As a change of pace the team took to the practice field at 1:45 PM local time. This of course meant that the team was practicing in a much hotter environment then they had been dealing with all of the camps practices previously beginning at 8 AM. The temperature at the start of practice was 91 degree with a heat index right at 100 degrees. This is one of the practices that were originally scheduled for 8 AM but moved to later in the day last week. Today's practice was also moved, to Noon from 8 AM.
Held out of Sundays work were Christion Jones and Jay Ajayi with with a hamstring injuries, Koa Misi and Kenny Stills with a calf injuries, and Shameil Gary with a shoulder issue. Retuning to practice after being held out of Friday evenings scrimmage were Dallas Thomas and Jason Fox.
Jason Fox continued taking all of the first team snaps at left tackle where he had been the majority of camp before Friday evenings scrimmage. Billy Turner continued to take the lions share of the snaps from the right guard position with the first team defense but also worked in on some snaps was Jacques McLendon. Dallas Thomas and Jamil Douglas split snaps at left guard.
According to multiple reports quarterback Ryan Tannehill was hitting his deep ball all over the field on Sunday afternoon and looked great overall. Some went so far as to label yesterdays practice Ryans best practice ever and certainly of this off-season. During the teams 11 on 11 drills Ryan completed three long balls including 45 yarders to both Lamar Miller and Jarvis Landry as well as another deep route to Rishard Matthews. He followed that up in the 7 on 7 drills with three more deep ball completions. Its reassuring to see that the majority of reports on Ryans play at QB this off-season have been positive to downright dripping with praise even from some of his harshest critics.
Feeding off the fact that some of the wide-outs are sidelined with injuries Rishard Matthews continues to impress in this years camp gathering in another 5 receptions on Sunday. One has to wonder if Matthews has just been an overlooked talent by the coaching staff to this point. Also stepping up today after seemingly emerging at Friday nights scrimmage is tight end Jordan Cameron. Cameron had two receptions for touchdowns Friday evening that CT highlighted in his post HERE. Cameron followed that up yesterday afternoon by gathering in another six catches. Previous to this Cameron had seemed to sort of vanish in camp. Perhaps this weekend is a sign that he is finally catching his groove and feeling comfortable in this offense. This is huge for the team as one thing Tannehill has been missing is a big and reliable target in the red zone.
The team ended the days practice by running a four minute drill. Starting from their own 20 the team managed to only drive to their own 44, turning the ball over on downs after a failed 4th and one hand-off to LaMichael James who was stoned for no gain, forcing the ball to be turned over on downs. The drive featured 5 rushes for only 10 yards, a nine yard pass from Tannehill to Matthews and a busted play where Ryan scrambled for 7 yards. This is an area where the Dolphins struggled last season especially in closing out games. They must find a way to control more of the clock with the running game late in games and while this was a 4 min drill not meant to control the clock, 5 carries for 10 yards is not going to get the attention of any defense. They must be able to control the line of scrimmage better, late in games, in order to be able to effectively rush the ball when needed/when they want especially when it applies to holding leads late in the game.