The Miami Dolphins are back on the practice field today, their first workout after Thursday’s preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons. A lot of the focus for the day is rightfully focused on Jay Cutler at quarterback in his second practice since signing with the team as well as where the Dolphins go in trying to replace rookie Raekwon McMillan as the team’s starting middle linebacker, but there was another development in Saturday’s practice that may be just as critical. Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey joined the team during 11-on-11 drills, the first time he has done that this year.
Pouncey was sidelined for most of last year with a hip injury, one that needed multiple procedures for recovery and has been bothering him over the past few years. The Dolphins have been extremely deliberate with Pouncey throughout the summer in an effort to try to keep him healthier when the season starts next month, and throughout the year. He had been doing some individual drills during the early training camp workouts, but it appears the coaches are now allowing him to progress to full-team drills.
The Dolphins coaches will likely continue to limit Pouncey throughout the summer and during the season when it comes to practice drills, but at least they are starting to get him into the 11-on-11 drills. It is good for him, and for the offensive line, plus it will allow him to get more reps snapping the ball to Cutler. Head coach Adam Gase has said he would like to wrap Pouncey in bubble wrap, and that probably has not changed for the most part, but, at least on Saturday, it appears they took their Pro Bowl center off the shelf and decided to use him a little.