Dolphins Have Energetic Practice Inside The Bubble

Posted Jun 2, 2014

All 90 players on the roster were present at practice for their fourth Organized Team Activity of the spring.

The Dolphins returned to the practice field Monday for their fourth Organized Team Activity of the spring, and this one had some noticeable differences.

The first and most obvious was the location of the workout session, which took place inside the practice bubble because of the steady rain coming down in the Fort Lauderdale area.

“I thought the energy was good,” Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “The first time you’re inside it feels a little faster probably just because the heat index is a little bit lower there. I thought overall it was a good practice.”

For the first time this spring, the Dolphins did work in the red zone Monday as they continued installing their new offensive scheme.

The Dolphins have two more OTAs scheduled for this week, with emphasis expected to be placed on two-minute situations and fourth-down plays. Philbin said he estimated that 80 to 85 percent of the Dolphins’ “systems of play” would be in place by the end of the week.

Philbin acknowledged that there is a learning curve for the offensive players with Bill Lazor aboard as the new offensive coordinator.

“It’s the first time that they’ve done this in a competitive atmosphere,” Philbin said. “They’ve gone over it in the classroom, they’ve gone over it in Phase Two against air — I’m talking about the offense specifically. It definitely takes time.”

Wide receiver Mike Wallace had a productive practice as he caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

“Last week we didn’t hit any passes, this week we had a couple already,” Wallace said. “It’s a work in progress, but I think every day we’re getting better.”

All 90 players on the roster were present at practice, including wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who was in Los Angeles over the weekend for the three-day NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Landry was among a group of more than 30 NFL rookies assembled to learn about the business of football. The NFLPA’s annual orientation includes seminars on financial planning, brand building, group player rights, and social media practices.

Also on hand Monday was Marcus Thigpen, who was absent when the Dolphins had their first OTA open to the media.

Thigpen, the Dolphins’ kick returner the past two years, practiced at wide receiver Monday despite being listed as a running back on the roster. Thigpen also saw practice time at wide receiver last offseason.

“They’re trying to get me the ball more, so I think it’s a good move,” Thigpen said. “I’ve just got to get the plays down and get ready to run some routes. I’m definitely learning both positions so I can be ready for whatever.”

Koa Misi again lined up at middle linebacker on defense, as the Dolphins continue to experiment with different players at different positions. At outside linebacker Monday, Jelani Jenkins split time on the first-team defense with Dannell Ellerbe, the starter at middle linebacker last season.

Philbin emphasized that who lines up where at this time of year isn’t nearly as important as getting all players opportunities to show what they can do.”

“There’s competition everywhere,” Philbin said. “We’re looking for everybody to step up and compete and push each other as a football team in general.

“It’s OTA 4 and we’re not lining up until Sept. 7 ... the big thing is providing opportunities for repetitions. That’s what we want to do. We want to get a lot of plays on tape, take a look at it, teach it, obviously we’re studying personnel, who can do what jobs the best. There’ll be a time and a place for all that (depth chart talk), but right now we’re just interested in getting guys some work and exposure.”


There was no repeat appearance by Jason Taylor as a guest coach Monday, but there was another former Dolphins great helping out at practice.

Sam Madison, unquestionably one of the greatest cornerbacks in team history, worked with the Dolphins defensive backs for the second OTA open to the media.

Philbin said last week he was looking to get more and more former Dolphins players involved.


It hasn’t taken new safety Louis Delmas very long to make an impression on his new team.

When asked what he has seen from Delmas, who signed as a free agent in March, wide receiver Mike Wallace replied: “Energy. A lot of energy. He’s always making noise. He keeps trying to come in the offensive huddle. We kick him out every single period. He brings a lot of energy. I love a guy like that on the field. Guys feed off of that. We all know how he can play. I’ve always been a fan. Glad to have him on our team.”

Philbin echoed those sentiments when he talked about how quickly Delmas fit into his new environment.

“I think it took Louis about three minutes to get comfortable in the building,” Philbin said. “He’s an energetic, passionate guy. The one thing that we noticed, the way he plays on tape before we signed him, he plays fast, he plays football the right way. He’s decisive and that enthusiasm, that energy, he’s certainly brought that to the team. He likes going out there.”


Safety Jimmy Wilson came up with an interception in a goal-line drill after a pass was tipped. ... Safety Reshad Jones said it wasn’t a fashion statement but rather a desire to keep his legs warm that led to him wearing fluorescent lime green sleeves. ... The song of choice for the stretching portion of practice was “Now That We Found Love” by Third World.
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