompson off McLeod Bethel-Thompson, one by Michael Thomas off Matt Moore, and one by Sammy Seamster off Bethel-Thompson), but it was Suh who stole the show. The first two days, Suh seemed to be holding back and not wanting to go full speed without pads. Saturday, that changed, with the big man abusing offensive linemen all day, constantly pushing back the line of scrimmage.
The offensive line was not bad on the day, they were just getting beat by Suh who kicked it up a notch now that the pads are being worn. Jamil Douglas looked good at left guard, and Dallas Thomas was not bad either. Billy Turner appears to be settling in at right guard, with Jeff Linkenbach also seeing first-team reps. All of the interior linemen, including center Mike Pouncey, zwill be getting a daily lesson, though, if Suh continues to perform like he did on Saturday.
The Dolphins will have one of the top defensive lines in the league this year, particularly with Suh and Cameron Wake on the left side of the defensive line. It will impressive when the season starts, but it will also make the offensive line look bad during practice. That's not to say there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the offensive line, but it is also not surprising that an All-Pro like Suh is making a question mark look even bigger.
The defense won the day, but the offense does look comfortable and able to execute. Part of that is the growth of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who clearly has a better understanding of second-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's offense, and is developing into a franchise quarterback. He will have to continue to prove that growth during the season, but the offense feels like it is well ahead of where it has been in the opening days of training camp the last few years.
The receivers are also stepping up, with Greg Jennings, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Rishard Matthews, Michael Preston, and LaRon Byrd all making plays. Add in tight ends Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims, and the passing game appears to be on the right track in getting ready for the 2015 regular season.
Rookie running back Jay Ajayi also made an impact play on the day, stiff arming his way through Sammy Seamster on a pass reception.
The team practices again tomorrow at 8am ET before taking an off day on Monday.