If Tuesday's report day was the first day of school, Wednesday was the first pop quiz as players hit the practice field in preparation for the 2022 season. Head Coach Mike McDaniel addressed the media before a high-intensity, rapid-work practice session. The day came to its conclusion with veteran media availability.
To find the press conferences of Tua Tagovailoa, Terron Armstead and much more, check out the team YouTube page.
Also, for further analysis, check out Drive Time with Travis Wingfield every day on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Play of the Day:
Here are the takeaways from the Day 1 of training camp 2022:
1. Setting the standard
When the Dolphins traded for Tyreek Hill in the offseason, we had some ideas of the type of impact the explosive, play-making receiver would have on the offense. But beyond his speed, competitive fire and unquestionable production, Hill is also tasked with a leadership role, a role he takes upon himself, as explained by McDaniel.
Tyreek is not one to think he knows it all. Guys that are way younger than him, he takes advice from them and he asks them questions, and I think that’s cool. He creates that atmosphere for every receiver in the room that you’re never too good to not take coaching from even your guys. - Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa
On the last play of one team period, Hill caught a ball from rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson, finished the play 70 yards away in the end zone, then ran back to the next drill to await further instruction. When a six-time Pro Bowler works that hard, it sets a standard. It also encourages young guys to ask questions and be more engaged.
Across all three phases, we saw a similar intensity on Day 1 of training camp. As he did during OTAs, Melvin Ingram passed on instruction during individual work. Terron Armstead praised the young group of linemen that he worked with for their eager attention to detail. Miami's new left tackle also touched on the team's approach to take the smoothest path to getting Armstead, and some of the more-tenured veterans, a clean runway to Week 1 with proper conditioning a clean bill of health.
"I definitely appreciate coming out the gate those guys having a set plan," said Armstead. "In the last few years, I've kind of had a little bit of a load management situation while I was in New Orleans. This was more detailed, kind of structured, so I know exactly what to expect. I think it'll be extremely beneficial for me."
2. Offseason work pays off
Those who frequent social media may have seen several instances of Tagovailoa and Hill working out together this summer. That chemistry was on display from the jump. The first team play of the day saw No. 10 streaking over the middle -- without breaking stride -- on a perfectly located pass and big gainer.
Tagovailoa talked about what he saw on the second explosive of the day to Hill, a 35-yard hole shot up the sideline (seen in the video atop this story).
I think our throws are always dependent on the coverage. It was man. They tried to spin the coverage running – I think it was some kind of lurk coverage. We spotted it and I knew Tyreek was one-on-one outside and I gave him an opportunity and he made the play. Tua Tagovailoa
The ball was out quickly, matching Hill's expeditious win off the line. McDaniel discussed the foundation set back in OTAs, including the impact on his quarterback and how Tagovailoa is approaching this camp.
"I think it's deliberate intent on each play," McDaniel said. "The quarterback's job is exhausting, in terms of you have to know a lot of things. He recognized that in OTAs and put in more time this offseason."
Tagovailoa was asked about how OTAs set the team up to hit the ground running this summer.
"I think it set a really good foundation," said Tagovailoa. "It helped that a lot of the guys showed up to our OTAs. We got to really work on things that out here probably wouldn't look as good if guys didn't come out to OTAs. A lot of the timing, just figuring out the offense and a lot of the intricacies and details that Mike (McDaniel) wants us to work on and understand. We got to do that throughout this offseason and we're looking forward to all of that showing throughout this training camp and the season."
Today, the ball jumped off Tua's hand with some darts to the intermediate portion of the field. In contention for his best throw of the day, Tagovailoa found Jaylen Waddle coming across the field for a 15-yard strike that stuck between the 1 and 7 on his jersey. Tagovailoa moved to his right, forcing him to flip and throw from an awkward platform with two defenders in his face, but none of that seemed to matter.
Waddle had a handful of chunk gains in practice, including one catch-and-run that might have been a 70-yard score had live tackling been permitted. That was off the arm of Skylar Thompson – and 60 of those yards came after the catch.
3. Didn't take long to spot 8 and 15
Second-year defensive players Jevon Holland and Jaelan Phillips saw heavy workloads last year with the production to match. On Day 1 of their sophomore campaigns, Miami's first- and second-round picks from 2021 picked up where they left off.
Phillips was in the backfield after a roaring get-off at the snap to shut down what looked like a screen play. Later, he killed a play with a would-be sack showcasing his pass rush arsenal off the edge.
Holland drove on a pass to Waddle to break it up –nearly an interception. He was vocal, fast, and frequently around the football.
Speaking of youngsters, Channing Tindall had an excellent play where he diagnosed and shot through the line for a would-be run on the ball carrier.
Check out photos from training camp on July 27 presented by Baptist Health.
4. Waves up front led by Christian Wilkins
Christian Wilkins, off a dominant 2021 season, was an absolute pest on Day 1. He had his hand in shutting down a few running plays, including one where he worked down the line to make a play.
The depth of the defensive line unit was on display. There were some one-on-one pass rush wins, but the variety of talents and skills in that group are evident on a snap-by-snap basis.
He also really, really, really loves football.
5. Taking advantage of opportunities
With Byron Jones on the PUP list, third-year cornerback Noah Igbinoghene made the most of an opportunity. He drove on a short pass to Hill for a breakup during team periods, and the defensive sideline erupted.
Trill Williams also made his presence known, jumping a route to the outside to intercept a pass from Teddy Bridgewater and taking it back for a touchdown.
Keion Crossen also had a would-be tackle for loss and a pass breakup of his own.
The Dolphins announced the signing of wide receiver Mohamed Sanu Sr. Mike McDaniel discussed his acquisition during the morning media availability.
Miami also brought back cornerback Tino Ellis, who was with the team last year in camp.
For more, follow @WingfieldNFL for post-practice tweets. Also, check out the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield, on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.