After the second day of training camp, two things are clear: One, the canopy is a lifesaver because without that shade, I would probably catch fire from how blistering hot it is. Two, we desperately need to see the team in pads, because the offense and the defense are trading places being good and it's both intriguing and frustrating.
Thankfully, Day 3 of camp will see the Miami Dolphins wearing full pads at last, which means all bets are off and hitting can commence, that's what ultimately separates the men from the boys, and we'll get a real look at what the team has in them.
In the meantime, there were a few things of note for Day 2, and here they are.
Raekwon McMillan getting initial looks in the middle
Day 1 of camp saw the defense in the nickel defense almost exclusively during scrimmages, but that changed during Day 2, as the defense spent some time with three linebackers on the field, which brings back the question everyone was asking since the team made the investment in the new linebackers:
Which of the three inside linebackers would actually be inside?
Veterans Lawrence Timmons and Kiko Alonso are inside linebackers by trade, and rookie Raekwon McMillan is also best suited as a middle linebacker, but there can only be one inside linebacker, and all we ever heard was that everyone was interchangeable and there would be plenty of switching around.
Yeah, now who's the starting middle linebacker?
Day 2 gave us - at the very least - an initial answer, as it was McMillan who spent all of the snaps with the first-team defense in the middle, with Alonso and Timmons flanking him on either side during the times when the base defense was lined up.
I have no doubt that both Alonso and Timmons will get their turn to play in the middle during future practices, but it's interesting to see that McMillan got that time in the middle before either of them, calling out plays and being the captain if the defense.
Defensive line breaking through
This is precisely the reason why I have a mighty need to see the team with their full pads. While the offense did have their moments to shine (Ryan Tannehill had another excellent look-off touchdown today), the defensive line appeared to dominate for a majority of the scrimmages.
Cameron Wake, William Hayes, Julius Warmsley, even a guy named Joby Saint-Fleur all had would-be sacks today, and there were more players who didn't necessarily get sacks, but were providing ample amounts of pressure, such as Terrence Fede, who is fighting for a roster spot this offseason.
I was asked a lot about Charles Harris, and ultimately I didn't see much from him. However, that's more a result of the fact that my eyes can't be everywhere at once, and without the pads everything should be taken with a grain of salt. Tomorrow the pads will go on, and we'll see if the defensive line continues to dominate.
Ultimately, there wasn't anything super special to report from the second day at camp, there were however, several smaller storylines that I'll go through right now.
The heat was devastating at camp this morning. I saw one tweet that indicated that the heat index was at 107 degrees fahrenheit, and it definitely felt like it. Mind you, I was in the shade (most of the time), so the players got the full brunt of the South Florida sun. Rookie cornerback Cordrea Tankersley actually went inside the facility mid-practice to get rehydrated, and there will likely be more instances of this happening as camp continues.
In a similar vein, there was a slight scare when in the middle of a scrimmage play, tight end Julius Thomas pulled up short and walked away, forcing Anthony Fasano to take his place. Immediately the speculation regarding his health began, but during the next session, Thomas returned and remained in until the end of practice.
Jakeem Grant had some struggles fielding punts near the tail end of practice today, although one was because his teammate, wide receiver Francis Owusu, was about to run him over. Grant is in the running for the team's fifth wide receiver position, and as he continues to be included in practicing trick plays, it's obvious Gase wants to use his unique speed and athleticism. But he has to start focusing on catching the ball first.
DeVante Parker continued to prove that all the talk of a more motivated player wasn't just talk, as his speed and explosion look better than ever before. Hopefully, this shows itself in-game.
The pads come on Saturday, and things will start getting serious. I'm looking forward to it.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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