DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins wrapped up their three-day minicamp with a non-contact scrimmage on Thursday. The theme following the scrimmage is the same one that’s been hovering over the team throughout their practices over the past couple months, that the defense outplayed the offense.
Olivier Vernon headlined a strong effort by the Dolphins defense, beating free-agent signing Brandon Albert for a pair of sacks. Overall Miami’s defense produced eight sacks on the day, with Vernon and Garrison Smith each picking up two sacks.
“When it comes down to the defense, all of us defensive linemen we have, we talk to each other and we pretty much know what we have to do, especially when it comes to game-time situations,” Vernon said following the scrimmage. “When it comes down to it, the D-line’s the heart and soul of the defense and, if we’re not doing what we have to do, then things start falling apart. That’s just one thing we’re trying to focus on now and make sure it goes into the season.”
Along with the scrimmage, the Dolphins signed first-round pick Ja’Wuan James on Thursday. James is expected to be the starting right tackle when Miami opens the season against New England on September 7.
James was going head-to-head with Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake during the scrimmage and was quick say how much going up against top-level talent would help him prepare for the upcoming NFL season.
“Yeah, definitely today, today felt like a game atmosphere,” said James. “It picked up a little bit, the tempo, the rushers and things like that. Like I said, going against Cam [Wake] is definitely helping and getting me prepared for what I’m going to see.”
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is another rookie that has been grabbing the attention of his teammates. Landry has been impressing since first arriving in Davie and even had quarterback Ryan Tannehill saying that the second-round pick has better hands then anyone he has encountered during his college and pro career.
Landry caught five passes for 67 yards during the scrimmage and has been growing a good rapport with Tannehill, who targeted the rookie early and often on Thursday. When asked why he and Tannehill have been able to click so quickly, Landry attributed it to the work they have been putting in.
“Just the reps, the reps that we’ve all been getting,” Landry said. “The way that the coaches set up the individual periods and the teaching periods also. That allows us to get that one-on-one talking from QB to receiver that allows us to have that chemistry, that when things go at full speed, we know exactly where we’re going to be and where the placement of the ball is going to be.”
The Dolphins will now go on break until the beginning of training camp next month. While a start date has yet to be announced by the team, Cam Wake indicated that the report date is July 24.