For quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the start of training camp has proceeded smoothly from a physical standpoint, perhaps even better than he had anticipated.
Tannehill turned 30 years old Friday and he said he was feeling "great" after the Dolphins completed a fifth consecutive day of practice.
Tannehill said he hasn't even felt any soreness in his throwing arm since the start of camp, which has surprised him a little.
"I came in pushing myself in the offseason, throwing a lot, getting ready to go," he said. "I was actually pleasantly surprised. Day two, I came out here and I was kind of expecting a little arm soreness just with the increased load. It's one of those where you expect to be sore, a little tired and it's not, (and) you're like, oh, all right, good. It's been good so far. Hopefully, I hope to keep it that way as we move forward and the load increases even more. But I feel great so far."
Defensive end Cameron Wake said he never visited the training room last year, but can conclude that Tannehill did it the right way during his rehabilitation process.
"If you look at him today and the way he's approaching the game," Wake said, "obviously he did what he was supposed to do."
Tannehill was asked whether he gave any thought to his career arc after reaching 30 years old, but he said he was just focused on the present.
"Honestly, I don't know," Tannehill said. "I'm just trying to get better. I feel like I have a lot of good football left in front of me and just want to be the best I can this year and we'll focus (on other things) after that."
Heated practice: The intensity picked up at practice Monday, which was to be expected as the team practiced in full pads for the first time this summer. The practice also was moved inside the bubble at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University because of lightning in the area, and that also contributed to the feistiness that resulted in a couple of minor skirmishes. "They're not going to get as tired as they get outside," Head Coach Adam Gase explained. Wide receiver Jakeem Grant, who was involved in one of the skirmishes, said it's all part of competition. "One thing about us this year, we're bringing that physicality right back at them," Grant said. "That's why we butt heads a lot. But at the end of the day, we're going to continue to play as a unit and we're going to shake hands afterward because there's no hard feelings."
X marks the spot: Xavien Howard is off to a strong start in training camp and he came up with a big play for the defense at the end of one-on-one drills between defensive backs and receivers. Howard reached out to knock away what looked like a perfectly thrown deep pass from Tannehill to DeVante Parker in the corner of the end zone. There was a lot riding on the play, too, because the winning side got to watch the losing side (in this case the offense) do some push-ups as a result. "X made a great play on that one-on-one we had," Tannehill said. "We had DeVante on a takeoff. I thought I did a good job of getting back to the red line, thought I threw a good ball on the outside, and X elevated, got his long arm on the ball. Hats off to X right there making a good play." Gase and Tannehill both praised the work of Howard so far in camp, and the third-year player from Baylor says he's playing with a lot of confidence. "I'm always feeling like that," he said. "I'm bringing my A game. I'm bringing my A game this year."
Tricky Gore: Tannehill and his offensive teammates obviously were familiar with veteran running back Frank Gore before he joined the Dolphins, but the quarterback said he's been surprised by how hard Gore hits the hole. "When he runs downhill, he puts his foot in the ground and he goes," Tannehill said. "You see it on the tape, but to see it in person, you see a crease that's a foot wide, barely able to get a helmet through there, somehow he fits his whole body through there and is off to the next level. That's probably been the most fun thing for me as far as just seeing him put his foot on the ground and go downhill and find a way to get through a crease where it looks like a human being can't fit."
Practice report: New Dolphins Walk of Fame inductee Mark Duper and former Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who spent seven seasons with the team and made the Pro Bowl in 2011, were visitors at practice. … Defensive tackle Gabe Wright was back at practice after sitting out Sunday with a foot injury. Offensive lineman Jake Brendel (calf) and tight end A.J. Derby (foot) again missed practice. Wide receiver Isaiah Ford wore a red (non-contact) jersey for the third consecutive day. … Rookie free agent Greg Joseph did the kicking Monday and was 7-for-7 on field goal attempts, with a long of 51 yards. … Cornerback Taveze Calhoun had the only interception of the day in team drills.
Youth is served: In keeping with their commitment to youth football, the Dolphins welcomed members of the Broward Parks & Rec Teen League and Miami XTreme teams (Doral Broncos & Miami PAL Chiefs) to practice Monday. After watching practice, the players got the chance to meet Dolphins players and get autographs.