Another day of Dolphins training camp is in the books, and today was a lot of fun to watch. There were a few negatives regarding injuries. Today the Dolphins were back in full pads and this time left tackle Branden Albert did not participate in practice.
Also seeing limited action were linebackers Koa Misi and wide receiver Kenny Stills, who had a calf injury and was taking it easy today by just participating in drills. Despite some of the bad news with injuries, there was some good news to be had.
Ryan Tannehill clearly more comfortable in the offense
For the past several years, the Miami Dolphins quarterback has had no problem performing well in practice. What his issue was however, was practicing well with consistency. This year, that pattern appears to have changed. Each day of camp thus far, Ryan Tannehill has shown exactly how much he's improved over the years.
Today he seemed to be especially on point, as he connected with his receivers on several touchdowns over the course of the practice. Two of the most impressive touchdowns were when he threw a beam into the back corner of the endzone where Greg Jennings was waiting for it, and he threw a beautiful deep ball to Jarvis Landry that hit him in stride and let him run in for a touchdown when he beat safety Louis Delmas in coverage.
Needless to say, it appears that Tannehill is greatly enjoying having weapons to work with that fits what he's good at. Greg Jennings and Jarvis Landry have been their usual reliable selves, and have proven themselves to be perfect fits for offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's offense.
If Tannehill can keep up this level of play against other teams when the season starts, despite the bad offensive line play he's dealt with so far, then the Dolphins have a real chance to be a playoff team.
The Dolphins kicking situation is still very bad
It's bad guys. It's really bad. Both Caleb Sturgis and Andrew Franks have been bad all throughout camp, and today was incredibly bad, particularly for Sturgis. Near the beginning of practice, Sturgis bounced a kick off of the right upright, and later on he missed a 50-yard field goal...by kicking it short.
I find it incredibly puzzling (and aggravating) that the Dolphins haven't brought in a veteran kicker to compete with Sturgis instead of looking around to see if they can get lucky with an undrafted free agent like Franks,who was signed after being undrafted out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
There are options out there, even if they are another undrafted free agent. There are also options out there like Jay Feely and Shayne Graham, who are longtime NFL kickers and are usually signed in the middle of the season when their starting kickers either get hurt or consistently fail when they're needed...like Sturgis.
The former fifth-round pick did well during his first year as a Dolphin, but once that game against the Ravens happened and Sturgis missed what would've given the Dolphins a chance to win the game, he's been unreliable to the point where fans are actually missing Dan Carpenter. If the Dolphins don't do something soon, they may find themselves in big trouble.
Tensions beginning to rise among players
The team's motto is Stronger Together, and for the most part the Dolphins have honored that motto. But football is a violent sport, and no team is immune to this rule. Some minor scuffles have started to break out among the players, and truthfully, that's to be expected, especially with the hot Florida sun beating down on them.
Rookie cornerback Bobby McCain got into the face of wide receiver Jarvis Landry after Landry laid the wood on him during a practice play, and that lasted only a few moments before getting resolved. Later on, another short scuffle took place between linebacker Jordan Tripp and backup offensive lineman Jacques McClendon, that also lasted only moments before being taken care of.
The atmosphere is indeed different around the organization this season, but that doesn't mean they're immune to one of the universal laws of football. I expect tensions to continue to rise as the camp competition grows more and more fierce, and perhaps we'll soon get a real fight on our hands. Whether that's good or bad, that depends on how you view football.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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