DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins took the field for the first time on Thursday as the team begins their 2015 training camp.
After beginning with some light position drills and stretching in the practice bubble, the team headed outside and began working on the two full-length football fields.
First days are always a bit of a mixed bag, with players just beginning to find their footing and start working on things that will get them ready for the regular season in September.
Here are some observations and things that stood out during day one of Dolphins Training Camp.
The Dolphins starting quarterback had a slow start to the day, with throws being a little ahead of his receivers. Eventually he settled in and started making some clean and crisp throws, threading the needle on passes across the middle and along the sidelines. His deep ball was inconsistent, as usual, but he did have a couple nice ones to go with the few that were underthrown.
Miami started the way with Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner as the first team guards, but as 11-on-11 drills continued there was definitely an effort to rotate players on and off the starting unit. For example, rookie Jamil Douglas was sent in to replace Thomas after the first 11-on-11 play.
Starting left tackle Branden Albert worked with the team in the practice bubble but once the outside portion began, he was sent off to do rehab work on the side. Just having him out there is a good sign and he is very optimistic about being able to play Week 1 against Washington. In the meantime, Jason Fox is taking the first team reps at left tackle.
Louis Delmas and Reshad Jones started camp as the first team safeties, which is a great sign as Delmas is coming off of right knee surgery. Brice McCain was the top nickel cornerback. Rookie Bobby McCain had an interception and dropped two others. Jamar Taylor took most of the reps opposite Brent Grimes as the starting corners, but there were several times where Taylor was roasted by receivers. Will Davis had a good day and could very well overtake Taylor for the spot.
Chris McCain is being given a chance to shine. He was the starting strong side linebacker, alongside Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins. McCain looked solid, making a couple plays while not standing out for a bad reason. Kelvin Sheppard, Jordan Tripp and Spencer Paysinger rounded out the second team linebackers.
Caleb Sturgis Still Inconsistent
The day started out great for Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis, who is coming back from a groin injury that has lingered basically his entire NFL career. He made his first eight field goals, from 33, 33, 39, 42, 44, 44, 40 and 41 yards away. He then missed two in a row, from 45 and 35 yards, before making his final kick from 35 yards away.
It was nice to see Kenny Stills out there for the start of training camp after he missed the final parts of Miami’s offseason workouts. He made several catches during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, but did have one drop. Greg Jennings’ route running is something special to watch, and he made a very nice catch across the middle on an equally impressive throw from Tannehill. Michael Preston flashed several times during practice today, making a pair of nice catches on deep balls, one from Tannehill and one from Matt Moore. Also having a nice day catching the ball was Matt Hazel, who appeared to have improved on his route running as well.
As for rookie DeVante Parker, he worked out on the side doing rehab work. While Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said that he’s taking it “one day at a time” with Parker, he did give the impression that the expectations are that the rookie will be ready for Week 1.
Just a quick note on which players were returning punts for the Dolphins on Thursday. Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Brent Grimes, LaMichael James and Christion Jones all took turns fielding punts during practice. At one point they worked on one-handed catches while holding a ball in their other hand.
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