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NOTEBOOK: Focus Turns To Preparation For Falcons Game

Posted Aug 5, 2014

Goal is to have the team dialed in on the game plan and execute Friday night in Atlanta.

Learning the offense remains a work in progress for Ryan Tannehill and his teammates, but the quarterback expects quick improvement now that the installation phase is over.

“I had a couple of plays today where I reacted just a half-second late and soon as it was over, I knew it,” Tannehill said after practice Tuesday. “You don’t even have to get coached up. You know. I can think back to the first couple of practices where I had those situations, those plays came up again and it didn’t happen again. So there’s new plays we’re going over. Same thing. It won’t happen again.”

Head Coach Joe Philbin indicated the team had nine installation practices, along with the team scrimmage. Emphasis in practice Tuesday was placed on end-of-half and end-of-game situations as well as overtime.

Philbin said the focus would turn Tuesday afternoon to preparation for the preseason opener Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons.

“Situationally, I think we’ve covered just about everything that can pop up in a game Friday night,” Philbin said. “Now we’ve got to get our guys focused in, dialed in on our plan and go execute Friday night in Atlanta.”

Tannehill said Tuesday he didn’t know how long he would play in the preseason opener, but he left no doubt as to what he wants to accomplish during his time on the field.

“Score,” Tannehill said. “That’s our whole goal as an offense. If we’re out on the field, we want to score points. It’s live football. It’s a preseason game. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter, but it matters to us. What we put on tape, what we go out there and show, that represents what kind of team we are and who we are as players, so we want to play well.”

PRACTICE STAR

Cornerback Cortland Finnegan continued his hot streak Tuesday by recording three more interceptions, two during team drills and one during a seven-on-seven.

That makes it three consecutive practices with at least one interception for Finnegan, who picked off a pass in the end zone during the team scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday.

Finnegan, however, hardly sounded overly impressed after his interception hat trick Tuesday.

“I’m not counting,” Finnegan said. “For me it’s the bad plays, and how do I eliminate those? Sometimes offense has our number, and sometimes vice versa.”

PRACTICE PARTICIPATION

Wide receiver Mike Wallace took part in some team drills Tuesday for the first time in almost a week. Wallace, who had been limited because of a hamstring injury, even ran a couple of deep patterns.

“I kind of wanted to see where I was,” Wallace said. “I told Coach I wanted to get a couple of plays on deep balls. They don’t want me to go in too fast, kind of working me back in a little bit. But once I got there, I was like, (shoot), I’m here out now, might as well try to get some work in. I just wanted to see kind of where I was at. Making strides.”

Linebacker Jelani Jenkins and rookie defensive tackle Anthony Johnson practiced for a second consecutive day after sitting out the team scrimmage Saturday.

Before practice Tuesday, the Dolphins announced that defensive end Olivier Vernon (back), running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring), tight end Michel Egnew (concussion) and tight end Gator Hoskins (hamstring) would miss multiple practices.

It’s also highly unlikely any of them will play Friday in the preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

THIS AND THAT

Offensive tackle Tony Hills and quarterback Brock Jensen both stayed on the field after practice to do mental reps by themselves. ... Rookie tight end Arthur Lynch was the last player working on the Jugs machine. ... Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe got through the line of scrimmage on a perfectly timed blitz during team drills for a would-be sack.

LAST WORD

“He’s a veteran player. He learns fast. You complete a route on him in a formation, you line up in the formation again and he knows what to expect. You may get him once, but he files that away and you show it again, he’s ready to jump it and make a play on it.” — QB Ryan Tannehill on cornerback Cortland Finnegan
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins