Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey stepped out of the coaches’ enforced bubble wrap on Saturday to take part in a portion of the team’s training camp workout. Pouncey, who is coming back from a hip injury that restricted him to just five games played last year, joined the team on the field for individual drills for the first time this season. The three-time Pro Bowl selection was not on the field long, but it was another step toward the team getting back the leader of the offensive line.
“We’re trying to work him into some individual things,” head coach Adam Gase said after practice, “but we kind of got some time limits there that we’re trying to stick to because any time Mike does anything, if you say ‘Hey, we’ve got 10 minutes,’ he figures out a way to get 30 minutes worth of work in 10 minutes. We’re trying to go through a certain progression. The guys are doing a good job of making sure they’re watching what he does and how much he does because he’ll go past what we want to do, and that’s why he is who he is and the kind of player he is. We’re just trying to make sure we keep an eye on him and he can go through our progression the way that we have been talking about the last month or so.”
Earlier in the week, Pouncey laughed when asked about Gase’s plan to keep the center on the sidelines throughout most of training camp in an effort to keep him healthy throughout the 16 game regular season. Pouncey added, “Me and him have a little disagreement on that; but he wants to keep me in a bubble and I’m fine with it. I just want to get back out and work on being a good football player again.”
“It’s great to have him back on the field,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said earlier in the week when Pouncey was not placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start training. “To have his veteran leadership – his experience – out on the field with us is huge.”
Saturday marked the third day of camp for the Dolphins, the first day with pads. Pouncey taking part in the individual drills is a good sign that, once the season gets a little closer, Miami may be able to get him into the lineup - and hopefully for 16 games.