Today's Top 5: 7.31.17

Posted Jul 31, 2017

1. Taking it up a notch: The Dolphins went with full pads Monday morning in a practice that featured live tackling in team drills. Head Coach Adam Gase said he had been thinking about doing this since the spring, the idea being to do something that could pay dividends for the run defense in the long run. This was the first time in recent memory the Dolphins had live tackling during a training camp practice. Live tackling obviously increases the intensity of practice and it’s something most players seem to enjoy. It also provides a better gauge for where players are in their development and certainly livens things up for the fans.

2. Wake watch: After Gase gave William Hayes a veteran day off Sunday, he planned on doing the same thing with Cameron Wake on Monday — until Wake found out about the live tackling. Wake told Gase there was no way he wanted to miss that practice. For anyone who has followed Wake’s career, there should be absolutely zero surprise about that revelation. That’s the kind of gamer Wake always has been. Wake actually doesn’t like sitting out ANY practice, although he said Monday he understands the concept of trying to keep veterans as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Wake described the decision as having a little angel and little devil both talking in his ear.

3. Injury update: Running back Jay Ajayi left the field during practice and later was evaluated for a concussion. Gase said he would know more about Ajayi’s status later in the day. Cornerback Bobby McCain was out on the field, but he was held out of team drills. He hurt his knee in practice Sunday. Rookie wide receiver Isaiah Ford will be getting a second opinion on his injured knee, according to Gase. Safety Reshad Jones remains on the Non-Football Injury list with a calf injury and Gase said the team would be careful with him.

4. Saluting Albert: Tackle Branden Albert announced his retirement Monday morning, four months after the Dolphins traded him to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Albert spent the past three seasons with the Dolphins, earning Pro Bowl honors following the 2015 season. His retirement means the Dolphins will not be getting the 2018 seventh-round draft pick they received in the trade with the Jaguars. Albert earned a lot of respect from teammates and coaches during his time in Miami, both with his performance and his dedication in coming back from a knee injury he sustained in November 2014. Gase said his respect level for Albert, who also made himself a media favorite with his availability and honesty, was extremely high.

5. Youth is served: The Dolphins had young guests at practice again Monday, although this time it was two youth teams: the Coral Springs Chargers and the Plantation Wildcats.
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