Defensive end Charles Harris has drawn rave reviews for his work since the start of camp, and he produced another strong effort Saturday.
Harris was the individual standout in the scrimmage portion of practice Saturday when he got to quarterback Ryan Tannehill for two sacks. He came free from the blind side on his second sack, suggesting the strong possibility of a sack/strip in a game situation.
"It's cool," Harris said. "It's really great to get into the stadium, get a feel for the stadium, get a feel for the grass. It's way different than last year, a lot better from last year. It's great to get back under these lights, under this heat and in front of the fans."
Harris discussed early in training camp how he's got a different mind-set than last year, how his different approach has made a difference.
"He's a tough matchup, especially on pass downs," Head Coach Adam Gase said. "The thing that he's improved on, especially from last year to this year and then through training camp, is his transition to a pass rush when it's first and second down. That's really kind of where rookies across the league will struggle always. You'll see that their pass disruption numbers aren't as good on first and second down because they're always thinking run and then they have to transition to the pass rush. I think he's really improved in that area and then you can see he causes disruption, especially if he gets a matchup where it's a tight end/tackle trying to work with him. It's really tough because he wins off the ball."
Ryan's return: While it was a practice, Saturday marked Ryan Tannehill's first football action at Hard Rock Stadium since December 2016 when he sustained a knee injury in a victory against the Arizona Cardinals. Tannehill completed 3 of 6 passes for 22 yards in the scrimmage, but his highlight was a 16-yard scramble off a naked bootleg. It was the longest running play of the scrimmage. Tannehill showed a good burst on his run, though he didn't make a big deal about it. "I've been doing it for a few weeks now, and even in the spring, so it's not significant," Tannehill said. "It does feel good to be out back on the grass and back in Hard Rock Stadium for the first time in a long time. I don't think our performance on offense was up to our standard of what we want it to be, but as far as coming out here for the first time in a long time and to be back on the grass and back to doing what we do, it felt good."
Photo gallery: stadium scrimmage sights.
Practice report: Senorise Perry was the leading rusher in the scrimmage, gaining 26 yards on four carries. … Wide receiver Rashawn Scott had a team-high 65 yards on two catches, including a 48-yard gain from Bryce Petty. … Kicker Jason Sanders was 2-for-2 with a long of 47, and rookie free agent Greg Joseph (who was celebrating his 24th birthday) was 2-for-3 with a long of 41 yards. … Defensive end Andre Branch also had a sack. … One thing that was disappointing for Gase was a handful of pre-snap penalties. "The only thing I noticed was the pre-snap penalties," Gase said. "We've just got to get that cleaned up. We've got to do a better job of not losing 5 yards on no play." … The Dolphins did some live tackling, but that came toward the end of the scrimmage.
Morgan's moment: Wide receiver Drew Morgan scored the only touchdown of the scrimmage when he caught a 1-yard pass from Brock Osweiler. Morgan also was one of two punt returners used during the scrimmage along with Jakeem Grant, making it a productive day for the first-year player from the University of Arkansas. "The scrimmage was good," he said. "I still think there's a lot to be left out there on the field and show. We haven't gotten into half of our abilities. It's one-eighth of our playbook. Not even. Maybe one-16th." Morgan said he's been spending a lot of time picking the brain of veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola and that it paid off on his touchdown. "That touchdown, actually, right whenever I was thinking, OK, we called that play," Morgan said. "I was going in my head, OK, what would Danny do? This is what Danny would say on this. 'Just boom, boom, and go.' I did exactly what he told me to do and scored a touchdown. So if it works, do it. If it doesn't work, don't do it. You know what I mean?"
Brock a bright spot: Osweiler's touchdown pass to Morgan was part of a perfect 7-for-7 outing for the veteran quarterback. He also had a 3-yard gain on a scramble. "The group did a tremendous job," Osweiler said. "We were able to finish our drive in the end zone. Anytime you're able to put points up on the board, that's all you can do. Very proud of the guys I played with today. The offensive line gave me a ton of time. The skill guys did great. The backs caught a lot of football out of the backfield. We had a couple of third-and-short; we moved the sticks. And it was a lot of fun." Gase said Osweiler's experience and familiarity with the offense showed on this day. "You can see he's been around for a minute," Gase said. "He likes being in this offense. It didn't seem real difficult for him to move the ball down the field. That was good."
Coaching visitor: As has been the case for most of the week, longtime NFL defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was a guest at practice. Ryan last work in the NFL in 2016 when he was assistant head coach for his brother Rex with the Buffalo Bills. He also coached with the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints, where one of his fellow coaches was current Dolphins senior director of football development Joe Vitt. "He's just really kind of taking in some ball," Gase said. "I know he's working around probably a little bit of the country and dropping in some places where he knows people. That's what some coaches when you're not with a team, you try to go to a couple places. It's learning. You're just trying to keep the knowledge expanding and learning different things, so when the next one comes around, you're ready to go and your mind is still on football."
Photo gallery: Dolphins host High School Media Day at Hard Rock Stadium.
High School Media Day: The Miami Dolphins hosted their annual High School Media Day at Hard Rock Stadium. Over 100 of the top high school football programs in South Florida took part in this year's event. The student-athletes had the opportunity to meet with local media as they prepare for the 2018 season. Following Media Day, the teams also had the opportunity to take in the Miami Dolphins scrimmage taking place outside the event.