The next time the Dolphins hit the practice field they will do so in front of more than 2,000 raucous fans at the Baptist Health Training Complex – one day after it was announced the team is expected to sell out their 2022 season ticket memberships as early as next week. When that happens, fans looking for season ticket membership in 2023 will be added to a waiting list, the first time that's happened in franchise history. The excitement to watch these Miami Dolphins is clearly high in South Florida right now, and tomorrow fans will get a glimpse for themselves the first time.
On Thursday, the team was back at work in preparation for the 2022 season. Here are the takeaways from the Day 3 of training camp.
To find the press conferences of Jerome Baker, Cedrick Wilson, Liam Eichenberg, Austin Jackson and Noah Igbinoghene check out the team YouTube channel.
Here are the takeaways from Friday's practice:
1. Big play day
There were big plays aplenty on Friday both for the offense and defense. Cedrick Wilson praised Tua Tagovailoa's accuracy in his media availability, which was on display on a 50-yard pitch and catch to rookie Braylon Sanders.
"He's a pro. He's accurate; always on point," Wilson said of his quarterback. "He's going to joke with you but as soon as we get in the huddle it's time to go."
It's difficult to award touchdowns in the running game without live tackling, but the Dolphins had two runs – one from Salvon Ahmed, one from Raheem Mostert – that might've gotten out the gate. Both runners hit clear lanes, made a move at the second level and showcased their breakaway speed to the end zone. More on the guys who cleared the lanes in a moment.
Defensively, a pair of picks helped the defense even the score. On the Sanders touchdown, Jevon Holland was one step away from making a play on the football and, frankly, it was the first time all camp that he wasn't there to either make a play on the ball or discourage the quarterback from throwing all together.
Just a few plays later, he was back at it. He ranged over on a deep ball attempt from Tagovailoa to Jaylen Waddle and high-pointed the ball like a wide receiver, securing his first interception of training camp.
Duke Riley had the other pick as he dropped in coverage and extended to pull down a pass from Teddy Bridgewater to River Cracraft.
2. Good pocket
There have been more plays that extend to four, even five seconds with the quarterback operating in a clean pocket then I can remember seeing in four years of daily camp coverage. The quarterbacks have had some time to survey and even take off for some positive scramble yardage.
In my practice notes on Twitter (embedded below), I noted that everything looks easy for Terron Armstead. He helped shut down the pass rush from the offense's left with a handful of smooth reps where he mirrored and used his hands to keep rushers at bay.
Liam Eichenberg discussed the value of the two new additions – Armstead and Connor Williams – not just on the field, but for the tips and tricks they teach him in the meeting room.
Whenever I have an issue, I just go right to Connor (Williams). And then Terron (Armstead) is there and Terron has been around for a while. He knows a lot about the offensive line position.” Liam Eichenberg
Eichenberg also earned the orange practice jersey after a sterling effort on Thursday – he was sharp again on Friday. More on the offensive line's work in the running game in a moment.
3. Good coverage
On the other side, the coverage in the secondary is consistently glove-like. Xavien Howard hasn't garnered much publicity the first few days because he's so rarely targeted. He did have a nice win in a premiere one-on-one matchup with Tyreek Hill at Friday's practice.
Fellow cornerback Noah Igbinoghene's best rep of the day was a completed pass to Jaylen Waddle. In one-on-one, a tough matchup for any corner, Waddle sold a deep route and came back to the football. As he put his foot in the ground, Igbinoghene did too, staying stride for stride with the shifty wide out. Igbinoghene played it perfectly, playing the ball for a pass breakup. The deflection, however, popped straight up and into the waiting arms of Waddle.
"I count it as a win, I count it as a win." Igbinoghene said. "Of course, if we were live it would've be complete because he still caught it. It was one-on-one, so I count it as a win."
Trill Williams is making a play every day. He looks the part with his length and physicality allowing him to be quite effective in press.
Nik Needham is off to another good start to this camp and rookie Kader Kohou made another play on the football today.
4. Trading blows in the running game
The offense had the big-hitters in the run game on Friday, but the consistent wins went to the trio of Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis and Zach Sieler up front. Each player was in the backfield on multiple occasions.
Linebacker Brennan Scarlett has done his part as well – he has a devastating long arm that allows him to maintain the edge and funnel runs back inside.
Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, Larnel Coleman, Robert Jones and John Lovett all made it into the notes with key blocks on the big runs.
Check out photos from training camp on July 29.
5. Fundamentals in full force
There's been an emphasis on the individual periods and fine-tunning technique. It's evident watching the defensive line work, particularly a drill with Wilkins, Sieler and Emmanuel Ogbah. Ogbah had a rep in the team period where he shocked his man, came off the block and made a stop. It was a continuation from the individual work where he displayed his length and low pad level.
On offense, the timing between Tagovailoa and Hill is apparent. During one-on-ones, Hill sold a takeoff route that pushed the corner up-field. The moment Hill slammed on the brakes, the football was right there off the back-shoulder. This has been the case all three days with regards to their timing.