The Miami Dolphins are closing in on the end of their 2018 training camp, shifting gears toward a practice schedule similar to what they will use throughout the rest of the season. During Monday’s padded practice with hitting - but not tackling to the ground - the strain of camp finally seems to have broken through, with multiple skirmishes and chippy-play happening all morning.
There were plays where linebacker Raekwon McMillan hit quarterback Ryan Tannehill, knocking him to the ground. There were plays where running back Kenyan Drake was sandwiched between defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and safety T.J. McDonald.
Raekwon McMillan just knocked down Ryan Tannehill.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 13, 2018
No. No. Do not.
OMG!! Drake absolutely leveled by Godchaux & maybe McDonald, too!!— Chris Perkins (@chrisperk) August 13, 2018
The Dolphins also did not have just a skirmish on the field. They did not have just two. They had players going at it four different times on Monday, including one with punches actually being thrown and a blindside shot at Drake.
Defensive tackle Antony Moten got into an altercation with running back Senorise Perry, which became a large scuffle, and it took a while to break it up, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Punches were thrown during it, and just after it ended, defensive tackle Gabe Wright threw an elbow at Drake, hitting him from the blindside, which then erupted the second altercation on the day.
Moten was not done yet, however, as he then got into another kerfuffle with center Connor Hilland. And, finally, Godchaux and guard Ted Larsen also got into each other at one point. In all, it was a testy day on the practice field for the Dolphins, and they were letting everyone know it.
Even Pro Bowl players like Cameron Wake were not exempt from the fun, with the defensive end shoving running back Kalen Ballage at one point.
Tempers flaring at Dolphins camp like you rarely see. Drake just got into it (and didn't even have helmet on). Moten, too. Few minutes ago Wake shoved Ballage. Very testy out there.— Hal Habib (@gunnerhal) August 13, 2018
Both sides of the ball seemed to want to up their performance on the day, and it led to some of the conflicts. The defense was actively attempting to force fumbles all practice, and some of the offensive players appeared to take exception to the swats. Joe Schad maybe explained the day the best:
Miami Dolphins practice today: chippy, scrappy, feisty, spirited, on edge. Beats apathy, IMO.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) August 13, 2018
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said of the day’s feisty atmosphere, “It’s the second day after an off day. Yesterday wasn’t an intense practice. Everyone is getting tired of hitting each other in camp. That what happens in the NFL about this time every year, every team.”
Asked if the intensity kicked up on the day, defensive coordinator Matt Burke replied, “Maybe, yes; but sometimes misplaced. You’ve got to get good work in too. It’s got to be with the context of doing what we’re asking you to do and executing the scheme too. Just coming out here, being a jackass and running around, that doesn’t help us either.”
Tight end A.J. Derby weighed in on the day as well, a day which saw him return to practice after being held out with an injury the past few days, saying, “It’s just the dog days of camp. Everyone is tired. Everyone is working. We’re just trying to get better and we’re just going to keep pushing each other.”
Defensive end Charles Harris agreed with Derby, telling the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Chris Perkins, “It’s the dog days of camp, but when we go into the locker room, everybody is cool.”
Tuesday will be the final day of training camp, with the team preparing to play their second preseason game on Friday against the Carolina Panthers.