DOLPHINS HOLD SCRIMMAGE AT FIU
A picturesque evening at Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium was a perfect night for Miami Dolphins football, as the team took the field for an intrasquad scrimmage in front of a crowd of 16,407 fans. Head coach Joe Philbin got everything that he was looking for out of the scrimmage, as the team was able to do a ton of situational work, including red zone, two-minute drill scenarios, and as well as your run-of-the-mill game situations. The scrimmage also gave us the first look at some of the newest Dolphins in game-type action, as well as some young players getting their first game-like performances on tape.
Here’s a few observations from Friday night’s scrimmage:
1. Tannehill In Control
Continuing the theme of this training camp, Ryan Tannehill continued to show how comfortable he’s getting in his fourth year behind center. He certainly did feel the pressure and pass rush of the defense, but that never delayed any timing in the passing game. He moved subtly, and still found a rhythm to throw with timing. On the night, Tannehill was 10-17 for 103 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Despite the interceptions (which were both great plays by Brent Grimes and Bobby McCain), he has the look and confidence of a quarterback who is in total control, with a strong pocket presence. Tannehill is now looking like an established player, and that’s something that should get Dolphins fans excited entering the season.
2. Ndamukong Suh Shines
The song stays the same for Ndamukong Suh, as he impressed again in the scrimmage. Early on the All-Pro made his presence felt, as Suh went right across the face of Billy Turner, tackling Lamar Miller for a 12 yard loss. A play later Suh’s athleticism was shown after he chased down running back Damien Williams following a checkdown reception. These are typical plays that we’ve seen from Suh time and time again during his career, making a play from behind the line of scrimmage, and then immediately following it up in a different way by chasing down ballcarriers from behind. He makes the defense complete and whole in the middle, and his motor never stops. He’s lived up to the billing, and in the first game-type action, he most certainly was the story from the defensive side of the ball.
3. Big Play Bobby McCain
With the exception of Suh, the most impressive defender on the night had to be cornerback Bobby McCain, who made a sensational interception and was consistently around the football. McCain didn’t have the look of a rookie. He looked good, and looked like he belonged, bringing in a highlight-reel worthy pick off of Ryan Tannehill in the red zone. On his interception, he jumped over the top of Jarvis Landry on a fade route and transformed himself into a receiver, running to the back end line for the ball, and displaying the ball skills and field awareness to keep himself inbounds and finish the catch. He had multiple pass breakups on the night, and he’ll be an intriguing player to watch in a defensive backfield full of position battles.
- While we didn’t see much of Lamar Miller sans getting tackled by Ndamukong Suh for a 12 yard loss early in the scrimmage, we did get a good look at the backs behind him.LaMichael James showed off his explosive nature, rushing for 42 yards on nine carries. Damien Williams was able to find the end zone three times out of his 11 carries, several coming in goal line situations. Mike Gillislee had a touchdown as well, and Jay Ajayi may have also his best run of camp with a 12 yard burst late in the proceedings.
- The kicking game was definitely a winner on the night, as both Andrew Franks (39, 44, 51) and Caleb Sturgis (39, 41, and 46), were a perfect three for three on the evening.
- Tight end Jordan Cameron was a red zone favorite of Ryan Tannehill, as Cameron caught both of Tannehill’s touchdowns.
- Left tackle Jason Fox was dressed for action, but did not participate in the scrimmage.
- The starting guards were Jamil Douglas on the left side and Billy Turner on the right. It’ll be interesting to watch if each of those young players continue to hold those positions. Fellow guard Dallas Thomas did not participate in the scrimmage.
- Joining Thomas on the sidelines and not participating were Branden Albert, defensive backShamiel Gary, defensive back Don Jones, linebacker Koa Misi, wide receiverDeVante Parker, and wide receiver Kenny Stills.