Sandwiched between Head Coach Mike McDaniel's pre-practice media availability and Dolphins players meeting with the press after practice was a three-field, 180-player football extravaganza. It was a whirlwind.
Trading in the friendly perch atop the grandstands at the Baptist Health Training Complex for an on-field, up-close look at the day's work, it would be impossible to give a play-by-play analysis. However, the chaos produced two hours of reps with very little down time between and plenty to discuss from another day of Dolphins camp.
To find the press conferences of Mike McDaniel, Tua Tagovailoa and more, check out the team YouTube channel. For more analysis on today's practice, download the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield – available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Here are the takeaways from the Day 10 of training camp 2022:
1. Camaraderie and building bonds
More than five weeks stand between the Dolphins and their next road trip – a Week 2 tilt in Baltimore. Not only was this trip an opportunity to get some good work in against the Buccaneers, but it was also a great chance for the team to spend time together away from home.
"We traveled down here on Monday before a player's day off purposely, because this is where you get a lot of camaraderie," McDaniel said. "Guys have so many things going on in their lives, you spend a week together and there's no where to go but hang out with each other, and I think that over the course of my career, I've found that to be extremely beneficial. You end up looking back at these type of days when you're reflecting upon the entire season, and a lot of times, this is where the bonds solidify which is why it's one of the cool experiences that we're fortunate to do."
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa took advantage of opportunity to spend an off day with his teammates, to the detriment of his wallet.
"We got to go out to dinner with a couple of the guys the first night," said Tagovailoa. "Also got to walk through the mall with the guys yesterday, with a couple guys, and then go to dinner again. I thought it was a pretty cool trip."
"I actually picked up the dinner tab last night," he continued. "That was a big dinner tab. (laughter) But it was good, everyone enjoyed themselves. I picked up the Uber, too."
2. Taking what they give you
Can't go broke taking a profit, get to the next play, take what the defense gets your – cliches are cliches for a reason as they're typically true. We don't have the benefit of the tape to analyze but we do have the words of the Miami quarterback, who had a lot of success in the short-to-intermediate game on Day 1 of joint practices.
I would say technique. Tampa’s technique is different than the technique that we face a lot in camp where we get a lot of press man (coverage). Tampa has a lot of off man (coverage), off zone (coverage). They have a fair amount of disguises with what they do, but they’re a really good team. We’re very fortunate, as a team, to come out here and be able to compete against some of the guys that played on the Super Bowl team two years ago. So it’s good work for us, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa on the value of joint practices
Tyreek Hill continues eat up yards in two capacities – creating separation and actual receiving yardage. The Buccaneers boast one of the best fronts in the NFL, meaning the Cheetah had to go quick today. And he did. He and Jaylen Waddle continued to create separation, catch the ball and take off in a blur. On one particular rep, Waddle caught a pass coming across the field with the 17 on the back of his jersey concealed, but that didn't matter. His speed was his identifier on this particular play.
"I think Tyreek is, shoot, maybe the fastest guy in the NFL," Tagovailoa said. "It's been Keion Crossen because he's had many kickoff reps so he gets vertical speed every time. Tyreek doesn't really get to open it up as much.But shoot, everyone loves Tyreek in the organization and I think him and Jaylen do a really good job complementing each other by one goes deep – if they're doubling him, then we've got another speedster coming across and vice versa. But those guys also help other guys get open on our team."
A footnote: rookie wide receiver Erik Ezukanma had another fabulous day catching passes against a variety of defenders, in different periods, on a multitude of routes. It's been a terrific camp for Miami's fourth-round draft choice.
3. Pressure bursts pipes
The Dolphins defense saved their best for last in today's team periods.
Bucs quarterbacks were under constant duress. With both first teams on the field, Miami forced a pair of three-and-out possessions before Tampa Bay kicked a field goal on the third. However, within that drive, Zach Sieler and Emmanuel Ogbah both had fly-bys on Tom Brady that certainly would have been sacks in a live setting.
That was the story of the scrimmage period. Miami was really strong at getting interior pressure. Sieler rejected a pass before his sack and Christian Wilkins picked up another sack on top of multiple tackles for loss. Ogbah's sack came from a devastating cross-chop that immediately propelled him into the backfield. Jaelan Phillips picked up a sack of his own in the period.
That's not to say Brady and the Bucs didn't have some success. The seven-time Super Bowl champion was precise with the football despite good coverage early on, but the Dolphins defense forced most of his passes to be check downs, which is usually a good sign.
4. Pass pro checks another box
Despite Tampa Bay's stout front and blitz-happy defense, the Miami offensive line answered the bell. Tagovailoa was quick and decisive with the football, but the line did its job in giving him clean platforms from which to deliver.
The Bucs did produce a couple of sacks, but upon the live glance, it appeared it came from good coverage more than anything else. It's only one practice but it was a promising sign for Miami's young offensive line facing the fifth-best scoring defense in the NFL a season ago.
5. It's all about how you respond
That’s such a big deal to me. That’s one of the pillars that we talk about a ton. Adversity is relative, and I think that we’re had our own set and our own share of adversity internally with little things that don’t go the way you want them to go. In that thus far, that’s one of the reasons I love the guys and love the team, because they’ve responded exactly the way that they’ve been called upon at each and every turn, so in the game of football, like the game of life, now we’re moving forward and steadily awaiting whatever piece of adversity falls our way in the near future because it’s not if but when. And when that happens, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in how they’re going to respond. Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on facing adversity in the NFL
Both team's offenses had a good share of wins in one-on-one passing drills, which is not surprising because it's a drill that favors the offense. More space, no rush, no help – it's a wide receiver's dream. But fast forward to the full team periods and Miami's defense was getting a lot of wins with pass breakups, incompletions and sacks.
Keion Crossen got his hands on three passes as he enjoyed perhaps his best day in what's been a strong camp. Nik Needham had his hands on two footballs and squeezed windows all day. Brandon Jones made his presence felt in the final period by breaking up one pass and instantly shutting down a short reception. The Dolphins ability to come from depth and prevent yards after catch was often on display, particularly with Jones, Jevon Holland and Eric Rowe.