It’s been an eventful Sunday in Davie. We finally had the in depth coverage at practice we’ve been missing, a backup nose tackle was signed, a proven veteran center has scheduled a visit, and Brandon Marshall provided the finishing touches with an emotional press conference.
Mike Pouncey’s first practice
First-round pick Mike Pouncey signed his rookie contract just in time for the Dolphins’ first contact practice. Pouncey projects to upgrade the interior offensive line, which should improve the Dolphins’ running game.
He didn’t exactly excel in his first session, though, which should be expected from a rookie in his first practice. The Dolphins plugged him in at starting center right off the bat, thankfully putting to rest any rumors that Joe Berger would be competing for the job. But Pouncey had his share of poor snaps and was reportedly “metrorailed” on a play by Paul Soliai, who, by the way, has looked the part of monster according to various reports.
We could be in store for a curveball at center, though, as ESPN’s John Clayton is reporting that the Dolphins have scheduled a visit with former Giants’ center Shaun O’Hara, who would have to be considered one of the game’s finest at the position over the past decade.
To me, though, while O’Hara could certainly upgrade the Dolphins’ interior offensive line this season and potentially kill two birds with one stone if Pouncey is then moved to guard, signing him could be somewhat of a progress stopper.
This regime is on the hot seat. I get that. They must win this season or else, but I think a younger Richie Incognito would have been a better fit at center, both in the short and long-term, if the Dolphins were really open to Pouncey playing guard. But we will have to wait and see how it plays out, if O’Hara is even signed at all.
Chad Henne’s struggles continue?
It’s still early but it doesn’t appear that Chad Henne is seizing the opportunity to reclaim the starting job with Matt Moore on the sideline.
This is Henne’s job to lose in my opinion, but with reported numbers like a combined 3-8 in 7-on-7’s and 1-5 on the first 11-on-11 drill, he’s making himself vulnerable. Matt Moore is easily capable of upsetting Henne with a solid camp and preseason if these struggles continue.
Ray Feinga working with first-team at right guard
Surprisingly, it looks like Ray Feinga is getting the nod over John Jerry for starting right guard. Jerry obviously struggled as a rookie, but many expect him to make strides in his second season. The Dolphins have always been high on Feinga to some degree, keeping around last year despite an injured finger and a suspension, but I have a hard time believing he’s starting material.
It should be noted that Nate Garner isn’t allowed to practice yet, but although he’s been expected to get a crack at guard, Jake Long’s injury likely forces him to left tackle. This is probably why the Dolphins will reportedly shop around for an interior lineman. There are plenty of quality options on the market right now.
What to think of Brandon Marshall’s press conference
I’m not a psychiatrist and I’m not going to pretend to be one, either. I personally don’t think Brandon should be excused from his hot temper because of this revelation into his mental health, but I think it’s clear that the man needs help.
He appears to be taking the steps necessary to overcome BPD, and his goal to raise awareness of the illness should be commended.
DL Chris Baker and undrafted rookie OG Garret Chisolm open training camp on the non-football injury list. As reported earlier this morning, Jake Long has been placed on the PUP list. Sparano said getting Long off the PUP list by Week 1 “is obviously the goal.” Not exactly the reassurance we needed, but it’s far from panic time.
Sources: Omar Kelly, Brian Biggane, Ken LaVicka