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Dolphins Practice Report: Cutler Developing Chemistry With Offense, Pouncey To Start Thursday

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PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles completed the second day of their joint practices on Tuesday.

Now the teams will go their separate ways begin their final preparations for Thursday’s preseason battle at Lincoln Financial Field.

With the joint workouts now over, both teams can breathe a sigh of relief that no players on either side suffered any major injuries.

There was one little scare for the Dolphins that turned out to be no big deal.

Rookie cornerback Condrea Tankersley left the practice field accompanied by a trainer, though he did not appear to be in any discomfort.

Head coach Adam Gase later revealed that Tankersley came out because he was sick.

THE CUTLER CONNECTION

Quarterback Jay Cutler had perhaps his best day of practice since joining the Dolphins.

He connected with several of his pass catchers for touchdowns, including a pair of 40 yard bombs to Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker.

“We’re getting better every day, so we’ve just got to continue to work before practice, in the meeting rooms, after practice, and get on the same page,” Stills said. “He’s a veteran guy and we’ve just got to go out there and make plays for him.”

Tight ends Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano caught touchdown passes from Cutler as well during red zone drills.

Cutler and Thomas have shown signs of developing some good chemistry this week.

Last week it was Cutler and Parker that appeared to be growing a rapport with one another.

“I think that whole group, whether it be the tight ends, wide receivers, running backs, all of those skill guys, they are working a lot together. Their communication has been outstanding,” Gase said.

It’s clear that Cutler has tried to hit the ground running since signing with Miami. He and his pass-catchers are doing everything they can to ensure that when the regular season arrives, everyone is on the same page.

“[Cutler is] just trying to figure everybody out, body language, what have we changed since we’ve been apart in Chicago,” Gase explained. “Our guys have really done a great job of going to him and talking to him. He’s done vice versa with him, of what he’s thinking and how he does certain things that are a little bit different. That’s really the biggest thing for us, they have to speed it up, which they are trying to do by having constant communication. Everything that happens that we are not sure on at practice, they are having conversations in our meetings and film sessions. They are talking everything out. Those guys have taken it upon themselves. They’re not waiting for me to say something, they’re not waiting for [Offensive Coordinator] Clyde [Christensen], they’re not waiting for any of the other coaches. They’re taking it on their own and they’re trying to make sure everything’s tied up pretty tight before we hit this next game. They’ll be doing the same thing leading into the first regular season game.”

POUNCEY TO START THURSDAY

Center Mike Pouncey did not practice on Tuesday after participating fully on Monday, but it seems to be more of a precautionary move.

After practice Gase said that Pouncey will start for Miami in Thursday’s preseason game.

“We’ll play it by ear a little bit. It’s going to be a lot of communication between me and him,” Gase said. “Right now, we’re going to start the game with him and see how it goes. I just wanted to make sure I got my last confirmation from him that he’s ready to go and wanted to play in a preseason game. We’ll play it by ear. I’ll go by gut a little bit.”

Pouncey has been chomping at the bit to get back out there but has understood the need for patience on the part of the coaching staff.

Still, there is no denying that the Pro Bowl center is excited for the opportunity to stand in the huddle with his teammates for the first time since last November.

“Practice has been good. I feel great,” Pouncey said. “Yesterday was really a confidence booster for me because it was the most reps I’ve taken all training camp. After watching the film, I was really proud of what I put on film. So I’m excited to see how it goes.”

OTHER NOTES

Running Back Kenyan Drake returned to practice after being cleared by team doctors.  He had been in the concussion protocol since taking a hit to the helmet last Tuesday.

Linebacker Rey Maualuga worked off to the side for the second straight day, mostly on conditioning. He is not expected to play this week with the goal seemingly to get him ready for the season opener on September 10.

DB Walt Aikens, OL Kraig Urbik, LB Neville Hewitt, TE Chris Pantale and LB Brandon Watts all missed Tuesday’s practice due to injuries.

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