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Notebook: Offensive Line Looking At Different Combinations

Posted Jul 27, 2014

Team’s first practice in pads has Brenner and Turner taking snaps with the first unit

Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin said on the first day of training camp he would look at different combinations along the offensive line, and that’s just what happened Sunday.

Sam Brenner took snaps at center with the first-team unit, while rookie third-round pick Billy Turner got some work with the first-teamers at left guard. First-round pick Ja’Wuan James, Dallas Thomas and Branden Albert again took all the first-team reps at right tackle, right guard and left tackle, respectively.

Brenner started four games at left guard as a rookie late last season, but played center at the University of Utah.

As for Turner, he’s making the transition to guard after playing left tackle at North Dakota State.

“(I’m) definitely seeing a lot of development from the OTAs, where not surprisingly because coming from North Dakota State from left tackle, playing a new position, there’s a learning curve,” Philbin said. “I think we all acknowledge that. He’s far ahead of where he was in the OTAs, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. He’s an athlete. He has good movement skill. He’s one that really needs to learn the concept of leverage, especially when you go inside. I think it becomes even more of a critical factor.”

Another spot where a new player got first-team snaps Sunday was the secondary where second-year player Jamar Taylor sometimes lined up at cornerback opposite Brent Grimes.

Philbin said after practice Sunday that the way the players are lining up now doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how things will be a month from now.

“I think we’re going to look at some different combinations,” Philbin said. “I think there’s going to be excellent competition. This is kind of step one. This is kind of a transition from OTAs with nothing, from shells, now to pads. There’s going to be excellent competition and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some changes.”

SHORT DAY

Linebacker Koa Misi and running back Mike Gillislee both left practice early when they went inside the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University.

Before walking inside, Misi could be seen with ice on his left foot.

Wide receiver Brandon Gibson, meanwhile, went inside during practice and re-emerged without pads. Gibson, who is attempting to come back from a knee injury last October that cut short his 2013 season, briefly had an ice bag on his left knee.

CYCLING GUESTS

The practice Sunday was reserved for Season Ticket Members, and they were joined in the stands by approximately 100 Dolphin Cycling Challenge riders.

The group kicked off its training for the 2014 DCC, scheduled for Feb. 7-8. The Dolphin Cycling Challenge has raised $7 million for cancer research in its first four years and DCC Chief Executive Officer Michael Mandich has stated a goal of $5 million for the next event.

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

Damian Williams and rookie sixth-round pick Matt Hazel both made acrobatic catches early in practice, while Rishard Matthews came oh-so-close to making a spectacular grab on a deep pass when he jumped in front of cornerback Brent Grimes at the last second and reached for the ball. The official ruled the ball hit the ground, though. ... Cornerback Will Davis had an impressive interception in one-on-one drills when he beat the receiver to the corner on the route and reached up to snag the ball. ... Defensive end Dion Jordan picked off a screen pass when he got great penetration from the right side. ... Rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry continued to impress with his ability to get open and catch everything thrown his way. ... Linebacker Jason Trusnik had a nice interception when he stepped in front of rookie tight end Arthur Lynch.

THIS AND THAT

Lynch was the last player working on the field ... Ja’Wuan James said negotiations with former University of Tennessee teammate Dallas Thomas for the number 70 were ongoing but getting close to fruition. James was assigned 72 after joining the Dolphins and has been looking to get his college number from Thomas, who wore 70 as a rookie last season. ... For the second day in a row, there was only one musical selection during stretching and this time it was “Get On The Good Foot” by James Brown.

LAST WORD

“It wasn’t about the Miami Dolphins at all. It was about a young team that’s willing to win and has the work ethic to win. If this team right here would have been in Alaska with the same group of guys, I would have signed with Alaska.” — Safety Louis Delmas, who grew up in North Miami Beach, on signing with the Dolphins in the offseason
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