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Notes From Day 1 Of OTA Practices

Posted May 21, 2013

New Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes also fielded punts during Tuesday's practice. Find out more information about the Dolphins first OTA of 2013.





Cornerback Brent Grimes fielded punts at practice and he was joined for the occasion by wide receiver Brian Hartline.

Neither Grimes nor Hartline has returned punts in the NFL, but both did it in college. Hartline, in fact, was quick to point out after practice that he holds the Ohio State school record — he had a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown against Kent State as a sophomore in 2007.

Marcus Thigpen handled both punt and kickoff return duties for the Dolphins in 2012, although Davone Bess also was used on punt returns. With Bess having been traded to Cleveland during the draft, the Dolphins could be looking for somebody else to complement Thigpen.

“They made it a point to tell me to go back there and catch punts every day,” Hartline said. “It’s something they kind of saw on the docket. I’m sure they’re just looking at all the prospects.”

MOVING AROUND

Former first-round pick Jared Odrick lined up at defensive tackle during practice on Tuesday after starting 12 games at defensive end in 2012.

Odrick also lined up at defensive end in 2011 when the Dolphins employed a 3-4 base defense after playing defensive tackle at Penn State.

Philbin emphasized that OTA practices is a time for experimenting with using players at different positions or employing different combinations.

On offense, Will Yeatman lined up at guard Tuesday after working all of last season at offensive tackle. Yeatman came to the Dolphins in 2011 as a tight end before being converted to tackle last season.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets reps at different spots at different times,” Philbin said. “We certainly want him to compete for a starting job if he’s one of the five best guys. If he’s not, possibly that versatility helps a guy keep a job in the offensive line in the NFL.”

RAINY FINISH

Most of the Dolphins’ first OTA practice of the spring was run under cloudy skies, but a downpour fell on the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern for the final 15 minutes.

Despite the rain, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was able to complete 4 of 5 passes in a team drill, including a long sideline throw to Hartline.

The rain was so bad that post-practice interviews were conducted in the team’s lunch room.

GETTING STARTED

OTA practices represents phase 3 of the offseason program for the Dolphins, and Philbin said he was exciting to get that started.

“It’s great to be on the field again and coaching the guys,” Philbin said. “We’ve had some opportunities in phase 2 and spent a lot of time in the classroom, but this is what you live for as a coach and a player.”

Philbin explained that phase 1 included strength and conditioning as well as classroom work, with phase 2 involving going onto the field mainly for fundamental work and ball drills.

Phase 3 involves actual practice, the implementation of the schemes, and preparation for the mandatory minicamp from June 11-13 and training camp starting on July 20.

The first OTA snap featured a completion down the middle of the field from Tannehill to newly acquired tight end Dustin Keller.

“We had a good day, but obviously there’s a lot of areas we can improve on being the first time we’ve played in five months,” Tannehill said. “Excited about what we did today, but obviously also excited about making corrections and getting better.”

THIS AND THAT

The musical selections during stretching and warmups inside the bubble were “Love Me” by Lil Wayne (featuring Drake and Future) and “Karate Chop (Remix)” by Future (featuring Lil Wayne). … Among those watching the Dolphins practice was Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese. … Two of the most noteworthy plays were long completions by Pat Devlin to Brian Tyms and by Tannehill to Armon Binns.

THE FINAL WORD

“It was a good first step, it was a good first day. It needed to be done. Looking forward to going out there tomorrow.”
— Wide receiver Brian Hartline

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