It's officially game week as the Dolphins and Falcons will tune it up twice ahead of Friday's preseason opener at Hard Rock Stadium. Practice No. 1 is in the books with Atlanta. Here are the highlights:
Practice 10, August 8, 2023
The Falcons arrived in Miami Gardens for a week of work, bringing with them one of the league's more-intriguing rushing attacks. In an era of pass-happy football, Atlanta is well-invested in the run game, spearheaded by the eighth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, rookie Bijan Robinson.
For the Dolphins, it is a chance to go toe-to-toe with one of the top projected ground games. The results on Day 1 were extremely positive.
Linebacker Jaelan Phillips has been on a steady plane of progression heading into Year 3 of his pro career. An emphasis in his game this year is setting the edge in the run game. Phillips has had a phenomenal camp by all accounts, but his work against the run jumps off the practice field. He was back at it Tuesday as the vaunted Falcons rushing attack tried to beat down the door on the perimeter, but Phillips consistently held the fort.
On back-to-back plays, Phillips strung plays out, got off his block and tagged off for losses. At the conclusion of the second rep, Phillips came off the stack with a ton of enthusiasm.
The short-area quickness is so good. He does such a good job of making those one-step cuts. You can feel his body language and know when he’s getting ready to break out. He has a really good feel for the zone looks as well. Man-to-man he’s fast and crafty so he can beat you off pure speed; but it’s the zone looks where he knows how to throttle down. Dolphins QB Mike White on WR Braxton Berrios’ ability to win on third down
Wide receiver Braxton Berrios caught three passes on third downs to move the sticks during Tuesday's practice. All three of the grabs were in tight quarters, and the results of sharp routes synced up with timing from his signal-callers.
Everyone knows about the capabilities of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in that receivers room. Berrios' skillset is the quintessential complement to the two burners.
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Safety Verone McKinley III stepped in front of a Logan Woodside pass during the red zone period and returned the interception 90 yards for a touchdown.
The Dolphins running backs made plays via the air and ground. Raheem Mostert got free for a long catch-and-run from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and scored on a Tua throw in red zone work. Running back De'Von Achane dropped his shoulder for a touchdown run in the red zone period and shook free for two explosive runs in other 11-on-11 periods.
Tyreek Hill is usually the best player when he steps on a field, and he was again Tuesday. Whether it was team period, one-on-ones or otherwise, Hill was a problem for the Falcons defense. Robbie Chosen had one of his most productive days scoring a long touchdown during one-on-ones and racking up chunk plays in the team period, most notably a shot for 30 yards from Tagovailoa.