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Day 3 Notebook: Hitting Commences In Full Pads; Other Notes

Posted Jul 23, 2013

Extra armor raises the intensity of third practice.



With a few friendly handshakes and pats on the helmet to the offensive players as they huddled up, defensive end Cameron Wake signaled the start of the first team drill in full pads for the Miami Dolphins.

All it took was three plays before the first significant hit could be seen and heard this morning and safety Chris Clemons delivered it on running back Lamar Miller. It was a simple running play to the right and as Miller squeezed through a hole he took a shoulder from Clemons that knocked him to the ground, setting the tone for the practice.

“Well, you know it’s a fine line. Right now we’re at odds with each other,” said Wake, who has been to two Pro Bowls in four seasons. “The offense, in our mindset that’s the other team, even though we are one unit and come Sundays we’re going to be on the same sideline, but for now we’re going after each other, trying to make it hard. Of course we don’t want anybody hurt. We’re not taking backs to the ground either, but you know you want to put a good thought on him and let him know you’re there and get in good football position.”

Head Coach Joe Philbin reminded everyone that the first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys is fast approaching and the first intrasquad scrimmage is Monday night at Sun Life Stadium. So the quicker they could get to the contact the better.

“I thought our guys were ready to have some contact work,” Philbin said. “We stay inside, as you guys know, for about 45 minutes and some of the parts of practice that don’t really need to be padded up. Then we put them on and get to work.”

SOLIAI THE BARBER STRIKES AGAIN

Unlike last summer when the HBO cameras were rolling, defensive tackle Paul Soliai was able to perform his hair styling tricks on the rookie defensive linemen behind closed doors. His handy work was on display today when they removed their helmets, starting with first-round pick Dion Jordan’s two-tone look of bronze stripes.

“Hey man, I’m paying my dues. It’s nothing, though,” Jordan said. “I’m not the only guy that had to go through it. I’m just doing what they want me to do and get it over with. “I looked in the mirror. I don’t know how my mother would feel about it, though.”

Soliai learned his barber skills from his wife, Letasha, and enjoys using the rookies as his models. But he doesn’t force them to go all season.

“I just ask for two weeks,” he said. “Not the whole preseason, just two weeks.”

TIGHT ENDS FIND SUCCESS EARLY

Despite getting decent pressure on the quarterbacks during team drills, the defense got to see up close just how effective the tight ends will be in Miami’s offense this year.

Dustin Keller made a leaping grab on the outside to quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s right after creating separation and hauled in a couple of other passes down the field. Charles Clay showed off his hands down the left seam off a nice pass from Tannehill.

THIS AND THAT

Clemons stepped in front of Keller on a timing route and picked off Tannehill for a touchdown, firing up his defensive teammates. … Rookie cornerback Will Davis showed off his athleticism by diving to breakup a pass intended of Armon Binns. … Wide receiver Rishard Matthews hauled in a deep ball from Matt Moore one day after catching a 70-yard touchdown pass from Moore. … Dannell Ellerbe was one of a handful of defensive players to get into the backfield for would-be sacks, but they are not allowed to take down the quarterback so they run to the side of him. He counted at least four for himself, and Vaughn Martin and Austin Spitler also got back there. … There was a little variety in the music being played during the team stretch inside the bubble, as country was the theme to start with “Drivin’ Around Song,” by Colt Ford featuring Jason Aldean. Then things shifted to old school dance music with “Get Down On It,” by Kool & The Gang.

THE FINAL WORD

“The thing is we had a rookie last year who tried to deny inevitability. You can’t. So we just figured out a different way to make it inevitable. We’ll get you. You can’t run from it.” – defensive tackle Jared Odrick on how they get the rookies to agree to the haircut hazing

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