Day 3 of training camp saw the Miami Dolphins put a little more physicality into their practice, as the team wore shoulder pads for the first time this year. This meant that the offensive line could put a little more oomph into their blocks, and players didn't have to be quite as wary about hitting their teammates.
After all, despite all the rule changes that have been made, football is still a violent sport. There will be hitting.
So what were the three biggest storylines in Day 3 of training camp? Lets go through them now.
Cornerback competition broadening
The initial thought was that the cornerback battle would be between Tony Lippett and Cordrea Tankersley for the other starting slot next to Xavien Howard, but then a surprise contender jumped into the fray on Saturday.
Former undrafted free agent Torry McTyercaught the attention of the coaching staff and got an opportunity to play with the starting lineup, and did a fairly good job when thrust into that new role. Now, many people would see this development as an indictment on Lippett and Tankersley, but considering that those two players have actually been performing well themselves, this speaks more volumes about McTyer.
Needless to say, the competition has just gotten a lot more interesting.
Offense coming together
As I have stated on numerous occasions now - much to the chagrin of Dolphins fans everywhere, Miami is attempting to implement an very New England-like offense, one that focuses on proper route-running, timing and accuracy.
It would seem that things are finally starting to come together in that regard.
On two separate occasions on Saturday, Ryan Tannehill wound up and threw a pass towards the sideline that depended on intended target DeVante Parker to be there when the ball arrived, and both times he was. What makes this significant is the fact that Tannehill threw the ball before Parker even made the break on his route, which means if Parker had mistimed his route, it probably would have fallen incomplete.
That is how the Patriots offense functions. Timing, execution, these are vital, and Tom Brady himself once admitted that the system he's in has contributed greatly to his NFL success, and that it was by no means a product of his own greatness.
This is the exact type of offense the Dolphins are building, and it's coming together, which bodes very well for the upcoming regular season.
Running backs continue to impress
On another note about the offense, the running backs continued their early camp dominance, with Kenyan Drake, Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage all establishing what they could do in front of a large Saturday crowd.
Gore continues to defy his 35-year old body and run with the energy of a rookie fresh out of college, and Drake's elusiveness cannot be overstated. Together the two project to make a very potent combination. And the longer time goes on, the more it appears that Kalen Ballage will make an excellent addition to the stable of backs.
He's been a hard runner, and effective out of the backfield. All I haven't seem him do much of is block, and I've yet to see him do any sort of return work despite the appeal of him doing so. Apparently the coaches would rather let Jakeem Grant, Kenyan Drake and Danny Amendola duke it out for that role.
But if all Ballage contributes is 5-10 touches a game, it doesn't look like they'll go to waste. With any luck, the running backs doing so well is a sign of their talent and not the lack of ability on the defense to stop the run. In training camp, that's always a possibility.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung