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Notebook: Clay Highlights Hurry-Up Offense; Injury Update; Other Notes

Posted Sep 6, 2012

Tight end Charles Clay is flourishing in Miami's up tempo offense during the two-minute drills. Read this and the rest of today's daily notebook.

If the first hurry-up scenario in today’s practice was any indication, tight end Charles Clay and the other key members of the passing game for the Dolphins are ahead of the curve.

After a timeout, rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill floated a perfect pass over the middle to Clay on a seam route for a first down that got the offense into the red zone. It came on the heels of three perfectly executed plays by the offense with the clock running.

Tannehill zipped a mid-range pass to Legedu Naanee on a slant, spiked the ball to stop the clock on second down and hit Anthony Armstrong on a quick slant for a first down. Up to that point the plays were being run without any crowd noise, but after Clay’s catch Head Coach Joe Philbin ordered the piped in recorded cheers to be cranked up.

“We want to go out there and prove what kind of offense that we have and obviously there has been a lot of hype about our offense,” center Mike Pouncey said. “I guess we’ll be able to showcase our talents when we get to play four quarters.”

Tannehill spiked the ball again after Clay’s catch to stop the clock and then finished off the drive with a nicely placed fade pass to Naanee in the left corner of the end zone. Naanee made the leaping catch over Carroll and Clemons, who were in double coverage.

Clay caught 16 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns last season as a rookie, with a long of 43 yards, and that seam route yielded the best results for him. This year’s up-tempo system under offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, which relies on the no-huddle and setting up mismatches, could yield more big plays for Clay and veteran tight end Anthony Fasano.

INJURY UPDATE

Left tackle Jake Long (knee), right guard John Jerry (ankle) and linebackers Koa Misi (back) and Jason Trusnik (ankle) were limited in practice for the second straight day. … Wide receiver Brian Hartline (calf), defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (knee/toes) and rookie defensive end Derrick Shelby (shoulder) once again practiced in full. … For the Texans, outside linebacker Bryan Braman (hamstring) did not practice again. Inside linebacker Brian Cushing (ribs), tight end Owen Daniels (illness), running back Arian Foster (knee), outside linebacker Brooks Reed (hip) and free safety Shiloh Keo (neck) were limited and nose tackle Shaun Cody (back/ankle), wide receiver Andre Johnson (chest), running back Ben Tate (head) and defensive end J.J. Watt (elbow) all participated in a full practice again.

PHILBIN KNOWS HOW TO SPICE UP SPEECHES

After sharing with the media that he’s cooked up a few different ideas for the pregame speech he plans to deliver to the time Saturday night in Houston, Philbin was asked what his best one was as offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers. He didn’t even blink an eye when he answered.

“Probably the one where I dressed up like a pilgrim the day before the Thanksgiving Day game is probably the most famous,” Philbin said. “I’m totally serious. I sent my wife out to the costume store and I had the buckles and the big hat and the whole thing.

“Over the years I had done some spoofs on the Boston Marathon or The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, so they knew I would always rub Massachusetts in their face. The point was we were playing the Lions and it was a Thanksgiving Day game and we’ve got to stick together like a family. There are no photos. I took care of that.”

COACH SPEAK

“A guy that comes in a little bit early, gets his lift in, gets a good meal in, comes to the meetings attentive, sits there and listens and takes notes, laughs a little bit, enjoys what he’s doing, is passionate about what he’s doing, practices hard and learns from the mistakes that he makes in practice. I’m looking for guys that are good, honest guys, good teammates and unselfish guys. I’m not looking for any super heroes or guys with capes on or anything like that but just guys that like the game, respect the game and come in and give us an honest day.” – Philbin on what makes up an ideal player in his opinion

“I envision us doing that on a weekly basis. My history I guess in the league, that’s kind what I’ve been used to and then what I’m used to is when we go into the playoffs we’ll elect captains that will carry us through the playoffs. So that’s what I’m going to do at this point in time anyway.” – Philbin on how the tam captains will be selected and why

“Working with (equipment manager) Joe Cimino figuring out where each drill on the field is has been the biggest challenge, and if we’re inside or outside.” – Philbin joking about what the biggest challenge has been for him in his first year as a head coach

“I told the players today in the meeting they haven’t played a game in 251 days, so get ready to play an NFL game. I put up on the PowerPoint that in an average NFL game there are 67 snaps on offense and defense and 28 on special teams so that’s 162 over the course of a game. I told them to get ready to play a complete game and get ready physically, mentally and emotionally.” – Philbin on his message to the team going into Sunday’s opener at Houston

LOCKER ROOM TALK

“This isn’t our first time being counted out of games, so it’s not a big deal for us. We’re going to go out there and play our hearts out and we’ll see what happens.” – defensive tackle Randy Starks on going into Sunday’s game as an underdog

“It was a little different for me because I had (Vince) Wilfork and (Albert) Haynesworth in my first game. These rookies that are starting in this game, they’re going to do a great job. They’ve been doing a great job all preseason so we can’t wait to go out and see what our football team looks like on Sunday.” – center Mike Pouncey recalling his first start as a rookie last season

“Dropping the ball.” – wide receiver Brian Hartline on the quickest way for a receiver to get on the QB’s bad side

“The first thing you want to stop is the running game. Obviously, you’ve got Arian Foster over there, arguably one of the best running backs in the league, so if you don’t stop that it’s going to be a long day. After that, they’re well known for the play-action pass. When you get sucked up in the run so much they fake the handoff and the next thing you know Andre Johnson’s wide open down the field so guys have to be disciplined in the back end and up front those guys have to be strong against the run.” – cornerback Sean Smith on how to defend the Texans offense

DOLPHINS TIDBITS

## During stretching and warm-ups it didn’t take long to figure out that Jake Long had nothing to do with the music selection because there was not a hint of country. Rick Ross’ “So Sophisticated” started things off, followed by “Band A Make Her Dance,” by Juicy J with Lil Wayne.

## Linebacker Kevin Burnett got a revelation as to just how young this year’s team is when he played a song on his stereo from 1992 by Outkast called “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” and Jones and cornerback R.J. Stanford didn’t know what it was. Center Mike Pouncey told Burnett he was playing music that his father used to dance to at nightclubs and threatened to take over as locker room DJ.

## Pouncey can’t wait for this weekend for two reasons – his game against the Texans and the day before when his alma mater, the Florida Gators, take on Texas A&M in the Aggies’ opener. He confirmed that neither Tannehill nor fullback Jorvorskie Lane, both former Aggies, wanted anything to do with a friendly bet on the outcome.
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